Viola & Pansy Festival
Dates for the 2020 Viola and Pansy Festival will be announced shortly
Viola and pansies are very important plants in our gardens. During the long frosty months of winter and early spring, they are among the hardiest, longest flowering and most colourful plants we have. Violas are also uniquely able to fill that colour gap between our spring flowering plants and the summer bedding plants.
Meadow Croft has held Viola and Pansy Festivals every March since 2004.
It is the public face of the largest independent variety trial of these plants held in Great Britain, with seed of new varieties supplied by plant breeders from around the world.
Each year new and experimental varieties are displayed for the first time. All the plants for the festival are grown by W.D. Smith & Son, owners of Meadow Croft Garden Centre in their own glasshouses nearby, and then moved to the Garden Centre for the Festival.
The past fourteen years have seen surprising changes in the cultivars on display, not just new colours or larger flowers, but very significant developments in the shape and habit of some new varieties. We now have plants that really do trail and spread, making them much more suitable for containers and hanging baskets.
Each year visitors to the festival play an important part, by voting for their favourite varieties from amongst those displayed. The votes are counted and the ‘Top Ten’ Festival Favourites published in the gardening and trade press.