Viola & Pansy Festival

8th March - 16th March 2025

Viola and pansies are very important plants in our gardens. During the 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 largest independent variety trial of these plants held in the world, 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 twenty 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. Each voter receives a free hot drink in our restaurant, Meadow Croft Kitchen. The votes are later counted and the ‘Top Ten’ Festival Favourites published in the gardening and trade press.

As a horticultural garden centre, we are keen to get the younger generations interested in gardening and inspire them to grow their own. Over the two weekends, we will be giving out a free Meadow Croft Goody Bag for all the children that come to the festival and vote for their festival favourites, as well as having entertainment such as face painting, live music, craft stalls and much more!

Come along to the Viola and Pansy Festival next March to vote for your favourites.

 

         

 


Previous Pansy & Viola Winners 

2024

 

Number Type Series Variety
1st Viola Sorbet XP  Morpho
2nd Viola Floral Power Purple Pearls
3rd Viola Bel Viso Orange Jump Up
4th Viola Floral Power Orange Red Wing
5th Viola Floral Power Yellow Beacon
6th Viola Deltini  Rose Pink
7th Viola Sorbet XP Lemon Jump Up
8th Viola Penny Pro Blue Marina
9th Viola Deltini  Honeybee
10th Viola Bel Viso Pineapple Crush

 

2023

Number Type Series Variety
1st Viola Tiger Eye Yellow
2nd Pansy Mystique Moonlight
3rd Viola Sorbet XP Pink Halo
4th Viola Corina White Purple Wing
5th Pansy Panola XP Beaconsfield
6th Viola Sorbet XP Morpho
7th Pansy Cats Purple and White 
8th Viola Bel Viso Blue Beacon
9th Pansy Carrera Azure
10th= Viola Bel Viso Pineapple
10th= Viola Bel Viso Victoriana

 

2022

Number Type Series Variety
1st Viola Bel Viso Orange Jump Up
2nd Viola Rocky Violet Blue
3rd Viola Rocky Orange with Purple Wing
4th Viola Corina White Purple Wing
5th Viola Bel Viso  Blueberry Swirl
6th Viola Bel Viso Pineapple Crush
7th Viola Deltini Honeybee
8th Pansy Cello Deep Orange w/ Blotch
9th Pansy Delta Blue with Blotch
10th= Viola Rocky Orange with Purple Wing Improved
10th=  Pansy Power Patricia

 

2021

Number Type Series Variety
1st Viola Bel Viso Pineapple Crush
2nd Viola Bel Viso Yellow Jump Up
3rd Viola Sorbet Tiger Eye
4th Viola Deltini Copperfield
5th Viola Quicktime Mickey
6th Viola Rocky Orange with Purple Wing
7th Viola Tiger Eye Red
8th Viola Bel Viso Lemon Rose Wing
9th Viola Grandissimo Berry Pie
10th Viola Corina White Rose Wing

 

Image of Tiger Eye Yellow

 


Kate is hard at work selecting home-grown plants from our nursery to go on display at the garden centre!
Three vegetables to plant in your garden:⁠

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We love hearing you've had a great experience at Meadow Croft! A big thank you to Jeanette who left us this lovely review on our Facebook page
Last week, we donated a selection of vegetable plants to Gorsefield Rural Studies & Outdoor Activity Centre for their students to plant on the grounds
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#OutdoorFurniture #MeadowCroft #GardenCentre #Essex
Who's planning on firing up the BBQ this weekend now that the weather has dried up?⁠

If you're looking for an upgrade this summer, browse our selection of coal and gas barbecues in-store
Ever wondered how our seedlings are transplanted? Take a look in this behind the scenes clip filmed at our nursery
Who else is popping their coat on and getting out in the garden this bank holiday weekend? Let us know what you're working on in the comments
Ever heard of grafted veg?⁠

The plant is grafted onto a strong rootstock and as a result, becomes tougher, more disease-resistant and produces larger yields. ⁠

They're the perfect project for a long weekend! In store now

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