It's about time for the violets to spring out of their summer dormancy, which every year reminds me that summer doesn't last forever! What a great groundcover they make in the dry shade. We have several native species in Texas, but the one most commonly seen in our gardens is the Missouri violet, aka wood violet. These sweet little gems spread around the garden by seed and also will propagate from underground rhizomes to make that dense clump which crowds out weeds and looks so lush through the winter. As well as the native article, we also have a great adapted violet for our area known as Viola odorata (sweet violet) and as the name suggests this one carries a lovely scent and has been used as a cut flower for centuries. The sweet violet was once considered essential for European perennial gardens and has been cultivated since the ancient Greeks and Romans used them in winemaking and epicurean endeavors. One of my favorites for a shady garden!