Violet grower gains dual honours

Bridport violet nursery scoops prize for winning varieties and gains national status for its collections

A Dorset nursery has double cause for celebration. Last month, the National Council for the Conservation of Plants & Gardens awarded national status for violet collections to Groves Garden Centre & Violet Nursery in Bridport. Owner Clive Groves recently returned from France with a winner’s trophy and certificates after taking on the world’s top violet producers. He said: “This was a brand-new competition and I am delighted to have taken first and second prize for the best cultivar section. The new varieties are sweet violets called ‘Diana Groves’, named after my wife, and ‘Annie’, named after my sister. “The event was organised by the French section of the International Violet Society. Violet growers from all over the world get together for four days every two years. “During that time we visited violet nurseries and violet perfume and liquor manufacturers — basically all things connected with violets in and around Toulouse.” Groves is vice-president of the International Violet Society and, for services to the world of violets, was made a knight of the Confrérie de la Violette in 1995.

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