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I havent really taken to pansies ever but violas are different. They are more classy, longer lived and more subtle. When their flower power diminishes in mid summer I cut them hard back and they will flower again in a few short weeks. Also I split them then to secure more plants that will flower shortly. Pansies are brash, gaudy and ungainly.......spoken to stir debate but I guess they are ok....ish!
Dovefromabove

I have a pot of little purple violas on the terrace outside my back door - they were blooming when I planted them in the autumn, the bloomed over Christmas, they were blooming when the snow started falling - they were buried under about 9" of thick snow for at least a week, probably more - when they emerged they looked very sorry for themselves, but 10 days after the snow had melted they were budding up and now their little faces are smiling up at me whenever I open the door  and the perfume .... it's wonderful, absolutely wonderful  - I love them, they beat pansies hands down 

Yep, Violas get the thumbs up from me every time, great plants. 

figrat
Another vote for violas.
donutsmrs

I love Violas, they always look so dainty. But, I like Pansies too, I have quite a few panies in my front garden and I must say in their defence that they flower their socks off every year, Even if they do go a bit leggy after a while I just cut them back and off they go again. Now Violas, I also have these in my front garden, and I have to say they look so sweet bobbing in the breeze and yes I have to agree Verdun they are more classy but I can't help it, I love them both

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Hiya Dove, do you know what variety those violas are? I've grown many varieties over the years but never been aware of their scent. I'm quite tall so maybe I need to bend down more...ha ha. So, consensus is violas are the winners
Nola
I like both, but if I could only have one or the other I would have violas.
Dovefromabove
Verdun wrote (see)
Hiya Dove, do you know what variety those violas are? I've grown many varieties over the years but never been aware of their scent. I'm quite tall so maybe I need to bend down more...ha ha. So, consensus is violas are the winners

I bought them from Notcutts, the label calls them Viola Violet Blue and says they were produced by http://www.farplants.co.uk but I can't find anything about them specifically on their website.  

The day I bought them I got home and I unloaded some stuff out of my car and then took a phone call - when I went back to the car the violas had been in the warm car in the sunshine for about 10 minutes - as I opened the door the perfume hit my senses - it was lovely - and even in the winter, if they get some warm sunshine on them and I bury my nose in the pot there's that beautiful scent again 

Obelixx

Viola for me too as they survive our harsh winters much better than namby pamby pansies.   I like the daintier flowers and markings too.

Dove...you have convinced me to get viola violet blue. By hook or by crook I shall track them down.
muddy mare

planted  up violas this year much better show and have survived the snow it was lovely to see them after the thaw get my vote

discodave

I think it depends on the situation planting, If you want strong large blooms then Pansies but for masses of smaller flowers then violas work a treat, I love them both, why not plant both.

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discodave

Did I read right, Panolas only flower for 5-7 days? (I assume thats per flower)

Dovefromabove

Hm, missed this, sorry Dave .... I think that 5-7 days refers to the plants all coming into bloom together, within a week of each other, if sown at the same time and under the same conditions - it's a piece of blurb for commercial growers.

Panolas bloom and bloom and bloom - they inherit that from the violas 

Pennine Petal
Violas for me, so much more understated than pansies which are a a bit blousy, having said that I still like them. Somehow violas look more natural.