While violas look a lot like their cousins, pansies, pansy flowers can be distinguished from violas by examining the petals. Pansies have four petals facing up and one facing down while Violas have two petals facing upwards and three facing downwards. Violas bloom in a wide range of colors, and have a soft, old-fashioned feel that makes them ideal for use in cottage gardens. Because these spring flowers are low growing, they’re excellent choices for the front of the border or lining walkways and sidewalks. Blooming in the early spring makes Viola a great companion plant for tulips. Extended period of hot weather can bring on a decline in flowering. Cut the plants back to create the possibility of another bloom when temperatures decline in the fall. Viola is far hardier and easier to maintain than pansy and is such a lovely presence in the chilly weather.