Viola cornuta grows naturally in the Pyrenees. The species belongs to the Violaceae family, which in this case means a nice odour produces by the the beautifully coloured petals. They appear in spring on the plants which germinated the previous summer and happily overwintered. In nature Tufted Pansy is a typical perennial, but its modern cultivars are treated as biennials. However, the seeds produced by them are ready to germinate wherever they fall in the garden and cause a lot of nice surprises the next year.
Let us sum up: sturdy perennial, resistant to frost, forming shapely clumps, abundant flowers in all possible and impossible colour combinations (purple, blue, red, yellow, apricot, pink, white), attractive smell, vigorous seeds (not all of the cultivars), a long flowering period. Who needs a better recommendation?
All you need to do is prepare a nice container (a hanging one might do especially for the cultivars with longer stems), good (moist and rich) garden compost, and a sunny site. Partial shade prolongs flowering but the flowers are not as numerous. Horned pansies look great planted directly in flower borders or beds. Allow some room between the neighbouring plants so that the are can circulate and help protect the plants from fungal diseases. Unfortunately, charming pansies attract also ugly slugs and snails along with aphids. In this case fresh air is not enough and more efficient chemical measures will have to be administered.
After the first flush of blooms, which usually comes in late June, cut back the stems to keep the clumps compact. They will flower again in early fall.