Every fall I fill terra cotta pots with violets and place them on the front porch and the steps. In Georgia they bloom all winter and in the spring, right before it gets to hot and they die, they go through a growth spurt and the blooming goes into hyperdrive (I'm so poetic).
This year I've had a couple of volunteers growing right out of the bricks in the steps. The little guy above has been blooming for a few days and makes me smile every time I walk into the house. Which, considering the state of my house right now, is saying something.