Plant of the Week: Viola

Plant of the Week: Viola

Shy little violas are familiar as winter bedding plants, flowering stoically (and prettily) through the coldest months. But did you know there are summer violas too, every bit as dainty as their winter cousins?

Perennial violas are little beauties with deliciously scented flowers. They make fantastic ground cover, spreading merrily to make a flowery carpet at the feet of roses and other shrubs all summer. And there’s such a wonderful array of colours to choose from, with violas in pure white, lilac, mauve and yellow to bicoloured, striped or splashed. Try displaying your favourites in matching clay pots on shelves at eye level to fully appreciate their charms.

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Move houseplants outdoors

Move houseplants outdoors for a summer holiday so they come back inside refreshed and ready to give you their usual superb display next winter.

Most houseplants enjoy a spell outside in the warmer weather, including cymbidium orchids, ficus, peace lilies, bromeliads, and Christmas cacti. Keep more delicate, water-sensitive plants like African violets and moth orchids (Phalaenopsis) indoors, though.

Move houseplants outdoors

Th...

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It’s British Flowers Week

It’s British Flowers Week – your chance to celebrate the best of British grown, beautifully fresh cut flowers and foliage.

Pop into the garden centre here in and treat yourself to a gorgeous bouquet of in-season British-grown flowers to mark the occasion: right now you’re spoilt for choice, with roses, alstroemeria, lilacs, freesias, lavender,  pinks and sweet williams all in season and flowering their socks off. Put together your...

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Train your cordon tomatoes

Train your cordon tomatoes to encourage lots of fruit on a big, vigorous plant. Tomatoes either grow on a bush, in which case it doesn’t need training or a vine. Those grown as a single-stemmed vine are known as ‘cordon’ tomatoes and are trained to increase production and stop side shoots growing into an untidy plant.

Train Tomatoes

When you pick up your ready-grown tomato plants from the garden centre here in make sure you co...

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Harvest broad beans

Harvest broad beans as soon as the pods have swelled for one of the real home-grown treats of early summer in the veg garden. If you sowed your broad beans in autumn (look out for super-hardy varieties like Aquadulce Claudia on our seed racks which can overwinter as sturdy seedlings) they should be producing plenty of pods by now; if you sowed summer varieties like Masterpiece Green Longpod in spring, you may have to wait another week or so.

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