As isolation continues, I’m beginning to run short of various essential gardening items. The fact that I can’t just pop out for supplies whenever I want to keeps catching me out – we take our freedom for granted and the social distancing we’re all engaged in to protect the NHS and save lives is a very different way of life.
My most immediate requirement is for specialist compost and small pots for potting on – I’ve quite a few seedlings that will need them within the next week or so.
Thankfully our local garden centres and nurseries are rising to the challenge they’re facing and have started taking orders and delivering to our doors. Having thought carefully about my own order to ensure I get all I need in one delivery, I’m looking forward to receiving at least some of the items I could do with during the course of next week – hopefully they’ll keep me going until at least the end of May.
My six this week feature the pretty little faces of viola, I bought two reduced packs at the beginning of March – at a pound a pack, they’ve certainly been earning their keep!
Violas are my favourite plants for winter/spring pots, far preferable to pansies as they are daintier and generally more subtle in colour. Positioned around the edge of a pot, they complement a wide selection of grasses, small shrubs and perennials.
Violas prefer moist but well drained soil in semi-shade, but I find that they also grow well in pots in full sun. Kept tidy by deadheading and trimming back at the first sign of straggly stems, they’ll keep giving for months.
Easily grown from seed, violas can also be propagated by division in autumn and by cuttings taken from short stems without a flower or bud in spring. Cuttings should be trimmed to just below a leaf node, the side shoots taken off and then planted around the edge of a clay pot in gritty compost; to retain moisture, cover the surface of the pot with grit. They’ll be ready to pot on when new growth shows and roots start appearing through the drainage holes.
Even on a rainy day (like today), the nodding faces of these sweet little flowers make me smile..
This viola stands out amongst the others in my bargain trays – its colour combination isn’t a natural choice for me, but it’s a great splash of brightness on the doorstep!
This gorgeous tangerine viola wasn’t in my bargain packs, I planted it in a pot with heuchera and imini grass last autumn – as is plain to see, it’s still going strong!
That’s my six for this week, keep safe and well!
For more Six on Saturday, visit: https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/six-on-saturday-a-participant-guide/