Pansies and violas are in their prime right now. When winter gardens are becoming a little drab, the pretty faces of pansies and violas abound to add a vibrant splash of colour.  They come from the ancient Viola species which has more than five hundred species. The name pansy is derived from the French word pensée meaning “thought” and refers to the flower, because it looks like a human face, nodding in thought. Pansies have bigger faces and leaves than their cousin the viola which is also known as Heart’s Ease.

Plant out these floriferous little angels in either a sunny or partially shaded area.  However, violas will perform better than pansies with more shade – making them perfect for brightening up dull areas of the garden. They are ideal to plant in garden beds and borders, as well as in containers.

Give them plenty of space with a good watering once a week, depending upon rainfall.  Try to water the soil around the plants, avoiding the leaves if possible. To get the best from your blooms, use a plant food every other week and don’t forget to regularly deadhead.