The plants of the month for March are pansies and violas

The plants of the month for March are pansies and violas

The plants of the month for March are pansies and violas, among our best-loved bedding plants and always popular for their cheery easy-going nature. Take the time to look closer at their prettily-marked petals and you'll find there's more to them than you think: like little works of art, you can find varieties splashed, shaded, two-toned, striped and whiskered, in every shade from near-black to classy shades of bronze, copper and yellow.

Pack them into containers and hanging baskets for a dazzlingly colourful display through winter and early spring, or team them with other winter performers for a partnership to lift the spirits: they go particularly well with the heavily-fragrant pink flowered evergreen Daphne bholua 'Jacqueline Postil', or with Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae with its whorls of yellow-green flowers.

They may look delicate, but pansies can survive just about anything the weather can throw at them with the possible exception of intense summer heat. Their happy little faces follow the sun ā€“ so make sure you place them where you're looking at them with the sun behind you, so they're always facing you. Keep well watered and deadhead regularly to maintain a continuous display that can last several months at a time;