Gardening A to Z: V

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Variegated plants have patterns of other colours as well as green on their leaves, and usually grow less strongly than their plain leaved counterparts as they have less chlorophyll. They are usually the result of cultivation and are sometimes caused by viruses though some species, notably Coleus Blumei, are variegated naturally.

Strictly speaking, a group of plants arising in the wild which though not sufficiently different from the norm of their species to be of great interest to botanists (they may only differ in flower colour for instance) are different enough to be of interest to gardeners. A variety is designated as, for instance, Acacia Longifolia Var. Sophorae, the "Var". being short for varietas. Varieties created by gardeners are supposed to be called cultivars and not given Latin names.

Growing vegetables for the table is very satisfying. Planting your garden gives you a real sense of achievement whilst relieving stress and can involve the whole family.

Vegetables – Winter
Helpful tips for growing vegetables over Winter.

The capacity for germination or renewed growth in a stored seed or bulb. Seeds vary greatly in the time they remain viable, from a few days in some tropical trees such as Cocoa, to a few weeks in Camellias, to more than 20 years in the case of many hard-seeded Legumes. Viability is also greatly affected by storage conditions, being improved by low temperature and humidity.

Learn what makes Penny Violas so special.

A disease in plants which is incurable and may be fatal. However, some viruses are relatively benign, such as the one that makes tulips ‘break’ into stripes.

Vital Fertiliser
A company that specialises in garden products made with all natural ingredients. Two of their most popular products are 'Beat-A-Bug', a natural insect spray, and 'Happy Roses' a natural tonic to give your roses everything they need to thrive.