Gardening / Cuttings: Practical publications

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The Independent Online
TWO BOOKS that are stalwarts of my collection on particular plants appeared in paperback earlier this year. They are Carnations and Pinks by Sophie Hughes and Pansies, Violets and Violettas by Rodney Fuller (both Crowood Press, pounds 9.99). These flowers have had dedicated followers: the members of the florists' societies, who showed their pinks and pansies in the back rooms of pubs and clubs all over the country.

The authors are extremely good on the history of their plants, and offer plenty of practical information, too. Mr Fuller includes a useful monthly calendar of what you should be doing to your violas and when. Varieties with straggly growth will benefit this month, he says, 'from an occasional pruning of the growth - provided that the plants are growing freely and well, and that there is evidence of healthy basal growth . . .'