TV personality Esther Rantzen is backing the HTA's March plants of the month, pansies and violas.
The HTA wants to link the bedding plants with its 'It Starts with a Pot' campaign.
HTA 'celebrity champion' Rantzen said: "I love pansies for their soft colours, all the shades of blues, purples and gold’s and for their faces, turned down, as if in contemplation, as Ophelia said, ‘There’s pansies, that’s for thoughts’ – and indeed the name comes from the French word, pensee, to think.
"They look fragile, but in fact they are tough, they can survive anything except the burning summer heat, and they seed themselves and return, year after year. And outside the garden wall their little wild cousins, the violets, send out their fragrance to reassure us that spring is on its way."
Varieties recommended by the RHS include:
- Viola Aspasia
- Viola Beshlie
- Viola Clementina
- Viola Cornuta
- Viola Cornuta Alba
- Viola Cucullata
- Viola Huntercombe Purple