The A to Z of TV Gardening – Letter V: Carol Kirkwood takes an alphabetical journey through the world of gardening, getting inspiration and advice from some of the BBC’s most popular garden presenters and programmes.
In this episode, she is exploring subjects that all begin with the letter V: Vertical Gardening, Vanilla, Vegetable, Viola
The A to Z of TV Gardening – Letter V
Viola is a genus of flowering plants in the violet family Violaceae. It is the largest genus in the family, containing between 525 and 600 species. Most species are found in the temperate Northern Hemisphere; however, some are also found in widely divergent areas such as Hawaii, Australasia, and the Andes.
Some Viola species are perennial plants, some are annual plants, and a few are small shrubs. Many species, varieties and cultivars are grown in gardens for their ornamental flowers. In horticulture the term pansy is normally used for those multi-colored, large-flowered cultivars which are raised annually or biennially from seed and used extensively in bedding. The terms viola and violet are normally reserved for small-flowered annuals or perennials, including the wild species.
Vegetables are parts of plants that are consumed by humans or other animals as food. The original meaning is still commonly used and is applied to plants collectively to refer to all edible plant matter, including the flowers, fruits, stems, leaves, roots, and seeds. The alternate definition of the term vegetable is applied somewhat arbitrarily, often by culinary and cultural tradition. It may exclude foods derived from some plants that are fruits, flowers, nuts, and cereal grains, but include savoury fruits such as tomatoes and courgettes, flowers such as broccoli, and seeds such as pulses.
Vanilla, the vanilla orchids, forms a flowering plant genus of about 110 species in the orchid family (Orchidaceae). The most widely known member is the flat-leaved vanilla (V. planifolia), native to Mexico, from which commercial vanilla flavoring is derived. It is the only orchid widely used for industrial purposes in flavoring such products as foods, beverages and cosmetics, and is recognized as the most popular aroma and flavor. The key constituent imparting its popular characteristics is the phenolic aldehyde, vanillin.
This evergreen genus occurs worldwide in tropical and subtropical regions, from tropical America to tropical Asia, New Guinea and West Africa. Five species are known from the contiguous United States, all limited to southern Florida.