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Violas and Violets

Martha Stewart Living Television

The sight of seedlings getting a start in shallow wooden flats was once common at commercial nurseries and greenhouses. Although not as ubiquitous as they once were, you can still find such flats at some gardening centers. If you see one, snatch it up, because it makes the perfect container for a hostess gift of violas or violets. And with Mother's Day coming up, a flat of pansy, viola, or violet seedlings in a wide range of colors makes a wonderful present. The recipient of your gift might wish to arrange the flowers as a centerpiece for the table; the next day, the seedlings can be planted in the garden.

Most flats hold as many as fifteen seedlings, so select a broad assortment. The more colors represented in the flat, the better. Include an attractive plant marker (available at garden-supply stores) with each seedling. When you've wrapped the flat in a ribbon (which can double as a carrying handle), your gift is ready to give.