The Growbags…..total bird-brains

Growing up in an isolated rural setting we three young Growbags had to make our own entertainment. One of our innocent pastimes was making bird traps by propping up our father’s shrimping net with a stick, tied to a long piece of string, and baiting the trap with breadcrumbs. When an unsuspecting blue tit ventured under the net we would yank the string, pull the stick away, and drop the net on the bird. It was then duly caught and ringed with a coil of fuse wire for future identification. Please don’t try this at home as nowadays you...

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Malus hupehensis AGM

I have a confession. The tree in the photo above is not actually in our garden. About 25 years ago, our neighbour, who grew it from seed, planted it on the verge in our lane, so I watch its progress through the seasons from the kitchen window. This tree gives us pleasure on so many fronts. The show starts in April/May when the delicate pink buds open to a profusion of white flowers which have a subtle musky scent; it makes a simply stunning display, and passing walkers often stop by to ask its name. Ernest Wilson discovered it...

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Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’

It all depends on the sun, the wind, the rain, and the frost … and on the order in which they come and go throughout the year. Therefore each autumn brings subtly different colour schemes and it is why some plants excel one year where before they were more muted. Today it’s the turn of an American switch grass, and it has been grabbing my attention for the last few weeks until I could no longer ignore it! Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’ is the most narrowly upright form of the genus and is therefore perfect for the smaller border where...

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