The Growbags September pick-me-ups

Still slightly reeling from a trip north of the border to Caroline and her fun-loving Highland friends – just how many parties can you fit into three days? and why do they hold a Harley-Davidson reunion rally in the Cairngorms over August Bank Holiday? (it’s called ‘Thunder in the Glens’!). I definitely needed a restorative perambulation round my own garden this morning which revealed some plants which, unlike me, seemed to be peaking right now, and provided just the tonic I needed: Pokeweed, Phytolacca americana, is a bit of a marmite plant but I love marmite so I was delighted to...

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Hylotelephium ‘Red Cauli’ A.G.M.

(Previously … Sedum ‘Red Cauli’!) Just to confuse us further, not all sedums are re-named Hylotelephium, just some of them. Seen above with Diascia personata, my star plant this week is the amazing stone crop ‘Red Cauli’: it is one of those plants that just sings at this time of the year.  Interestingly neither of these two thrives in a pot – the sedum seems to want to grow sideways out of it, and the Diascia is so brittle that if you pick up the pot, you invariably snap off a lovely long flowering stem! But once planted, I can hardly think of...

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Grow-How Tips for Late August

I do hope this holiday season is going spiffingly well for you.  There is a more easeful air about the garden in August. In Scotland, the children are already back at school and in our gardens almost everything that was going to happen, has now happened, apart from the late flowerers and the harvesting of fruit and veg.  There are still a few nice little tasks you might consider while you wander around assessing your garden performance this year and wondering if you can throw the barbie away rather than clean it (you really can’t). ROSES FOR FREE Everyone...

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Growbags blueprint to save the world

Apparently insect pollinators are responsible for one in three of every mouthfuls of food we eat. I expect you’ve all seen the apocalyptic scenario of empty shelves in the fruit and veg section if global bee numbers continue to tumble (don’t panic Caroline, grapevines are principally wind-pollinated so the wine aisles will be largely unaffected). Back in the day, Geoff Hamilton would simply recommend planting a buddleia to tick the ‘nature’ box but scientists now tell us that butterflies are just the eye candy and it is bees that we need to focus on if we want to save...

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