So which primrose should you choose?

March is THE month to buy new primroses. The Primula genus is complex but luckily you’re starting with the most knowledgeable Growbag sister who can guide you through your choices. Lets start with the different flower forms; primroses can be single, double, held aloft on a elongated stem as a polyanthus, or there can be whorls of flowers on a single stem as in the candelabra types. Then there are the different species, some of which are native to the British Isles, and some which come from other countries but, given the right conditions, can be persuaded to grow here....

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Primula ‘Dark Rosaleen’

This cultivar, bred in the 1980’s by an Irishman named Joe Kennedy, is a beautiful, strong growing, hardy primula, and having chosen it this week as my special plant, I wanted to find out where the name originated. I uncovered more than one explanation, but the one that fits for me was being named after the poem of the same title by James Clarence Mangan, written in 1846: a dark year in Irish history. Being such a good doer, ‘Dark Rosaleen’ is the perfect primula for me because it doesn’t need cosseting. When I first bought it many years...

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Honing your honeysuckle – tips for spring gardening

There’s SO much to do now it’s early spring! Let’s all make a plan not to feel so overwhelmed that we give up before we’ve begun, and just try to make a start SOMEWHERE! How about pruning the honeysuckle, thinning out your seedlings, and trying some layering of a shrub or two. Here’s how: HELPING THE HONEYSUCKLE  The pretty honeysuckles we grow to achieve a soft cottage-garden look, have some rampant and very invasive cousins on the loose! and even the ones we can buy at a garden centre have some pretty rampageous qualities – I once planted one in my...

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Ten veg worth growing

Which veg are worth growing because they are so much tastier than anything you can ever buy?  I asked myself this as I am about to set up a garden veg club at work and need some star performers to wow my colleagues. My two sisters will be horrified that I have been put in charge of this project; true, I have never actually grown a vegetable in my life (that’s what Tim is for) but if E and C can make a decent fist of it – how hard can it be?’ Radish. We need some early success...

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