Rosa ‘Souvenir du Docteur Jamain’ Climbing

There are so many beautiful roses out right now, so how on earth do I choose just one? No rose is perfect, and my favourite today shares certain less attractive traits with many others. Let’s face it, few roses look their best after a downpour and this one is no exception, it really sulks after rain; and then there is the dying process which can be untidy at best or downright unsightly. But in so many other respects, ‘Souvenir du Docteur Jamain’ is a winner. First off, it is one of the best for a north facing wall: its...

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Grow-How Tips for Early June

It is easy to become drunk on plants at this time of year, wandering around the garden half-dazed with all the wonderful growth! But there are still some useful tasks to do such as sowing some biennials, planning companion planting and making some more of your favourite clematis cultivars: BEAUTIFUL BIENNIALS Biennial plants germinate and establish in their first year and flower in their second year. They can often then become short-lived perennials, but in my experience, will never flower as well as in their second year. I’m talking about such beauties as wallflowers (Erysimum), Canterbury bells, foxgloves and...

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Chelsea Flower Show – art or science?

Okay everyone – its 2019 and the Chelsea Flower Show is definitely  ‘back in the room’. After a couple of years of Maltese quarries and giant disco balls there had to be a swing back to proper intelligent gardening and this year we had four cracking Gold Medal Show Gardens to enjoy. Top of the pile was Andy Sturgeon and it was on his stand that I was able to nominate the first of the customary 3growbags award for Best Overheard Comment. As Andy was being triumphantly feted by press and TV showing off his palette of green plants astride one...

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Geranium sylvaticum ‘Album’ AGM. White, wood cranesbill

There are well over 400 species in the genus geranium, and so when it comes to choosing one for that precious spot in your garden, it pays to do a little research, and above all, be selective. It is oh so easy to be seduced by the one that happens to be in flower as you pass it in your local nursery or garden centre, but a random purchase can be a cause for regret later. It might turn out to be too tall, too floppy, too thuggish, too sparing in its flowers …. The Latin ‘sylvaticum’ means ‘of...

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