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GrowHow

Plotting and planning – Growhow tips for February

The snowdrops are in full fig, and even early daffodils are starting to flower down here in the south – praise be! We’ll soon be through this ghastly, frightening winter and into brighter, more hopeful days. Time to start some veg-plot planning, and tackling some deep-rooted weeds amongst other things… Rotation motivation If you are…

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Growbag Blog

Eight different seeds we’ll be sowing this year

Is there anything so full of promise as ordering and sowing seeds, but what to choose this year? We three sisters will have different approaches. I will want to experiment with a pre-determined ecological outcome in mind, Elaine will go for the dreamily romantic (thank goodness you don’t grow roses from seed or we’d be…

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Great Plants this Month Winter

Ribes laurifolium – laurel-leaved currant

Before this recent bout of snow and frost, the garden seemed almost to be in early spring mode and bursting into life with crocus, aconites, iris and of course, snowdrops. Now we have returned to winter and it’s just what the garden needed. However, my choice this week had already made its mark, quietly but…

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GrowHow

With a spring in our step! Early February Grow-how

Brilliant! We’ve made it to February! And it really won’t be long now before the early spring flowers will be everywhere to cheer us through these dark times. It’s still pretty quiet in the garden, but we can certainly start getting the beds ready, begin rose-pruning, and sow some broad beans………………… Can you dig it?…

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And a final word on clematis

Don’t you just adore those small and medium-flowered summer clematis – they will enchant for weeks and weeks from mid-summer onwards, if you have a good hack at them now. All that mass of tangled brown top-growth can be cut off entirely now, right down to about 1ft off the ground. I know it’s scary…

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Growbag Blog

Six new garden features to consider

It’s catalogues galore now isn’t it! Sarah Raven, Mr Fothergills, Parkers – just so tempting. But remember a garden is not created by plants alone. A garden needs to have paths and seating at the very least, possibly steps and walls, and ideally some tasteful artefacts placed around it (a hot tub is, of course,…

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Great Plants this Month Winter

‘The brittle violin of frost’

The timing couldn’t be better: the RHS have just announced that the Chelsea Flower Show 2021 is being postponed until September. Bring in the new! This is a big opportunity for change: for the RHS, for the nurserywomen and men, for the exhibitors and for us, the gardeners. The announcement also coincides with a few…

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GrowHow

Jolly jobs for January

While the world hunts desperately for snippets of good news amongst all the awful stuff, we gardeners still have the little buzz of feeling that spring is not hopelessly far off now. The snowdrops are pushing through, and we can begin preparing our plots for the coming season. Let’s get going on tasks like pruning…

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Growbag Blog

Beauty or beast – what makes a great winter shrub?

We’re pretty much confined to barracks now in our gardens and local parks, but our daily exercise walks can be livened up no end by one of those many winter shrubs that puts its best foot forward in the coldest months of the year. As the most normal of the 3growbags sisters (let’s face it,…

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Great Plants this Month Winter

Salvia officinalis – common sage

From Roman times onward, our garden sage has, as its Latin name suggests, been valued in connection with innumerable medicinal and, since Tudor times, culinary uses.  Steering clear of the former, I can certainly vouch for its use in the kitchen, as without shadow of a doubt it is my go-to herb in the winter months; not only that, its evergreen good looks are reliably handsome all year round. Over the years, I’ve also grown the forms ‘Icterina’, ‘Purpurascens’ and ‘Tricolor’, also a broad-leaved one,…