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Autumn

Salvia leucantha

  Salvia  leucantha known as Mexican bush sage, is a sub-shrub reaching to about a metre in height. I grow mine in my autumn border but it’s also a really good choice for a container because long before the flowers appear, indeed showing no hint of what will come in October, the foliage alone, with…

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Growbag Blog

Overwintering tender perennials – is it worth the bother?

So you succumbed to temptation and bought a lovely salvia just starting to flower in late July and now it is still looking great but frosts are threatening and you are wondering what you should do. Salvias are a bit of a task to keep going year on year, they mainly come from places like Mexico and Africa…

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Autumn

Dahlia merckii

Now I am not a big fan of dahlias, for me the flowers are too brash and the growth rather ungainly: but here I’ll make an exception. This plant is a species, (and I hope you were paying attention to Laura’s piece and video on plant nomenclature!) so comes true from seed and is a…

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Growbag Blog

Bulb lasagne – not everyone’s favourite dish

Planting spring bulbs? Just like boiling an egg, it looks easy on the face of it but has a sneaky timing aspect that can totally b**ger things up. Memories will eventually dim of my Inverewe chess board experience. I wanted to recreate that Highland garden’s striking black and white tulip bed. What a stunner – fab-u-lous x 10.…

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Autumn

Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Herbstzauber’

Now I bet you don’t know what a forb is, and nor did I until I sat down to write this piece, and it could be a good one if you play scrabble. It is a herbaceous flowering plant other than a grass. My chosen plant is a pennisetum, and I was reading a small…

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Growbag Blog

Grammar Schools: where a gardening education starts

All three of us Growbag sisters are the products of what is apparently now considered the gold standard of tuition, our local single sex grammar school ‘Horsham High for Girls’ . We were so educationally well equipped that we could, apparently, have been captains of industry or Prime Ministers. So how is it that my…

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Great Plants this Month Autumn

Vitex agnus-castus var. latifolia

I must start by mentioning the garden where I first saw this month’s plant. A few years ago I took my mother on a little garden-visiting jaunt to South Wales and we came across this gem of a garden nestling in a beautiful and secluded valley with breathtaking views. Tucked into the hillside, it was filled with…

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Growbag Blog

September signals sisterly division

Optimists can brand September ‘late summer’ all they like, but the autumnal cast of rose hips, fallen leaves and late afternoon port drinking are definitely beginning to take the stage here in Scotland. With a sigh of relief you can confirm you won’t actually ever get around to making jam with the plums and offload your over-sized marrows and squashes…

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Growbag Blog

Still time for stand-out climbers to shine in September

How are your walls looking at the moment?  And your fences, and arbors, and pergolas and gazebos?  Are they languishing under a dismal-looking leaf canopy of May-flowering montana or June-flowering rambler roses, or, worse still, bare? Well they needn’t be – there are things you can do to remedy this sorry state of affairs, and the…

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Summer

Koelreuteria paniculata – Golden Rain Tree

I love propagating all plants, but above all I have a particular fondness for trees that I have raised from seed. So much is invested: the collection, the sowing, the waiting, the watching, the watering. Then by magic, or so it seems, a tiny green shoot appears, and others soon follow. So a few years…