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Growbag Blog

Listen up, don’t buy a house in France

Listen carefully. DO NOT buy a house in Northern France.  Do not be seduced by old stones, a deeply-rustic position, cheaper house-prices, friendly natives, quiet roads, sandy beaches six miles long, or the availability of fabulous wine for tuppence-ha’penny. If you fall for these sirens, you’re in trouble.  You will be condemning yourself forever to…

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Growbag Blog

Scotland is a gardener’s paradise – it’s a matter of flax

Still in recovery from the rigours of making my garden sufficiently presentable for its open day,  we’ve taken a few days off. Being a farming family we endlessly enjoy the British countryside so our holidays are invariably taken here in the UK.  With five of our seven dogs we are currently on the Isle of Islay in the Southern…

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Growbag Blog

Jack russells dusted; chickens briefed: the garden is open!

So the scene was set. Glasshouse (Alitex – the best!) was swept and decked out in bunting; Growbag sister Elaine was installed on plant sales; son’s girlfriend, Emily, was put in charge of tea and cakes (son couldn’t be trusted, it needs someone properly organised for this key role, ergo someone female); family friend Anne was…

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Growbag Blog

Come on folks – get busy with the unicorn dung!

What a splendid day we had at Chelsea!  The sun shone, the flowers amazed, and even the surprisingly LONG QUEUE TO WASH YOUR HANDS after the loo (!) did not deter us from enjoying our day (there was some disgracefully sexist talk in the line about how long men would queue for, to wash their…

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Growbag Blog

Was Prosecco the undoing of Princess Kate at Chelsea?

Our first Chelsea blog in 2016: We’re all off to glorious Chelsea Flower Show this week. Here are five things I love about it: 1. It’s completely mad. How ridiculous to virtually dig up and re landscape an area of our capital city simply for a flower show. I just love that we do it every…

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Growbag Blog

Peonies pile on the pleasure of early summer

What a gladsome thing a peony is!  Peonies are the ‘over-the-tops’ of late spring and early summer from the buxom ‘officinalis’ beauties so often seen in cottage gardens to the glamorous ‘suffruticosa’ tree peonies with their sumptuous blooms. About 12 years ago, I fell for one of these in a garden-centre; it’s called Handaijin (very dully translated as…

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Growbag Blog

Euphorbias: the Dave or Boris dilemma

Summer’s arrived and it’s hard to believe that two weeks ago we were battling through driving snow in Scotland. It’s been grisly and if I was wondering quite why I was lifting turf to create a new shady bed  in nose-drippingly awful temperatures last month, the new plants were even more distraught. They spent the next…

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Growbag Blog

We’re slugging it out with garden pests

Middle sister Laura kicks off:   So, we know sowing seeds immeasurably improves your sense of well-being but we now need to consider the dark forces that can descend as you sleep and rob you of all this self satisfaction in a few strategic rasps their radulas.I am referring of course to slugs.There are many…

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Growbag Blog

It starts with the wonder of seeds……

Senior sister Elaine kicks off: OK, I ask myself, why do I do it – EVERY year? The seed catalogues plop through the letterbox every winter, and the Cottage Garden Society seed list, and the RHS seed list, and seed offers too good to miss.  Sarah Raven and Thompson & Morgan are two catalogues to pore…