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Growbag Blog

Lilies galore!

We are chatting about our favourite lilies this week, those glorious additions to the summer garden. But there are actually dozens of flowers with ‘lily’ in their common name, so Elaine and Caroline have had a somewhat looser approach to the topic than pedant Laura… When the topic of lilies was first mooted by the […]

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Say cheese! – it’s Chelsea

As much as the plants, the big news at Chelsea this year was.…water. As if there wasn’t enough falling from the sky earlier, it was tinkling, eddying or tumbling down rusty pipes, from galvanised tanks and over pebbled streams so universally we had to make several ‘wee’ stops within two hours of arriving. It’s clear […]

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Summer pots – what’s hot and what’s not

Who doesn’t love some gorgeous pots of plants around their door or patio through the summer? Well let’s get going! There are a few simple rules regarding container, soil/compost, aspect and maintenance, and then the world is your lobster! Naturally, we don’t all agree about what to put in our pots… First of all, a […]

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What’s it like to go to Chelsea Flower Show?

So you’ve bought your ticket /sucked up to an RHS member to get you a discounted one; you’ve nodded off to Monty & Joe’s blissful nightly coverage, and now it’s the big day – you’re off to Chelsea Flower show – so what’s it like? Getting to Chelsea Flower Show Well first off, getting there […]

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Top nursery’s tips on how to grow alpines

As we lean into the horticultural excitement of Chelsea Flower Show, one of its leading exhibitors, Kevock Garden Plants, has partnered with The3Growbags, to share their insights into the specific joy of alpine plants. This Scottish nursery has won Chelsea gold eight times in the last 10 years and took the show’s President’s medal last […]

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Garden supports the Growbag way

You can spend a fortune on garden supports nowadays but which are really worth the money? And what can you make yourself to do the job just as well? In this blog we’ll be sharing some of our tips. Elaine has an ingenious hack with upturned hanging baskets, Laura will be doing some civil engineering […]

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10 of our favourite plants for cutting

Some flowers are just horrible in a vase, aren’t they! For a start off, some smell AWFUL – flowering currant (Ribes) smells of cat’s pee, crown imperials (Fritillaria imperialis) smell of foxes, and sea hollies (Eryngium) smell of …..poo!   But there are some blooms that are perfect for a vase indoors and we 3Growbags […]

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Tips for cut flowers

If you’re cutting flowers for a vase we’ve got a few tips to make them last longer and more beautifully:

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Fantastic – it’s not plastic!

Surely we ALL know by now that plastic is harming our precious planet?  But the horticultural world is still full of it!   How can we, as responsible citizens of our beleaguered environment, reduce our reliance on plastic in the garden?  We 3Growbags have come up with nine ideas for you……. The Royal Horticultural Society has a sustainability […]

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Stop the pots!

How many plastic pots have you got in your shed? Dozens, hundreds, thousands?  When did you last buy a plant that was in a properly biodegradable container?   There has been in recent years a quantum shift in the way other retail outlets issue plastic packaging – you must pay a premium for a plastic bag almost […]

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What’s not to love about hardy geraniums?

Suzie Dewey, from the Hardy Geranium Nursery shares her top tips on geraniums with The3Growbags, and makes a great offer just for our gang (at the end of this post). Hardy Geraniums are herbaceous perennials and for the most part they are fuss free and super easy to grow. They require minimal maintenance, and, in […]

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10 ways to sort out your spring garden

Are you charging around your patch like a demented chicken trying to get on top of all the jobs crying for attention?  No? Well, you jolly well should be!  We 3Growbags have compiled a handy list for you to work through before you get to wine-o’clock… Now here’s the thing – DON’T prune any of the […]

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Our ‘go-to’ plants to keep the colour coming

Are plant catalogues thudding through your letterbox thick and fast right now? Most have pages and pages of petunias etc guaranteed to flower non-stop all summer long. What are your thoughts? (please do let us know!) We think the same flowers all summer is a bit dull but then neither do we want a mid-season lull. No, […]

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The3Growbags at the Garden Press Event

I always have to keep a very tight rein on Elaine and Caroline at the Garden Press Event. Despite their advancing age, they have a habit of trying to flirt with the stallholders instead of paying attention to the new products the Horticulture Trades Association (HTA) and Garden Industry Manufacturer’s Association (GIMA) have been kind […]

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Winter colour courts controversy

I was so sure ornamental grasses and classy seedheads were the ‘it’ girls of winter these days, that I fully splashed out on them – stipas, calamagrostis, pennisetum …you name it, I’ve got it. Good heavens, I’m only one unwise purchase away from pampas grass. You can, then, imagine my dismay this week when Elaine […]

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Plants that put a smile on February’s face

February might hold St Valentine’s Day, but the garden can still be very dreary. We’ve been out trying to find some pops of joy and colour – and just look what we found! Of course what is now blooming in southern UK probably won’t be thrilling Caroline in the Highlands until the back-end of April, […]

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10 plants we love to hate

Have you got some plants growing in your garden that you actually kinda hate?  We are not talking full-on weeds here, but flowers, shrubs or even trees that you actually bought and still tend, even though your love-affair with them has long since ended.   We Growbags certainly have, and here are ten with which we have […]

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A heap of resolutions for a more ethical garden

Are you planning to make some eco-friendly changes to your garden this year, but don’t know how to go about it? Time was when the idea of gardening was to manhandle your outdoor space into submission. But now we know we must work WITH nature, not against it. We’ve got some ideas about how to make […]

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Our 2023 garden successes … and failures

As we close one year and start the next, we’re sharing which garden plants and projects got the thumbs up from each of us in 2023.  Luckily for Caroline we’re also prepared to ‘fess up’ about the plants that failed and which projects sank without trace, so she shouldn’t be short of material for this […]

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The 3growbags Christmas quiz

Oooh, it’s nearly Christmas! You can practically hear the reindeer tinkling on the roof. We 3Growbags are very busy baking mince pies and stuffing stockings but still wanted to set you a jolly Christmas quiz before we rush off to baste a bird or something. Elaine has some word puzzles for you, Laura has done […]

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Growbag Blog

What plant would you like to get for Christmas?

Plants – what better Christmas present is there? They’re a GOOD THING for the planet, sustainable, personal and promise a lifelong connection with the giver. Truly, they’re a great gift idea, but what plant should you choose at this slightly tricky time of the horticultural year? Although this is our 200th post (and our 65th […]

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Nine reasons to be cheerful in November

I love the month November, because it’s  about the only month in the year when you can actually RELAX in your garden.  OK, so Elaine will try and have you out turning the compost or planting bare root hedges, but honestly there’s no need, you CAN just swan around the garden clasping a hot drink […]

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Our top 10 Autumn berries

After the glories of summer flowers, we can still revel in these bright jewels of late autumn and winter.  This we week we choose our favourite 10 berries but as usual there is disagreement on wild versus cultivated varieties, the speed with which they’re consumed by birds, and even what constitutes a berry in the first […]

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10 tasks to prepare your garden for winter

Once upon a time, summer was a hot season and was followed by autumn, which was cooler and then winter, which was properly cold (back when baths were once a week; Christmas lights didn’t appear until December and no one had heard of Net Zero). But now we live in precarious climatic anarchy in which sunny, […]

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The gardening kit we can’t live without

Have you got certain items that MUST be with you whenever you go into the garden?  It might be particular clothing, tools, equipment or maybe even sustenance. We 3Growbags definitely have, and we are expecting some knowing nods of agreement among our readers as we tell you about them… Trousers with knee-pads.  Whoever invented these deserves to […]

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10 perfect autumn plants for insects

Caroline’s increasing competence as a gardener meant I was reasonably relaxed when she accompanied me to an innovative event at the hallowed horticultural Mecca, Great Dixter, last week, without too much fear of embarrassment. During the presentation an important fact emerged; an ecological audit had revealed the garden areas had a higher biodiversity count than […]

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Sounds like, Great Dixter

Great Dixter, a garden that once seen, can’t be forgotten but could you as easily, recall its sounds? Last week The3Growbags were invited to this iconic garden, created in East Sussex by the late Christopher Lloyd, to learn about its biodiversity ethos – as it’s heard. Stopping briefly to offer sympathetic noises for Elaine who […]

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Give grasses the green light!

I know I should be used to it by now but Caroline’s poor grasp of botany can still be quite alarming. ‘Grasses? oh good, I can include my persicaria and veronicastrums then – they’re along the same lines aren’t they?’ What WAS she doing in her O Level biology classes when the rest of us […]

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Pots that look perfect in September

Having perfect pots in September can be tricky; summer bedding starts to look tatty, but it’s too soon to swap to a winter selection. Laura’s answer is to deploy some (slightly obscure) potted autumn bulbs, Elaine has some tips on container plants that hit their stride right now, and Caroline has surprised us all with […]

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Growbag Blog

Colour in the Garden – Harmony or Contrast

It’s quite a responsibility being the only person in the family with good taste. Today’s blog will serve to demonstrate this fact admirably. As in life I always strive to create cameos of understated charm and harmony in the garden; Elaine’s patch generally looks like she’s employed Prue Leith as a colour consultant and TBH […]

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Gardening in the wet

So just as we installed a new range of completely drought-tolerant plants and started feeling smug during a sweltering June, it’s all come crashing down in July and August, with endless soggy weather. But let’s take a glass-half-full approach and see what we could be doing with those extra hours we have each day that […]

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Is re-wilding your garden a good idea?

Oh crikey, everyone’s getting a bit hot under the collar about re-wilding aren’t they! Even the great and the good of the gardening world, Monty Don and Alan Titchmarsh have waded in ….. So this week we’d thought we’d add our two-pennies’-worth to the debate; Laura is deeply troubled by the whole concept, Elaine has […]

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How to put your stamp on a garden

A garden is a garden is a garden – a flower-bed or two, a place to kick a ball about, a table and chairs somewhere…But what about making it more individual than that?  Putting your own stamp on it, and deliberately creating an atmosphere, in the same way that you might with an indoor room? […]

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Hampton Court Flower Show – Laura goes solo

Yippee!! with Elaine decamped to Normandy for the summer and Caroline now retreated back to the Scottish Highlands, it meant I got to go solo to the Hampton Court Flower Show this year. Without my two bossy sisters telling me I’m weird for liking carnivorous plants; that my ancient Barbour jacket is now out of […]

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And the best rose is……

Last week while I, Elaine, was hard at work in the garden, Laura and Caroline were posting rather annoyingly happy messages on our WhatsApp group from the launch of ‘Rose of the Year 2024’ at Waterperry Gardens in Oxfordshire (yes, we’ll reveal the winner in this very blog!) But first, it made us think we […]

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Our 10 favourite small trees

We all need trees. For height, shade, wildlife, beauty, for sound absorption…for the planet for goodness’ sake! But if you’ve only got room for a small tree in your garden, you’ll want it to be fabulous as far as flowers, colour and scent goes, plus perhaps an eye-catching bark and a good winter outline. This […]