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Growbag Blog

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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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 Laura and Caroline were posting rather annoyingly happy messages on our WhatsApp group from Waterperry Gardens in Oxfordshire from the launch of ‘Rose of the Year 2024’. Yes, we’ll reveal the winner in this very blog! But first, it made us think we should make our own Rose Awards, in categories we think mean […]

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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 […]

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The3Growbags go to Chelsea!

If Chelsea truly taps into the zeitgeist of the horticultural world then there are some definite trends emerging. It is now mandatory to have a scruffy garden in which at least half the plants (formerly referred to as weeds) must be edible. Alongside you will need a state of the art outdoor kitchen and a […]

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We’re flying the flag for iris!

Woo-hoo! We’re in Chelsea Flower Show month! The show simply couldn’t be better-timed to see irises at their best, so this week we’re reprising a post devoted to these marvellous plants. We hope you enjoy it! With so many different ones to choose from, which iris would be best for your garden? Well it depends […]

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‘Palaces for Nature’ – three garden projects to celebrate the coronation

King Charles is a fantastic ambassador for progressive wildlife-friendly gardening with features such as wildflower meadows, stumperies and thyme walks in his own garden at Highgrove. So why not create a legacy of his coronation with a project that reflects some of our new King’s enthusiasm for gardening for wildlife and create your own ‘Palace […]

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10 spring shrubs to melt your heart

Have you got a favourite spring shrub?  We bet you have.  Is there one that makes you feel like bursting into song when the early May sunshine suddenly spotlights it? We’ve got ten ideas for you on the subject (though of course we are hoping that Laura will not be tempted to burst into song any time […]

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What’s your taste in tulips?

We’re just on the cusp of peak Tulip Time. The world would be a dull place if we all agreed on everything, but these spring bulbs seem to have brought out extremes of opinions with us 3 Growbags. Caroline goes for short and garish, Elaine for flamboyant extroverts whilst I (Laura – the sane sister) […]

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Gardening tasks to tackle by Easter

Have you got a VAST list of tasks to do in the garden? Arghhhh – there are SO many! We 3Growbags are here with 10 ideas to help you concentrate your energies. As usual though, we each have different priorities and unfortunately there’s a bit of an ongoing spat over auriculas.… Involve the children.  Make this […]

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Propagate to accumulate!

It’s all very well to have gorgeously colourful plant catalogues dropping through the letterbox with every delivery but have you seen the prices this year, folks? By the time you’ve picked out some bedding for the tubs, and chosen one new shrub, you’ve blown the dosh you were saving for new shoes or fixing that […]

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Our favourite climbers for each season

We want to talk about climbers today.  They are SUCH an important part of the outdoor scene, don’t you think? Especially in small gardens and balconies, where you’d be mad not to make use of the vertical space. But which to choose?   We 3growbags have each come up with a suggestion for the three main flowering seasons. […]

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Growbags at the Garden Press Event

What a privilege it was to be invited to the Garden Press Event in London – our chance to learn about horticultural innovations, review new products and have a good old chinwag with other lovely garden bloggers over cups of tea. Elaine and I took our brief to look and learn quite seriously, I wish […]

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Action stations: Give wildlife a home in your garden

It’s National Nestbox Week and at last – an element of consensus among the 3Growbags! We all three love giving wildlife a home in our gardens, and early spring is THE time to start a campaign to encourage more to move in. So this week we’re proposing practical things you can put in place now […]

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Best plants for scent in winter

Between minus double-digits and torrential rain it’s been hard to catch those first scents of our New Year gardens so far in 2023. But on our Zoom call this week we laughed about this post on winter scent from a few years back and wondered if you would too… I can’t believe my sisters sometimes….! When […]

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10 things we’ve learnt about seed-sowing

Whether you’re snowed in, flooded out or just bored of hearing about Harry’s frozen todger, there is a sure-fire way of raising your spirits in the middle of January: planning what seeds you’ll be sowing this year. This week we’ll be sharing our own ambitions and tips, and rest assured, there will be inspiration for […]

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Getting your 2023 garden on schedule

Happy New Year, everyone!  Let’s hope it’s going to be a fabulous one – at least for our gardening exploits!  This week we’ve been thinking about how we can improve our gardens by choosing plants that flower at just the right time for us. For old hands like me and Laura this will involve some minor tweaks […]

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The great Growbag Christmas quiz 2022

No gardening chat and banter this week – our Christmas offering is some jolly gardening puzzles, a nice little plant ID exercise, and we finish with terrible festive jokes.   Hope you enjoy them! You’ll be pleased to hear there is a link at the bottom to the Answer Sheet, for when you get stuck.  We won’t […]

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10 ideas to decorate your festive home

Is anyone else feeling ready to move on from baubles and tinsel? They are, of course, re-usable but after hauling them out of the Christmas Box for 30 years or so, it feels as though life has moved on a bit, doesn’t it? It might be the cost of living… it might be climate change, […]

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What’s your favourite gardening programme?

Gardeners World, Garden Rescue, The Beechgrove Garden, Gardener’s Question Time? There are so many opportunities for us to go on enjoying gardening from the comfort of our sofas now the weather’s turned bad. But which is your favourite? We each have our own of course! I’m going to get in early and say right here […]

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Are you naming your plants correctly?

One of the many exasperating habits of both my sisters is their lackadaisical approach to the scientific names of the plants they talk about. Elaine likes to wallow in the Latin meanings but loses interest the moment things get technical, and Caroline, well she doesn’t even try. Today we’re looking at the scientific names of […]

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What makes the best gardening gift?

When we opened an online shop to help with the costs of running our blog, we wanted to stock it with great gardening gifts. But what would these be? Quality garden tools (me, obvs), books, cards and pretty kitchenware, (Elaine), edible birthday cards for dogs (Caroline ?). This week we’re explaining why we thought our […]

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Overwintering tender plants? Eight Growbag options…

What are you going to do with the tender perennials in your garden?  They have delighted you all through the summer and early autumn, for sure. But the sun is soon going to start tucking his hat into the drawer for the winter, and your frost-prone beauties will start feeling the chill.  Living as we do in […]

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What are our favourite plants right now?

‘I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers’. We might not all be as breathlessly excited as Anne of Green Gables on this one, but she had a point. There are some marvellous plant colours and shapes in our gardens right now. Here are some of our favourites…. I’m rather in […]

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‘The Queue’ – Laura describes her wait to see The Queen

I must have looked very I incongruous as I boarded the London-bound train from Horsham at 8.30 pm. The other travellers were mainly young people dressed for a Friday night out, and there was I in a thick coat, walking boots, and a wicker shoulder bag full of sandwiches and snacks looking for all the […]

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Growbags on the road!

We’re doing something different this week. We thought we’d share last week’s trip to Scotland with you.   We have always loved giving talks together (as you can see from our feature pic) – though it can be hard to juggle things in order for us all to be in the same place at the same […]

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What sort of hedge will you plant this autumn?

September is the month we should be planning and planting new hedges, but what do you want from a hedge? This week we’re going to explore some options for you and as usual we won’t agree – for me it’s got to be a wildlife magnet, Elaine will give you properly sensible ideas for practical […]

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We’re making new plans for our gardens

Has your mind been ever so slightly blown by the weather this summer?  And more importantly, what it’s done to your garden!  Laura’s front garden, our feature photo, this week, is a point in question. Obviously there is a danger of being a little too ‘knee-jerk’ about drought (or flood). but the signs are there that we […]

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Here’s to the survivors!

There have been some extremes of weather in many necks of many woods this summer, have there not!  Two of the3Growbags have been dealing with weeks of drought and heat.  Caroline has contended with something altogether WETTER in her Highland realm but given the steep topography of her garden we still let her contribute to this […]

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Hurray for hydrangeas! – eight of our favourites

It really is HIGH SUMMER now, and dozens of the early summer shrubs – philadelphus, weigela, deutzia, rubus , etc. etc. have done their thing already. So this week we 3Growbags are discussing one of the few shrub species that will fill the garden with gorgeous colour and form in July and August.  Hydrangeas, of course! […]

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How should Caroline tackle her sloping garden?

A flat garden, like having straight hair, would be a blessing according to Caroline. What do you think? If you feel that you too could create a Sissinghurst or Dixter if only your garden wasn’t at a 45 degree angle or plagued by episodes of mounds and dips, you’re about to be inspired. You’ll realise that […]