Game-changing garden gifts

What could you give a gardener for Christmas that would truly revolutionise their gardening experience? – a razor hoe, that’s what. Honestly, I can divide my life into two distinct phases, pre-razor hoe and post-razor hoe, it’s that good. And no, I am not getting a backhander from Burgon and Ball, apparently their razor hoe has a cult following based purely on its innate merit. It’s silky-smooth, Japanese, carbon-steel angled blade (you can tell I’ve become a fervent convert can’t you?) can be pulled just under the surface to shear off annual weeds and when you hit a dandelion...

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10 best plants to give at Christmas

Let’s help the planet by giving plants as Christmas presents this year. If you choose wisely you can give something that not only looks lovely on the day but is a great investment for years to come (so this rules out those factory-produced poinsettias Caroline buys en route at a garage forecourt) As the most discerning sister you can rely on me to give top choices for plant gifts which not only show that necessary flash of festive colour in the depths of winter, and will do so for many winters to come….. Camellia ‘ Yuletide’ – Top of the...

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Growbags on tour

When Caroline said that in a fit of madness, she had booked the 3growbags to give a talk at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, my first thought was a calm and thoughtful ‘WHAT!!?!’ I was overwhelmed with questions – ‘What will we talk about? Who will come? Would we master Powerpoint? Would Caroline behave herself?’ And, most relevant of all, ‘What happens if I curl up in a terrified heap muttering Latin plant names, and dribbling a little?’ But then Caroline, who is also our grimly bossy editor, said I could tell people about the creation of my...

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10 evergreens to rescue your garden

Help! Our gardens have descended into a soggy mess and I can’t be the only one wandering around dismal piles of rain-sodden vegetation wondering where it all went wrong. It’s now that evergreens in your garden can come to the rescue. Like the bowls of cheese-‘n-onion crisps that you don’t notice at a buffet till all the chilli prawn vol-au-vents have gone, they suddenly start to matter. But let’s be a little selective. There seem to be dozens of small conifers, for instance, that just….sit there. All year. Garden gnomes, frankly, have more life about them. No, no, I like my...

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