Rare plants – a common Growbag weakness

We knew, we just knew that we were going to have a good day at the Great Dixter Plant Fair when we pulled into a field to find Fergus Garrett himself, Head Gardener Extraordinaire, helping to get the cars parked. Laura and I had persuaded our game husbands (terrifically useful for carrying bags) to come with us, while our younger sister was flying back from a sun-soaked week in Italy. Must have been ghastly for her. We had had a beautiful drive through the early autumn countryside of East Sussex to get there, and the low October sunshine cheered...

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How Autumnal are your bloomers?

Do you remember waiting to be picked up from school?  Most parents would be there at the normal time, then all the ‘late parents’ would sweep in, leaving you still standing there until finally, finally, just as you were contemplating walking the eight miles home, yours would nonchalantly roll up wondering what all the fuss was about. There are plants like this, that keep you hanging on until almost all hope has gone. And I am not talking here about those that have started flowering in mid summer and are still desperately clinging on trying to prove they still...

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Growbags advice: Invest in a hedge fund

Yes we’re on hedges this week. Not only is it coming on the perfect time of the year to plant them, but also they’re in the news because apparently they ‘suck up’ a good deal more pollution than trees in our cities. I like this no-nonsense approach to their role. It chimes with our attitude to hedges in Scotland. We generally grow them for one purpose – wind protection. And don’t imagine I’m talking about the scented, excitingly bird-nest laden mixed hedging of our West Sussex childhood (well Laura and I found the birds’ nests exciting – Elaine had her...

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The Growbags grass each other up

The end of August and all of a sudden, you notice the grasses which have been slowly developing among the flamboyant late summer flowers.  They were made incredibly trendy a few years ago by the groovy horticultural guru Piet Oudolf and steadily even small back gardens were filling up with wafting groups of Miscanthus and Calamagrostis.  Now, I am happy to shock people on occasions (only yesterday, I appalled our judgemental children by binging on three consecutive episodes of Poldark and a whole box of Milk Tray), and, candidly, I get tremendously bored with ranks of swaying grass, which looked completely alien...

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