Growbag Blog

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 a plant ID quiz, and true to form, Caroline wants to tell you a few gardening jokes……

Me first and I’ve got some jolly little horticultural puzzles to have a go at, while you snatch five minutes with a glass of mulled wine and a tasty mince pie…….!

Horticulture is revered all over the world, and lots of plants have common names that are also the names of countries or their languages.  Here are their Latin names but each of them has a common name that refers to a country – can you get them all?



Oak sapling
What is the national connection of this tree?



I have always adored cottage garden flowers – those old-fashioned, unimproved plants full of colour and charm.  But cottage gardens are famous for being rather ..…..muddled and informal and that’s just what’s happened here to their delightful common names! Can you work out what these beauties are?

2. ICON UMBEL – you probably know this as Aquilegia……

Aquilegia vulgaris var. stellata ‘Ruby Port’
Here is a pretty occupant of a cottage garden -but what is its name?

2. FOG VEX LO – the dangerous drug Digitalin comes from this

3. DRAG LIMO – these are usually orange!

4. CELL BRAINS – lots of folk know these as hardy geraniums

A very popular choice for a cottage garden design………….

5. LED RAVEN – think fragrant fields of this Mediterranean herb

And my particular favourite:

6. KNEE SLOUCHY! – a sweetly scented climber

Girls’ names are often also flower names and there are plenty that have been in the limelight recently.  Can you name these ladies ?

  1. Actress who became famous in Downton Abbey, and starred in Mama Mia Here We Go Again: L – – – J—-

2. Deaf actress who won Strictly in 2021: R – – – A—— – E—-

Here’s a clue to the name of an actress – but which one?

3. Actress who starred in Normal People: D – – – – E—- – J—-

And finally a fictional one who’s also been in the news in the last few weeks:

4. A character in Willy Wonka: V – – – – – B———-

A flower for another pretty girl’s name….

How did you do? Brilliantly, I’m sure! But if you are stumped, there’s a link to the answers at the bottom of the page.


And now for my annual Christmas ID Test …give yourself a pat on the back if you know the common name of the following plants, and a big fat, purple Quality Street if you can have a stab at its scientific name too.


Californian tree poppy - Romneya coulteri

An American cousin of a native British flower we associate with Remembrance


Miss Willmott’s ghost - Eryngium giganteum

Said to have to been spread by a famous gardening spectre.


The handkerchief Davidia involucrata

A handy tree to have around if you have the sniffles.


Himalayan blue poppy - Meconopsis ‘Lingholm’

Plants which grows much better for Caroline in the Scottish Highlands as it reminds them of their native home in the Himalayas


marsh marigold - Caltha palustris

A British native that likes living in a swamp


Dogs-tooth violet - Erythronium dens-canis

A spring shade lover whose bulb resembles a canine gnasher


Quamash - Camassia leichtlinii

Comes in shades of blue and white and will naturalise in damp meadows


Carolina allspice - Calycanthus occidentalis

All parts of this shrub have a spicy aroma – hence its common name!


The king protea - Protea cynaroides

This regal South African is my pride and joy in the glasshouse


Japanese pink pussy willow - Salix gracilistyla ‘Mount Aso’

Whereas this hardy little osier seems happy to tough it out in Caroline’s wet windy garden patch

Good luck! The answers are at the end ..


And now for my absolutely hilarious gardening jokes to complete our Christmas post! Here we go…

The manager of the garden centre overhears one of his nurserymen talking to a customer. “No, we haven’t had any of that in ages,” says the nurseryman. “And I don’t know when we’ll be getting any more.”The customer leaves and the manager walks over to reprimand him. “Never tell a customer we can’t get them something,” he says. “Whatever they want we can always get it on order and deliver it. D’you understand?”
The nurseryman nods. ‘So, what did he want?’ asks the manager.
‘Rain’ replies the nurseryman.


A man goes into a florist: ‘I’d like a bunch of flowers, please.’
Florist: “Certainly, sir. What flowers would you like?’
Man: ‘Err … I’m not sure … Ummm ..’
Florist: ‘Let me help you, sir — what exactly have you done?’


Albert took over an old, run-down, abandoned allotment. The beds were overgrown with weeds, the shed was falling down, and the greenhouse was just a frame with broken glass.

During his first day of work, the vicar stopped by to bless Albert’s work, saying, “May you and God work together to make this the allotment of your dreams!”

A few months later, the vicar stopped by again. Lo and behold, it was completely transformed. The shed had been expertly rebuilt, vegetables were growing in neat rows and the greenhouse had been re-glazed and was full of plump, ripe tomatoes.

“Amazing!” exclaimed the vicar. “Look what God and you have accomplished together!”

“Yes, reverend,” said Albert, “but remember what the place was like when God just had it on his own!”

And to finish off…

🎄God initially planned to use wasps to pollinate flowers.
But in the end, he went with plan Bee.

🎄Why couldn’t the crocodile grow any plants?
Because he’s not a proper gator

🎄I stood in my garden early yesterday morning wondering where the sun had gone…
Then it dawned on me.

Boom Boom! That’s it folks, it just remains for us to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a wonderfully relaxing New Year – a perfect time to plan your gardening ambitions for 2024!

PS No plant profile from Louise this week, just her gardening companion with a Christmas message:

Round the world

  1. Acer palmatum : Japanese maple
  2. Quercus robur: English oak
  3. Ipomoea lobata: Spanish flag
  4. Cypressus sempervirens pyramidalis: Italian cypress

Cottage garden jumble


Flower girls

  1. Lily James
  2. Rose Ayling-Ellis
  3. Daisy Edgar-Jones
  4. Violet Beauregarde

Plant ID

  1. Californian tree poppy – Romneya coulteri
  2. Miss Willmott’s ghost – Eryngium giganteum
  3. The handkerchief tree –  Davidia involucrata
  4. Himalayan blue poppy – Meconopsis ‘Lingholm’
  5. Marsh marigold (or king cup) – Caltha palustris
  6. Dogs-tooth violet – Erythronium dens-canis
  7. Quamash – Camassia leichtlinii
  8. Carolina allspice – Calycanthus occidentalis
  9. The king protea – Protea cynaroides
  10. Japanese pink pussy willow – Salix gracilistyla ‘Mount Aso’

Total : 24

More NB If you’re not already a subscriber perhaps you’d like to make it your New Year’s resolution to start following us! Just type in your email address here and we’ll send you a new post every Saturday..

By the3growbags

We're three sisters who love gardening, plants and even the science of horticulture but we're not all experts. We'd love everyone even remotely interested in their gardens to be part of our blogsite.

9 replies on “The 3growbags Christmas quiz”

love a quiz, thank you!
Met Laura manning a stall at David Dimbleby’s open garden this summer. So pleased I signed up to you ‘3growbags’
Happy Christmas and happy gardening throughout 2024

Hello Mary, thank you for bringing back memories of that beautiful summers day at David’s fantastic garden where we met so many lovely people – like you!
So glad you’re enjoying being part of our garden gang. Best wishes and Happy Christmas Laura

On behalf of all Sussex Hardy Plant Society Members, a very Happy Christmas to you all, and we look forward to more fun with you all again in 2024 .

Thank you so much Shirley- it’s a privilege to have been invited to give a second talk to all the lovely folk at Sussex HPS in 2024 – we’re looking forward to it already! Best wishes and Happy Christmas!

Still sitting in my PJs doing a gardening Quiz when I have other things to do, such as wrapping gifts from your lovely wee shop.
Merry Christmas 🤶

Glad to see you’ve got your priorities right Helen! Thank you for all your support, especially with our little shop which helps us cover the costs of running the blog. Best wishes and Happy Christmas Laura

Thanks Jill, and a Merry Christmas to you!
We all three went to Horsham High School for Girls and often think back to how lucky we were to go to such a good school. Lovely to be able to keep in touch with you through the blog 😌 Laura x

Thank you for the fun quiz, I knew (nearly) all of the answers but I won’t rest on my laurels – boom boom, see what I did there ? Very best wishes for the festive season and here’s hoping for a good gardening year in 2024. I love you popping into my inbox every Saturday!

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