Growbag Blog

The great Growbag Christmas quiz 2022

Winter 1966!

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 be publishing a blog next Saturday – we’ve given Elaine a week off from her tips column.  So we 3Growbags would like to wish all our wonderful readers a fabulous Christmas and a very happy New Year.

I’ve been allowed to go first with a few wordy puzzles to fill the time between minced pies for elevenses and festive lunchtime eggnogs.

1. Horticultural quotations

Let’s start with some missing words in these quotations which are all are plants of some kind.  How many do you know? (2 marks each)

a) ‘Gather ye – – – – – – – – while ye may’ (Herrick)

b) ‘….Breathes upon a bank of – – – – – – – ’ (Shakespeare)

c) ‘Ripe – – – – – – drop about my head’ (Marvell)

d) ‘Full many a – – – – – – is born to blush unseen’ (Gray’s Elegy in a Country Churchyard)

e) ‘Parsley, sage, – – – – – – – – and thyme (Line in ‘Scarborough Fair)

This pic might give you a handy clue to one of the answers

2. Tangled trees

We gardeners love our trees, don’t we! Here are some tree-names that have got themselves in a tangle.  Can you work out what they are? (2 marks each)

a) LOAM GAIN (8 letters)

b) U RUN BLAM! (8)

c) HAM! LOOK! (4,3)

d) HUT SCENT (8)

e) BE NO HARM (8)

f) EASY CORM (8)


A photo to help you answer one of our tangled trees……………………

3. Flying birds

And now we’ve sorted out those trees, let’s see if we can get some birds into them…….Move these birds into the trees at the end of each row, by changing one letter at a time, but every time making a proper word:

a) DOVE,    ____,         ____,         LIME (4 marks)

b) SWAN,   ____,         ____,         ____,         TEAK (6 marks)

c)  SHAG,   ____,         ____,         ____,         PLUM (6 marks)

4. Christmas sparkle

Finally, time for some festive bling!  Lots of plants have bright varieties with ‘gold’ or ‘silver’ in their names. Can you complete these (2 marks each) :

a) A variety of Achillea – a hardy perennial = G… P….

b) A variety of shrub rose = G….. W….

It’s a rose, but what is its name?

c) A variety of Pittosporum tenuifolium  or Artemisia ludoviciana = S….. Q….

d) A variety of Hydrangea aspera = G… R…

e) The common name of Convolvulus cneorum = S………

It’s Convolvulus cneorum, but what is its common name?

f) A bright and popular variety of Euonymus = E…… ‘n G….


I’ll hand you over to Laura for some Xmas plant ID fun now…………….

5. Plant Identification Quiz


You have 10 plants to identify, with 2 marks for guessing its most popular common name and a bonus mark for knowing its scientific name. Bear in mind that a plant can be known by several different common names (and thus there can be some leeway in your answer to part a) of each question), but only one scientific name. Earlier this winter I posted a tutorial on how plant names work, with another quiz at the end, so if you’re game for more I’ve put a link to this at the bottom of the Answers Page.


An early spring treasure


Count the number of leaflets to help get to the name


Normally a pot plant this climber can scent an entire room


Sweet native harbinger of spring


Late summer tender climber


Tulip tree Liriodendron tulipifera
A tree that’s named after a bulb


A right royal clematis


A touch of the exotic with this late summer bulb


A giant of the cabbage family


A sinister Dutch character


TOTAL MARKS : 80. If you’ve found bits of it a bit tricky, rest assured that you will definitely have scored more than Caroline…………

Whaaat? Is there a pantheon of sinister Dutch characters from which to choose? I wasn’t aware. In fact my knowledge of any Dutch characters begins and ends with Anne Frank. Why couldn’t they all be as easy as #4! my joke section:

I read a novel about a chap who had a small garden.
Not much of a plot.

Why couldn’t the crocodile grow any plants?

Because he’s not a proper gator

I told my friend that what she’s wearing is inappropriate for gardening.
But she’s digging in her heels.

And although my sisters said I couldn’t include it, I’m sneaking in my joke after the final proof – they’ll never know and you’ll love it!

A woman’s garden is growing beautifully but her tomatoes won’t ripen.  So she goes to her neighbor and says, “Your tomatoes are ripe, mine are green. What can I do about it?”  Her neighbour replies, “Well, it may sound absurd but here’s what to do. After dark go out into your garden and take all your clothes off.  Tomatoes can see in the dark and they’ll be embarrassed and blush. In the morning they’ll all be red, you’ll see.” 

Well, what the heck? thought the woman.   She does it.  The next day her neighbour asks how it worked. 

“So-so,” she answers,  “The tomatoes are still green but the cucumbers are all four inches longer!’

Oops don’t tell E & L!

Finally, a huge thank you to all our subscribers and readers for all your support and lovely comments throughout the year – and all those who have supported our Shop of Garden Delights. We have such fun with our blog but like a good party – it depends on the guests and what a marvellous bunch you are!

Wishing you all a peaceful and healthy Christmas,


Elaine, Laura and Caroline

And not forgetting our wonderful columnist Louise, who has a great alternative Christmas houseplant as her Great Plant this Month – click on the box below to find out what it is.


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.

8 replies on “The great Growbag Christmas quiz 2022”

Hello Linda,
Laura here and thank you for your good wishes. It’s lovely to know that people like you enjoy reading our horticultural ramblings as much as we enjoy writing them.
Happy Christmas and all the very best for 2023

Hello you three. Firstly, I love that piccy of the ‘growing’ three Growbags; you’ve hardly changed …. your puzzles are a fun way to end your year’s blog but oh dear Caroline: that photo those jokes!!! I think I’ll go back to bed and rest a little longer. Thank you ladies, you’ve offered a year of fine info, chat, humour and banter May you and yours be happy, safe and enjoy the Holiday and look forward to opening your 2023 blog. A big THANKS x

Aw Scott, it’s for us to thank you for being a great support through the year. We really do appreciate getting comments on the blog and you’ve been so good in sharing your thoughts on our weekly posts. Caroline here and yes sorry, I couldn’t resist including that joke although I was told very firmly I couldn’t. Since when did I listen to my sisters? 🙂 Wishing you a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year Scott x

Happy relaxing Christmas to you All and sincerest thanks for your lively, witty , stimulating support in these ongoing rather tricky times. Here’s to Happy potterings ahead. J

Oh Caroline, you are naughty but I love it.
Merry Xmas everyone and here’s to happy gardening tips in 2023. X

Hallo Laura, Elaine and Caroline
Thank you all very much for your weekly blog. It really is great to read this each week, so thank you and keep it going.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy and healthy New year.
Best wishes. Roger

Thanks so much for your weekly tips and banter…enjoy them all.Loved Caroline’s jokes….took me ages to get them!?
And obviously too much Christmas cheer as I got a rather embarrassingly low score on the I am not telling!
Best wishes for 2023!

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