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Growbag Blog

Which poppy is right for your garden?

What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘poppy’? Is it the beautiful swathes of red field poppies (Papaver rhoeas) that germinated in the churned-up battlegrounds of Flanders and became such a symbol of remembrance and hope?  Or perhaps it’s the powder-puff flowers of opium poppies (Papaver somniferum) with their wonderful seedheads so beloved of…

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Great Plants this Month

Xanthoceras sorbifolium AGM

Shinyleaf yellowhorn, Chinese flowering chestnut What wouldn’t I do for The3Growbags? Last week we had scaffolding against the house and normally I wouldn’t be seen anywhere near a ladder above six feet, let alone stand on six-metre-high scaffolding, but one morning I glanced up and there was the captivating sight of Xanthoceras sorbifolium in full flower. And it was spectacular! I realised that here was an opportunity that rarely occurs. So I crawled out of our…

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Gardening Tips

Marvellous May! Gardening tips for spring

What a fabulous month May is! Everything is shooting up and there’s bright fresh growth in every corner of the garden or the countryside. But there’s a whole raft of work to be done while you’re drifting round the garden smiling at all the spring gorgeousness. That includes some more seed-sowing and dealing with the…

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Growbag Blog

It’s open season on garden-visiting!

We are into full garden-visiting time now – hurray! And it’s our mission this week to encourage everyone to get out there and explore some spring gardens, big or small – Covid restrictions have been lifted, the tulips and peonies are smiling, and there is cake to be munched!  How do you go about it? Step…

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Great Plants this Month

Malus transitoria AGM

Cut-leaf crabapple Sometimes, quite unexpectedly you come across a plant that is so stunning, it becomes etched into your memory, and this exceptional tree is just one of those. I first saw it at RHS Wisley; it was autumn, and we were wandering through the model gardens (possibly they no longer feature there now?), when I turned a corner and saw this perfect picture of glowing autumn colour in the late afternoon sunshine. Its golden yellow leaves…

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Gardening Tips Gardening Tips

Run off our feet! Gardening tips for late April

What a thrill it is to see all my baby plants suddenly realising the fun of life and shooting up out of their pots and trays! Oh yes, that does mean that they all need moving into bigger spaces …the work is piling up….. This week, we’ll also be tidying up winter jasmine, propagating thyme,…

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Growbag Blog

Will you choose the bees,the birds or the butterflies this Easter?

‘Gardening for Wildlife’ is a wonderful concept and one we should all be embracing, but where to start? Well, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and our advice is to focus on some simple steps to encourage particular groups to start with. So this week we 3Growbags are going to take it in turns to…

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Great Plants this Month

Fritillaria meleagris A.G.M.

snake’s head fritillary Our snake’s head fritillaries have been in flower for weeks and it’s been a bumper year. In early spring as the narrow grass-like leaves emerge in long grass, they can be hard to spot, but these bulbous perennials are tough and reliable,despite their fragile looking appearance. Opinions vary as to whether it’s a British native or not, but there are sites…

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Gardening Tips Gardening Tips

Full throttle springtime – garden tips for early April

Busting out all around us now, spring in all its excitement and hopefulness! It’s all systems go, go, go in the veg patch (did you see my article in the April issue of Garden Answers, by any chance? We 3Growbags got very over-excited about that!), and a mountain of other tasks such as thinning out…

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Growbag Blog

Who doesn’t love a hardy geranium?

There is simply nothing as dependable as a hardy geranium! We’re talking here of the rugged, low-growing, outdoor types rather than their glamorous cousins, the pot plant pelargoniums. Now is the perfect time to plant them. Or better still, put a quick spade through your neighbour’s and get a division for your own garden! You…

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Spring Great Plants this Month

Viburnum carlesii ‘Diana’ AGM

Arrowwood ‘Diana’ I can forgive a plant almost anything if it has a good scent, and this gorgeous shrub reminds me that we are in full spring mode, it’s no longer late winter even if the weather is trying to tell us otherwise at the moment! The waxy flowers of Viburnam carlesii ‘Diana’ are rosy red in bud, opening to pink, and then fading to white as they age; they are exceptionally fragrant, and therefore worth planting…

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Gardening Tips

Perfect plants for a patio! Gardening tips for early April

Spring has well and truly popped its cork now – hurray! But oh boy! Suddenly there is not enough time in the day – lucky the clocks go forward this weekend, and we can stay out there a bit longer in the evenings…..let’s get on with planning our pots for summer, putting in supports for…

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Win a wonderful patio collection with The3Growbags

Get your patio ready for a sizzling summer. The3Growbags are giving away this fabulous Thompson & Morgan patio pack to one lucky winner. Worth over £35 you’ll be getting a fresh collection of Clematis ‘Little Lemons’; Fuchsia ‘Tom West’ and the adorable Sunflowers Sunbelievable ‘Brown Eyed Girl’. Imagine relaxing on a warm evening surrounded by…

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Growbag Blog

Top 10 garden tasks to get your garden ready for Spring

This week we are all about prepping our gardens for the razzmatazz of spring and summer ahead! Come on, no more shilly-shallying – we need to get OUT THERE.  These are the jobs we are determined to tackle right now, and we think you should too……… It’s me, the proper gardener, up first this week. I…

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Spring Great Plants this Month

Primula vulgaris subsp. sibthorpii AGM

Sibthorp primrose This little beauty can be ignored no longer. It started coming into flower in early February, and every time I pass it, I think to myself what an absolute joy it is; not shouty but quite unmissable. Despite its diminutive size – a scant ten centimetres high – it has proven robust, tolerant, and long lived, and over the summer months it disappears from…

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Growbag Blog

Growbags’ big day out at the Garden Press Event 2022

Wow, how exciting is this – we actually had a proper day out last week, meeting real people at the annual Garden Press Event in London! The event’s aim is to give us a chance to review new gardening products and mix with the movers and shakers of the horticulture stratosphere (don’t think Caroline got…

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Gardening Tips

Great veg the easy way! Gardening tips for March

No apologies this week for focusing on getting some veg going!  I do want to mention a few ‘flower-jobs’ as well, but mostly mid-March is all about the luscious new-season edibles.  Growing your own vegetables and salads makes even more sense than ever now that the cost of transportation is rising so alarmingly…………… So here are some…

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Growbag Blog

Ten of our best spring plants

We’ve all learnt that gardening can be a panacea in troubled times so let’s take a little break from the world outside and focus on what brings us joy. This week we’ve each chosen a selection of our best spring plants to lift spirits and for a moment, concentrate on the good things in life.…

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Great Plants this Month Winter

Crocus wheel of colour

Three decades ago, when our so-called lawn was little more than a rectangle of rough grass and before we planted our walnut tree, in between doing battle with bindweed, changing nappies and keeping rabbits at bay, I would sometimes try to introduce some sort of coherence into my plans for spring bulbs. But I rarely got beyond grabbing a few random crocus at the local…

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Gardening Tips

Spring’s a-coming! Gardening tips for early March

Oh, when named storms aren’t blowing our trees sideways, you can sniff it on the air – spring is getting its snout above ground! Certainly here in the south, the birds are out singing, the weeds are out growing, and we should out there too, preparing for the coming horticultural havoc. Let’s have a go…

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Growbag Blog

Why you should keep a garden diary

How good is your garden admin? Do you make a note of all the new plants you’ve bought and where you’ve planted them (Elaine) Do you keep the labels? Do you file the delivery slips of your on-line purchases? Do you actually know even the approximate common name of the chunk of plant you have…

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Great Plants this Month

Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’

Gold-edged winter daphne This year our lovely daphne is coming into flower at least two weeks later than usual which is hardly surprising given the number of frosts we’ve had so far this winter. ‘Aureomarginata’ is a neat evergreen shrub with shiny, gold-edged leaves, and is probably best grown in dappled shade.  It will reach 1-1.5 metres but let no one tell you that this Daphne is slow growing, for when I referred to my trusty garden diary, I saw that I…

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Gardening Tips

Great ideas for early spring – Gardening tips for February

So pleased to see more and more green shoots pushing up through the soil now! I realise that it’s probably not the case in all parts of the UK, but could we all at least admit to a touch of excitement now that spring is on our doorstep?   Our jobs this week include forcing some…

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Growbag Blog

Our top 10 early spring bulbs

Doesn’t it lift your spirits when the first of the early spring bulbs start to emerge? Quietly at first with the gentle green and white of the snowdrops, then other colours start to flow in as the aconites and crocus get going. But as usual we three Growbags disagree on which are the best varieties,…

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Great Plants this Month

Sarcococca hookeriana var. digyna

Sweet box Also known as Christmas box, these are not shrubs to consign to any old corner of your garden just because they will tolerate deep shade. On the contrary, they are a great choice to plant against the north side of your home, or next to a path, or by the front or back door (whichever…

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Gardening Tips

Itching to get going? Gardening tips for February

Here we are on the brink of another busy spring-season – full of hope that we’ll be able to make our gardens even more fabulous than they were last year! We know that by the end of February, we’ll be madly trying to keep up with our horticultural to-do lists, but for now, there are…

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Growbag Blog

Time for a new garden look?

Is there a style of garden that you’ve always admired, such as a gravel garden, or formal 18th Century, prairie, colour-themed, jungle or cottage, but never really followed it through? Most of us end up with something of a hotch-potch of plants we liked in the Garden Centre, were given by friends, will grow in our…

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Great Plants this Month

Rosa Scarlet Fire

Rose ‘Scharlachglut’ When we first moved into our house, over 30 years ago, there was very little in the way of garden. There were very few trees, except those in the boundaries, and the rest was rough grass with a few ageing and neglected shrubs. However, one shrub rose caught our attention that first summer, its glowing, single red…

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Gardening Tips

Gardening on gloomy days – tips for January

Second half of January and it is often difficult to see how we are going to reach the glory of spring, isn’t it!  But if you look hard, you’ll spot little signs that Nature is girding itself – an early primrose here, a hellebore bud there.  And while we’re waiting for the all the fun and…

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Growbag Blog

Gardening trends for 2022

When the Royal Horticultural Society publishes its predictions for the year ahead, you’ve got to be curious. In fact the ‘voice’ of gardening produced 53 suggestions at the New Year – from the rising popularity of ice baths (nope nor us), to a boom in multi-stem trees and the return of crazy-paving. Not read the…

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Great Plants this Month Winter

Primula vulgaris AGM

primrose Never underestimate the power of the primrose to lift the spirits! A couple of days ago, having forced myself out into the grey and drizzle, I rounded the corner of a path in our garden and there it was, a self-sown specimen I need hardly say, perfectly placed to give hope and cheer just in time…

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Gardening Tips

Get set for a topping 2022! – gardening tips for January

Here we go – a brand New Year full of promise!  And amazingly, this is the 100th edition of our fortnightly Gardening Tips column – it’s quite a back catalogue now!  I hope your New Year’s Resolutions include throwing yourself into gardening with renewed vigour this year, ready to make 2022 the best one EVER. If you’d…

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Growbag Blog

Have some festive fun! Prize crossword and other puzzles

It’s Christmas! It’s time to put the secateurs down, pour a glass of something you fancy and tackle The3Growbags’ Prize Garden Crossword. We asked Elaine to make it easy but there were still 10 clues that Caroline couldn’t answer (no great surprise there). We’re offering a prize of six fabulous Liberte houseplant pots to one lucky winner so…

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Great Plants this Month Winter

December flowers

My thanks to those of you who have read my column over the past year, it’s been so much fun to write, and I have learnt quite a lot of new details about some of the plants myself! Thank you also if you’ve bought my little book, I do hope that you are enjoying dipping into it from time to time.…

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Gardening Tips

Deck the halls – Gardening Tips for December

Not long to the big day now! Lots of lists to be written, lots of decisions to be made about catering, cards, decorations, what gifts to buy and for whom…….Stay calm, you’ve got this. And even if you haven’t, a few hours spent doing some quiet garden jobs will put things in perspective………………….. Lifting the…

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Growbag Blog

10 festive decorations from the garden

Ooooh, I love the feeling of bringing the garden into the house to share in the fun, excitement and warmth of Christmas! There are lots of plants that look wonderful in December and can be used for very special decorations. We 3Growbags have each got our own favourite plants to use at this time of…