Cyclamen hederifolium

So what IS making us smile this autumn?

Oh boy, if ever we needed our plants and gardens to keep on and on putting a smile on our faces, it is NOW. A long, slow beautiful autumn right into the back end of October at least, please. But what plants will help us rage against the dying of the light? (Don’t worry if you don’t get the literary allusion there, Laura – we know you’re a scientist and are much more at home with the latest paper on Phytopathology from the Royal Society……………..) Today we Growbags want to give a shout-out to some plants or foliage that...

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Rosa ‘Dortmund’

Rosa ‘Dortmund’ AGM

I make no apology for choosing another rose this week, we are in June after all, and this amazing climber is such a winner, I just couldn’t ignore it.  Many years ago, we first saw ‘Dortmund’ growing on a wall of ‘The Garden House’ in Devon and as I remember it was the only rose on sale in the nursery at the time. This, in itself, was a recommendation and it immediately went into the trolley! The foliage of this vigorous rose is glossy and dark green, it always looks healthy: no nasty black spot, no mildew and no aphids! The abundant clusters of single, pillar-box red flowers have white centres with yellow anthers and when they are lit from...

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Yearning for cottage garden comfort?

It really pains me when I have to admit my older sister Elaine is right (thank heavens my younger sister Caroline is always wrong). Elaine insists that cottage gardens are the ultimate feel-good gardening style whilst I’ve always loved experimenting: gravel, tropical, prairie…. But this spring I have a sudden yearning to be surrounded by the gentle familiarity of simple cottage garden plants. Elaine of course already has the pretty cottage garden essentials of roses, clematis and honeysuckle in place so is going to be really smug this week. How am I going to catch her up? Cheat, that’s...

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Slug-proof plants and winter jasmine: Grow-How tips for late February

The named storms have been coursing through the UK, but spring is on its way regardless and there are jobs to do, like pruning winter-flowering jasmine, choosing some slug-proof plants, and dividing snowdrops…… Jazzing up Jasmine It’s usually a cinch to grow Jasminum nudiflorum, and it’s a bright and pretty thing to see when covered in its starry yellow flowers in spells through the winter. But it can become horribly straggly if it’s left to its own devices with masses of twiggy bare stems and dead branches. The thing to remember is that it flowers on the previous year’s...

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