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Chelsea Choice

Growbags’ Chelsea Choice #3 – Binny Plants


Celebrating 25 years at Chelsea this year, Binny Plants from Scotland’s Central Belt are peony royalty. Owner Billy Carruthers is almost reason enough to visit the stand (he was definitely a Chelsea highlight for us as you can see!) but even if you only like peonies just a tiny bit – you’re in for such a treat.

Binny’s peony heaven within the old walls of a kitchen garden in West Lothian, Scotland.

He’s got over 300 varieties in the old walled garden of the Binnie Estate (growing in peat-free compost because that’s the way Billy rolls). If you can imagine a well-run nursery hidden away in the ruin of a grand estate, itself surrounded by the traces of its former mining industry, overlaid with a 1960s Californian vibe – you’ve pretty much experienced your visit.

The blooms of peony ‘Blushing Princess’ are held on strong stems that can stand up without staking. It’s quite hard to come by. Knock twice and ask for Binny Plants.

Herbaceous peonies are sexy performers anyway but you won’t believe the sumptuousness of some of Binny’s tree or intersectional peonies which bloom for ages (once they get over the ‘drama queen’ trait of taking ages to settle in, you know how peonies can be!)

Some knock-out nurseries exhibit at Chelsea. David Austin, Daisy Roots and the ‘to-die-for’ alpine specialists Kevock Plants spring to mind. Not getting a gold award for these guys would be like Victoria Beckham passing wind – it just doesn’t happen. But if it’s just as important to you to get ‘the craic’ as they say in Scotland, with a peony expert through to his bones – visit Billy and his team  or take a look at their website – they export all over the world.

NB If you do look Billy and his team up at the show or online on the strength of our heartfelt recommendation, do mention the3Growbags, we’d love them know we think they’re great!

NB: And if you’d like to get a bit more gardening chit-chat from the3growbags, just enter 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.

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