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The 3 Growbags by The3growbags - 1d ago
It’s that time of the year when you need to rely on a core backbone of plants to burst onto the scene and provide volume and colour through the hottest months. Here in the south east where each summer seems to be warmer and drier than the last (sorry Caroline but it was your choice to live in Scotland….) we canny gardeners have had evolve our midsummer plant choices to include some newer drought tolerant introductions. 1. Veronicastrum. If you have an open airy spot you really can’t beat these North American prairie plants that build systematically through early summer and then

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This foxglove is a jewel! I know I’m on to a winner when each time I pass a plant I find myself stopping and staring at the wonder of it, and my selection this week is no exception. It is also an absolute magnet for every passing bee which just adds to the interest The ‘Rusty foxglove’ is more likely to be a short-lived perennial than a biennial and can be encouraged to behave as one by cutting back the spent stem right down to the basal rosette. However, do leave at least one seed head and you may be

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The 3 Growbags by The3growbags - 1w ago
Once July really kicks in, the goodies keep coming if you’ve done all your earlier spadework – early crops to pick, fruit ripening and flowers everywhere! But no time to rest on your laurels – let’s have a go at pruning the plum trees, taking semi-ripe cuttings and harvesting courgettes, amongst other jobs ……. PRUNING THE PLUM TREES There’s a nasty disease that plum trees are prone to, called Silver Leaf.  If you see a silvery sheen on any leaves or a purple-white fungus on the branches, you must remove those branches immediately before the whole tree succumbs. The easiest

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Whether it’s our warming planet or the welcome introduction of new cultures to our society, interest in creating a ‘tropical’ or hot weather garden is definitely ‘in’.  As you would expect I’m way ahead of my sisters here, having spent 10 years on a project in Madeira, so let me share some tips…. First, create the right microclimate. Tall boundary plants will enclose your space, trap the humidity and set the backdrop. You could invest in some Trachycarpus fortunei palms but they are pricey so why not try large pots of the magnificently structural tree dahlia Dahlia imperialis. Growing to over eight foot in

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I made a happy accidental choice when I planted ‘Étoile Violette’ at the foot of our Amelanchier lamarckii: at the time, I hadn’t realised that for many reasons it was the perfect clematis for growing in a large shrub or small tree. Now, our snowy mespilus never looks dull, but there are certain shrubs that, however stunning in flower, look drab for the rest of the year (lilac, wintersweet, viburnum to name but a few) and these are ideal candidates for the viticella partnership. ‘Étoile Violette’ is quite simply, an outstanding, undemanding and generously free-flowering cultivar that with its slightly open

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The 3 Growbags by The3growbags - 3w ago
Now the gorgeous lazy summer days have arrived our gardening tasks are mostly of the gentler and easier kind – hurray! So let’s get going on some deadheading, planting for later summer colour and thinning fruit among other jobs……. DEADHEAD FOR A BETTER BED! One of my favourite summer tasks is to wander among the flower beds at this time of year with my beloved little Spear & Jackson sécateurs and snip off the wilting flower-heads, particularly of roses but plenty of other things as well – foxgloves, sweetpeas, marigolds, phlox…..and a host of others. After a spell of heavy rain

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The 3 Growbags by The3growbags - 1M ago
As you get more into gardening you may start daydreaming about a greenhouse to maximise your horticultural potential, but will this be a sound investment or a white elephant? Perhaps a greenhouse isn’t what you need, and a sunny porch, cold frame or a full blown orangerie is the structure that will make your garden dreams come true. I think you need to be quite clear from the outset about what you want to achieve. Do you want to grow early veg, over-winter tender perennials, bring on half-hardy annuals or simply have a sunny bolthole to escape to with a

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The 3 Growbags by The3growbags - 1M ago
There are alliums, and then there is Allium ‘Spider’; and I fell for mine on a damp, grey October day as I was looking through a row of boxes of bulbs hoping to find a little treat to lift the spirits as November loomed! To be fair, it was the photograph above the box that did it for me, and immediately gave me that ‘I must have some of those’ feeling. The price did seem a little eye-watering at the time, but I have not for a moment regretted my purchase of three, which set me back the cost of

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The 3 Growbags by The3growbags - 1M ago
Here we are in the fabulous month of June, and everything is busting out all over! Still jobs to do, though, such as pruning the early-flowering shrubs, tidying-up the pond, and sowing some winter bedding, and here’s how: PRUNING FOR PERFECTION We’ve enjoyed all the lovely early-flowering shrubs – Philadelphus, Forsythia, Syringa (lilac), Kerria, Weigela, etc. and this is the perfect time to sort them out, improving their shape and encouraging them to make strong new growth which will carry next year’s blossom. Try to avoid making little snips all over the plant which will result in new shoots sprouting

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Roses are such an important element of the summer garden, you really should research thoroughly before making your selection. Luckily, and unlike the pool of potential prime ministers, there are some outstanding candidates to choose from, and we’ve had a go at picking out what we think could be 10 of the very best for you. 1. Rosa ‘Mermaid’. Not for the faint hearted, but with great ambition and sense of purpose. A real beast of a climbing rose with glossy semi evergreen foliage and vicious thorns. But who dares wins as the reward is simply huge saucer shaped creamy yellow flowers

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