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Features >

Gardening

Ethereal effects

Jamie Cable selects five perennials that stand out in the ethereal stakes

Crazy paving

Jamie Cable: IN GARDENS in London, hard surfaces and new buildings are replacing vegetation at the rate of two-and-a-half times the area of Hyde Park each year

Holiday drinking

Gardening: For holiday pot-plant care, you may know an instinctive gardener who can step in, or you may feel inclined to leave detailed instructions. In my experience, a casual "keeping an eye on things" leads to casualties. Non-gardeners just do not read the signs; so it is worth taking a few measures beforehand.

Pots of space

Gardening: OUR Staffordshire garden now has a counterpoint. After several changes in our London lodgings for the working week, we are now renting a studio. An estate agent would describe this, politely, as bijou; but it does have a 3×4-metre outdoor space.

A touch of light

Gardening: I WAS reminded this week to praise God "for dappled things", as Gerard Manley Hopkins put it. I was working in the Goldsmiths' Company garden, in London, under two mature plane-trees in a microcosm of flickering light. 

Garden therapy

Gardening: THERE is a garden I know that is so magical that I have often made a detour on a dog walk to see it. It has a public right of way running through it that allows everyone to engage with the plot, while it somehow conveys the intimate feel of a loved back garden.

Winter bloomers

Gardening: STRONG will-power and clement weather are needed to get me working in the garden in January. I enjoy gardening in my mind, viewing the stark framework from indoors and bending it this way and that with new paths, beds, and planting. 

A gift to gardening

Gardening: I WANT to take you back in time to just after the Second World War, and to the Slieve Donard Nursery in County Down, Northern Ireland. Imagine a mild winter's day, the low sun alighting on the golden sprays of Mahonia japonica, enticing them to release their delicious scent. 

Autumn encore

Gardening: WE HAVE a former Bishop of London, Henry Compton, to thank for one of the best garden trees for autumn-leaf colour.

Return of the quince

Gardening: A TREE laden with yellow quinces is an uplifting sight on a sunny October day. They went out of fashion in the mid-20th century, leading Vita Sackville-West to ask, after seeing them growing wild in France: "Why don't we plant it in our gardens here, as our grandfathers did?"

Mindful musings

Gardening: This year, inspiration has come from two different sources: a visit to the Grade I listed Plas Brondanw gardens in Gwynedd, Wales; and the woefully short Channel 4 series Kirstie's Fill Your House for Free.

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