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Gardening

Garden gifts

LETTERS have been coming into my new place of work, seeking employment at Croxteth Hall over the Christmas period. “Dear Sir, I am writing to apply for the position of gardener. As my current employer would attest, I am strong, fit, and reliable. I will work from 6 a.m. till 8 p.m. I am ten years old.”

Moving forward

OF LATE, there has been much coverage of the garden, in Dublin, of the plantswoman and writer Helen Dillon. Helen and her husband, Val, have spent most of their married life in the same Georgian house, but it is time to downsize

Pictorial plans

WHEN we moved to the West Midlands, six years ago, I remember being impressed with the horti­cultural quality of the local round­abouts. There were no coats of arms etched out in colourful bedding, but what Telford and Wrekin borough council created each year was quietly beautiful

Back to work?

FOR many of us, the holiday season is ending. Pottering in a garden, as the light grows softer and the morn­ing dews grow heavier, can help us to ease back to our normal schedule without making too many de­mands on us

Consider the lily

AGAPANTHUS, derived from the Greek agapeo and anthos, translates as “the flower with which one is well pleased.” At this time of year, and stretching into autumn, there is certainly much to commend the African lily

Wrinkled beauty

Wrinkled beauty

FIVE years ago, I was camping in Villaines-les-Rochers, a village in the Loire valley famous for its basket-making. It was a sultry August evening, and our camper van was shrouded in a heady scent. In the hedge near by I found the source: a Japanese rose, Rosa rugosa. I had previously dismissed the ...

Gardens for good

Gardens for good

I SUSPECT that as many worshippers cite going to church as a time to reflect as see it as a time to engage with others — and, of course, for most it is both. A similar spectrum is on show at the Chelsea Flower Show this week

Toms and trailers

THE garden centres are brimming with plants urging us to plant up our hanging baskets. Productive plants such as tomatoes can be just as ornamental in a display if you pick the right varieties, and, of course, give you an edible harvest

The devil’s work

“A NORTH-COUNTRY saying is that parsley will grow best if sown by the lady of the house before 12 noon on Good Friday.” So quotes Roy Vickery in his Dictionary of Plant-Lore. Roy, a former curator of flowering plants at the Natural History Museum, believes parsley to be associated with more supersti...

Red, green, or black?

Red, green, or black?

DESPITE their association with savoury dishes, tomatoes are, of course, not a vegetable but a fruit — a mature plant ovary containing the seeds of the next generation

Speaking of flowers

IN THE past, my work has included training community-garden volunteers. Sometimes, their expectations of the work involved needed retuning slightly

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