News that the government is setting up a ‘land bank’ of brownfield sites, consisting of bits and pieces of spare or disused land, and encouraging councils and private landowners to lease these out to local groups as allotments, underscores the impression of a national appetite for ‘growing your own’.
We have a picture hanging on a wall at home painted by Roger Fry about the time of the first world war and entitled ‘Pruning Trees’.
The gardening press in England is often criticised for being parochial.
The days are short, there is no light for gardening after work, and local horticultural societies are halfway through their winter programme of illustrated talks.
Last autumn, I issued a self-denying ordinance.
The Royal Horticultural Society is like the Church of England.
This month sees the 25th anniversary of my first ‘Gardens’ column for The Spectator.
I knew I was in for a treat when I drove up to the newly opened Butterfly World along Miriam Lane.
As usual after the end of Chelsea Flower Show, I felt as flat as champagne left out in the sun.
You have probably idly wondered, as you stood in a queue for the loos at Chelsea Flower Show, why the Royal Horticultural Society stages its greatest flower show of the year in the week before the Whitsun Bank Holiday.
It’s spring, the gardening public has woken up and the plinky-plonky music calls us back for another series of BBC 2’s Gardeners’ World.
It is, at present, almost impossible to open a garden magazine, or the gardening pages of a national newspaper, without coming across an article on how we are all now kitchen gardeners and allotmenteers; the theme is that the uncertain economic conditions have turned us back to our gardens, to grow comestibles and thereby ensure that we eat well, now that lack of the readies has reconnected us with our cookers.
I find it impossible to be dispassionate about the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
What is it with snowdrops? Why do people make so much fuss about them, when they are so small and relatively insignificant?
We can all recite the statistics, can’t we? I mean the percentage fall in shopping activity in December, the names of the high street retail businesses that have gone bust or been taken over, the numbers of shopworkers who have lost their jobs.
Ursula Buchan goes gardening
Is Christmas creeping up on you, unawares? Again? Have you found yourself, even at this late hour, facing a nil-all draw as far as presents bought, and presents asked for, is concerned? Never mind.
Ursula Buchan on the new chief presenter of BBC 2’s Gardeners' World
Ursula Buchan on the Royal Horticultural Society's recent flower show in the Inner Temple gardens
Ursula Buchan reviews a selection of gardening books
If your ears go back, like a frightened horse, at the word ‘conceptualism’ when applied to modern art, you may not be very pleased to know that this is a hot topic in landscape design at the moment.
Ursula Buchan wanders through the Gardens
Ursula Buchan spends some time in the Garden
Ursula Buchan does a spot of gardening