Gardening

‘Lovely’ is the word that best sums up the National Garden Scheme

Why the National Garden Scheme beats the Chelsea Flower Show hands down

28 July 2018 9:00 am

Isabel Hardman on the joys of nosying around other people’s flower beds

It’s the Year of the Slug and I’m at war with the slimy little bastards

9 June 2018 9:00 am

I know some people are fretting about Brexit, and others about the drive-by violence the President is doing to the…

Garden of earthly delights: horticultural apprentice Emma Love in the newly reopened Temperate House at Kew

The real stars of Kew's newly restored Temperate House

19 May 2018 9:00 am

Kew’s newly restored Temperate House is undoubtedly awe-inspiring, says Isabel Hardman, but it’s the plants that are the real stars of the show

They shared a love of books, beekeeping, print-collecting, alchemy, geometry, music, astronomy and the English language: John Evelyn (left) and Samuel Pepys

Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn: a meeting of like minds

19 August 2017 9:00 am

For Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn, two great recorders of Restoration England, life was a cabinet of curiosities, says Frances Wilson

I’ve finally made friends with a hedgehog – and you can too

6 August 2016 9:00 am

Hedgehogs, and other joys of a carefully messy garden

Why all civilised people should love wasps

23 July 2016 9:00 am

All gardeners, and all readers, have reason to thank them

Ruins and romance (Monty Don not included)

Meeting Monty Don in the world’s most romantic garden

23 July 2016 9:00 am

I’ve just been given a personal tour of Ninfa by Monty Don. True, I had to share the thinking woman’s…

Making friends with the axeman next door

7 May 2016 9:00 am

What happened when I tried American neighbourliness in London

Is my plant Pinterest-ready?

It started with a cardboard box: discovering the joys of indoor gardening

30 April 2016 9:00 am

A year or so ago, I inherited a cardboard box filled with plants. It was an offshoot from an enormous…

Renzo Piano’s new Whitney Museum is very good news - for the Met

23 May 2015 9:00 am

About six years ago the first section of the now celebrated High Line was opened in New York and made…

Gardeners’ world: Alan Rickman (Louis XIV) and Kate Winslet (Sabine De Barra) at Versailles

A Little Chaos review: Kate Winslet emotes her little socks off

18 April 2015 9:00 am

A Little Chaos is a period drama directed by Alan Rickman and starring Kate Winslet as a woman charged to…

Vita as ‘Lady with a Red Hat’ by William Strang

Vita in her ivory tower: a portrait of a lonely, lovelorn aristocrat who yearned to be mistress of her own ancestral home

22 November 2014 9:00 am

Visitors to the National Trust’s Sissinghurst — the decayed Elizabethan castle transformed by Vita Sackville-West in the early 1930s —…

Tread carefully! Your garden is saturated with racial meaning – and so is Ikea

9 August 2014 9:00 am

Is your life saturated with racial meaning? The most common answer to this question, when I ask friends and acquaintances,…

The gardener-soldiers of the First World War

28 June 2014 9:00 am

First, a confession. Even an ardent radio addict can enjoy a fortnight away from the airwaves, disconnected, switched off, unlistening.…

My application to be chairman of the BBC

17 May 2014 9:00 am

To: Karen Moran, HR Director, BBC Dear Ms Moran, I have decided to give up on the gardening this year,…

Jacqueline Wilson: 'The first book that made me cry'

12 April 2014 9:00 am

Rumer Godden’s An Episode of Sparrows, first published in 1955, focuses on the roaming children — the ‘sparrows’ — of a shabby street in bomb-torn London. When ten-year-old Lovejoy Mason finds a packet of cornflower seeds and decides to create an ‘Italian’ garden hidden in a rubble-strewn churchyard, the consequences are life-changing for all who become involved. Below is the foreword to a recent reissue of the novel (Virago Modern Classics, £7.99, Spectator Bookshop, £7.49).

The elegant stems of the hornbeam allow for views down into the five garden compartments on the south side of the long water garden at Temple Guiting by Jinny Blom. (From The New English Garden by Tim Richardson)

The most important gardening book of the year

16 November 2013 9:00 am

I’ll own up at once. Tim Richardson and Andrew Lawson, the author and photographer of The New English Garden (Frances…

Dear Mary: The rules of wearing a dressing gown

14 September 2013 9:00 am

Q. What to do when you are an unwilling eavesdropper in a train carriage in which people you know assume…

Dear Mary: What must I do to reclaim the best poolside chair?

27 July 2013 9:00 am

Q. I know this seems petty but last year, on our villa holiday, my brother-in-law always took the best chair…

‘The Nicky of today has become a high-concept gardener’

Folly de Grandeur, by Nicky Haslam- review

18 May 2013 9:00 am

Nicky Haslam is one of our best interior designers, a charmed and charming agent of style, a tastemaker for the…

The Hermit in the Garden, by Gordon Campbell - review

11 May 2013 9:00 am

In his 1780 essay On Modern Gardening Horace Walpole declared that of the many ornamental features then fashionable, the one…

In the pink

2 April 2011 12:00 am

In 1988 Katherine Swift took a lease on the Dower House at Morville Hall, a National Trust property in Shropshire, and created a one-and-a-half acre garden in what had been a field.

Planting a dream

5 March 2011 12:00 am

Every schoolboy knows the story of six-year-old George Washington taking his ‘little hatchet’ to his mother’s prized cherry tree.