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Gardening

Small spaces, big ideas: why a shrubbery is the ultimate urban garden solution

Think your garden is too small to have the wow factor? Too cramped for carpets of colour or sizeable shrubs? Here’s why you should think again.

Visiting Camden in Bloom awards entries growing in public spaces

Ruth Pavey visits a community garden in a gap between buildings in WC1, a pub in Kentish Town wreathed in hanging baskets and window boxes, and a verdant hidden courtyard off Highgate Road, all entries in this year’s Camden in Bloom awards.

Shed heaven: a luxury space with all mod cons where you rest, work, or play

No longer for rusty tools and forgotten bikes, a fancy shed is the new must-have for any garden. You just need to decide which family member gets the monopoly on its use.

Late summer – plant your spring bulbs

Now’s the time to give a thought to the end of winter next year, for a blossoming start to 2017.

What vegetables to plant in September

Are your vegetables looking a little stunted, jaded or straggly this summer? If so, you won’t be alone. But there is still time to get a healthy crop.

Away day: A Tudor botanist and religious dissenter’s garden

The bank holiday is a great opportunity to spend some serious time in your own garden but really keen gardeners can use the extra day to visit other people’s outside space for inspiration or just plain lusting over.

How to create a hedgehog haven

In the last decade, hedgehog numbers have gone down by 30 per cent due to a variety of factors including habitat loss and changes in farming techniques, according to The Wildlife Trusts, which estimates there may be less than a million left in the UK.

Heaven at the foot of the North Circular

Ruth Pavey is transported to a Mediterranean paradise in this slice of Cyprus in Muswell Hill, in an unpromising spot abutting the North Circular.

Get a child-friendly garden with these top tips

How to get your children outside in the garden this summer holiday, without restorting to Pokémon Go.

Top topiary: clipped privets and well-trimmed bushes

How to get topiary to match Muswell Hill’s best-trimmed bushes? Quality, well-crafted Japanese tools will give you the edge.

How to keep your garden alive while you’re on holiday

If you’re away for a fortnight in the summer holidays and don’t want to return to bedraggled borders, dried-out pots and a lawn which looks like straw, take action now.

Low-maintenance – yes, really – summer gardening

Can a garden truly be a garden and still be low maintenance? Depends upon your notion of what gardening is says award-winning gardener Kate Gould.

Pick of the crop: what to plant now for a better harvest

We all want to be picking plenty of veg from our allotments, borders and containers – but there are ways to maximise the chances of a better harvest

Choose climbing plants as garden fillers

Do you have a tall space you’d like to fill with fragrant blooms? Or perhaps an eyesore you want to mask? The answer may be in a carefully chosen climbing plant, whether it’s roses around the door or velvet blue wisteria dripping from the house wall, fragrant sweet peas in a pot to enjoy as soon as you open the patio door or an arbour covered in the saucer-sized clematis blooms.

Gardening behind bars

For some time now we’ve all known that gardening is among the best pastimes for both physical and mental wellbeing – but it’s also being used to help rehabilitate prisoners and give them hope for the future.

Gardening trends from Chelsea Flower Show

Subtle planting, soft blue, gentle pinks and white palettes, plus a focus on naturalistic designs and a strong health and wellbeing message formed a big part of Chelsea Flower Show this year.

DIY hanging baskets are a great option for the garden

You can buy hanging baskets pretty cheaply these days from garden centres, but the choice of colour and plant is often limited, so it’s much more satisfying to do it yourself.

5 tips for painting garden wood

Colours for garden wood have come a long way since you could get brown or green and little else. Now you can choose from a myriad of different hues, so your outside space can be just as colourful as the inside.

Exercises for functional fitness through gardening

While so many of us pound away in the gym in our efforts to keep fit, burn calories and lose a few pounds, remember there is a great outdoor arena in your garden which can help you do just that.

Stamp out green-fingered theft

Each year, property owners lose millions of pounds worth of garden equipment, including mowers, furniture, expensive statuary and ornaments and even York stone paving slabs and turf. Here are ways to minimise the risk of theft:

Spring gardening essential checklist

Spring is in the air, kicking off the busiest time of the year for a gardener. Happily the hard work of preparing your garden for the productive months ahead is softened by the beautiful displays of bulbs that will start popping up about now, says award-winning gardener Kate Gould

Make spring gardening childsplay

The Easter holidays are upon us and there’s no better time than spring to engage the kids with gardening projects, or take them to outdoor places which will both inspire and delight them.

How to grow hard to propogate plants from cuttings – layering

There are some plants that just don’t do very well with traditional propagation from cuttings – rhododendrons, camellias, honeysuckles and daphnes are just a few. But many ‘problem plants’ can be propagated by a method called layering.

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