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Gardening

How to get the best smelling garden in winter

There may be few reasons to venture into the garden at this time of year, but scent is one of them. The rich, heady perfume of certain winter-flowering shrubs can blow away the cobwebs and brush off the worst of the winter blues.

What remains of the gardens of Baroness Angela Burdett-Coutts on the Holly Lodge Estate?

Ruth Pavey explores the aristocratic history of the planting in this Highgate village within a village.

Poison dart frogs and juniper-wood fuelled secret whisky distilleries

A plethora of amazing facts – which plants are the tallest and smallest, the smelliest and deadliest – have been collated by Christina Harrison, a specialist in plant ecology and garden history, and Lauren Gardiner, a research fellow at Kew, for their latest book, Bizarre Botany, an A to Z revealing some of the quirkiest stories about plants.

Using evergreens in the garden

Evergreens will form a backbone to the winter garden that ensures you have something of interest to look all through the year, says award-winning gardener Kate Gould

Autumn colours bloom in award-winning gardens and some spectacular Virginia creeper

Gardening columnist Ruth Pavey visits a Hampstead Garden Suburb garden in full autumn colour and tracks down the best Virginia creeper of 2016.

What to do in the garden this week

Enjoy the autumn hues of the velvety sumach and feast on celeriac in mid-November, plus the most important chores to do this week.

Have an Acer autumn with the Japanese maple

The Japanese maple, or acer, is one of those supremely elegant plants with fine, fern-like foliage in colours to die for, from deep burgundy to pink and white, many producing a brilliant display of intense hues in autumn.

How can you encourage bats in your garden?

They may conjure up images of ghostly goings-on around Halloween time, but bats should be welcomed into our gardens. Here’s how.

Tulip Fever: Now’s the time to plant these bulbs for a spring show

Of all the bulbs, tulips are probably the most varied in size and colour, ranging from dainty dwarf specimens to frilly, feathery forms and stand-up-straight majestic types.

Can you rearrange your garden to help plants grow?

Are your borders looking overgrown and overcrowded? If some of your stalwart shrubs and perennials have outgrown their space or simply aren’t thriving in their current position, it may be time to move them.

How to grow apples in pots

Whether you’re into a crisp crunch, a sweet, juicy flavour or the tart tang that makes a crumble or pie a dessert to savour, the apple is among the gardener’s favourite.

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

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