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.
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.
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.
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.
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.