Gardening

No pigs in sight: Anne Hathaway’s Cottage

The charm – and artifice – of the English cottage garden

20 July 2019 9:00 am

The confusion is understandable. You arrive at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon, keen to experience the quintessential cottage garden —…

Everything under the sun: The glory of garden centres

8 June 2019 9:00 am

Don’t you just love garden centres? You have to be mad to go on a sunny Sunday morning in the…

The magic of the Chelsea Flower Show

25 May 2019 9:00 am

Chelsea, the most famous flower show in the world, pulled in its devotees once more this week, with its accustomed…

David Cameron campaigning on the day before the June 2016 referendum (Getty)

Letters: Of course Brexit is David Cameron’s fault

13 April 2019 9:00 am

All Cameron’s fault Sir: In this time of febrile political speculation, there can have been few more arresting subject headings…

‘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

What could be more British than nosying around someone else’s private property while munching on a slice of cake? The…

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

The glasshouses at Kew Gardens are so popular that they can be quite unbearably busy at weekends. And why shouldn’t…

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

Two enquiring minds

19 August 2017 9:00 am

Samuel Pepys, wrote John Evelyn, was ‘universally beloved, hospitable, generous, learned in many things’ and ‘skilled in music’. John Evelyn,…

Making friends with the axeman next door

7 May 2016 9:00 am

When I moved to London, my husband Henry gave me a copy of Kate Fox’s Watching the English: The Hidden…

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…

Why would someone pay hundreds of pounds for one snowdrop bulb? I think I know

31 January 2015 9:00 am

I think I’m coming down with galanthomania. It’s a rare affliction, but one that’s hard to shake, and it’s affecting…

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

A foreward to Rumer Godden’s ‘An Episode of Sparrows’ by Jacqueline Wilson. Read Godden’s novel as an adult or a child and you will find a masterpiece

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…