• 10 best garden storage boxes to keep your outdoor space tidy

    The perfect alternative if you don't have a garage or shed to store your tools.

  • Ten tips for a hassle-free garden that’s still rewarding

    This summer has been a taxing one for many gardeners. The long periods of extreme dry weather, followed by periods of extreme wet weather, have led to masses of weeding, mowing and watering.

  • The cult of prizewinning veg – and how to supersize your crop

    I’m looking at pictures of a prizewinning half-stone aubergine and a leek as tall as a human. This is the world of giant veg, a sport where the cliché is that mid-to-late-life-crisis men on allotments compete to show theirs is bigger than the next inedible specimen.

  • Ben Miller: ‘Being in the garden is a bit like being with a therapist’

    Our regular gardening column, Personal Growth, is not about plant names and weeding tips (although a few might come up). It is about reflections, memories and feelings. Many people who love their garden don’t consider themselves gardeners – so what draws them so strongly to that green patch outside the back door? This week we talk to actor and writer Ben Miller at his country home.

  • Why you should plant ornamental grasses this season

    Ornamental grasses are so useful, in so many ways. They can be threaded through a border to unify a planting scheme: the classic example of this is Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf’s use of Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’. He snakes this metre-high, ramrod-straight “rocket” of a grass through late-season perennials to create an enduring backbone that persists into winter. At the other end of the scale, the Japanese Hakon grass Hakonechloa macra curtsies lower than any other. This dec

  • Jim Carter interview: ‘Children need to put their phones away and get out into the garden’

    Jim Carter wants to admit to a guilty secret. “I really enjoyed lockdown,” says the Downton Abbey actor, in his trademark sonorous tenor. “Although I only live seven stops from Westminster on the Jubilee Line, I’m lucky enough to have a garden, and spending time in it with my wife [Imelda Staunton, currently starring as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown] is one of the major pleasures in life.”

  • Liam Fox: ‘I enjoy Parliament, but my garden is my sanctuary’

    Our regular gardening column, Personal Growth, is not about plant names and weeding tips (although a few might come up). It is about reflections, memories and feelings. Many people who love their garden don’t consider themselves gardeners – so what draws them so strongly to that green patch outside the back door? This week we talk to Conservative MP Liam Fox at his country home.

  • Is it too late to plant spring greens?

    One of the best things about gardening is the perpetual need to look forward, and that comes with a generous sense of optimism: next year will indeed be better in the garden and all those mistakes will fade into distant memory! When it comes to looking forward, spring vegetables need to be in the forefront of our minds at this time of year.

  • The reason why your apple tree isn't bearing fruit – and how to get a good crop

    Apple trees make the most wonderful additions to your garden. If you have limited space, a small apple tree will not only provide you with a beautiful array of blossom in the late spring, followed by delicious fruit in the early autumn, it will also provide the most wonderful habitat and food source for insects and birds.

  • When is the best time to plant daffodil bulbs?

    We are under starter’s orders in garden centres for the best quality and range of daffodil bulbs. September is a great time to plant daffodils, and if we can get in there early, it ensures the best selection of bulbs will be available to buy. Daffodils need a garden soil of reasonable quality for the best flowering performance. Although they will naturalise in grass quite happily and will tolerate poor soils, a bed or border with good fertility will improve their flowering performance for that f

  • Gardening jobs in September: what to plant and tidy in your garden this month

    The first hints of autumn start to appear at the beginning of the month, with touches of gold in the edges of the leaves and a definite sense of slowing down and packing up in the garden. Colourful crab apples are glistening, and apples and pears are ripening, but there is life in the flower garden yet too, dahlias are at their peak, joined by echinaceas, rudbeckias, Michaelmas daisies, helenium and crocosmia, all punctuated by the beautiful plumes of flowering ornamental grasses.

  • Five top tips from Britain’s star florist

    Star florist Lizzie Newcombe approaches her training like any athlete preparing for a race. The 26-year-old, already the holder of a Chelsea Flower Show gold medal, has spent eight months rehearsing her designs.

  • September is the perfect time to plant clematis, the small-garden saviour

    September is the perfect time to plant a clematis, and these high-rise twiners come in all shapes and sizes. What they have in common is that they take up little ground space, making them the ideal choice for a compact garden or patio. Better still, if you choose wisely, you can have flowers almost all year long.

  • Five reasons why you should bring more houseplants into your home

    It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when houseplants began their 21st-century revival. But the evidence of the mania for fiddle-leaf figs, monstera deliciosa, philodendrons and trailing spider plants is all around us.

  • How I made my garden more butterfly-friendly – without letting it go completely wild

    Katharine Pooley owns three dogs, one cat, a guinea pig, 22 ducks, 34 chickens and countless bees. But little did she know that it would be the addition of a few hundred wild butterflies to her garden in Oxfordshire that would prove so important to her outlook, and her career.

  • How I brought my tired old garden shed back from the dead

    Like Frankenstein’s monster, Archie Proudfoot’s shed rose from the dead. Newly crowned as Cuprinol Shed of The Year 2023, the “Frankenshed”, as he calls it, has come a long way from when Proudfoot first set eyes on it.

  • How to create a wildflower meadow in your garden

    At West Dean, we garden on a flint- and chalk-based soil, which is low in fertility, making it ideal for wildflower meadows. A rich and diverse meadow will thrive on poor soils, as the conditions favour wildflowers over the more dominant grasses, which prefer fertility.

  • Why now is the time to prune your hedge

    Late summer is a good time to sharpen those secateurs and prune certain shrubs, trees and hedges. Summer pruning of trained fruit trees helps to maintain their shape and form – a conversation for another time – but a number of evergreen hedges can be trimmed now to provide crisp features. Cutting hedges towards the end of August ensures that the majority of growth has already occurred that season – think of a line graph where vigorous growth tends to peak around May, June and July and starts to

  • What can I do for my tired-looking tomato plants?

    No homegrown produce says summer like a juicy red tomato – ideal for a summer salad or as an accompaniment to a barbecue. But tomatoes can also be a source of frustration for gardeners when conditions become hot and dry, or cold and wet, and we are plagued with pests and diseases.

  • Clodagh McKenna: ‘Food is much more exciting when you grow it’

    Harry and I live in the grounds of Highclere Park, in Hampshire [where Downton Abbey was filmed], in a 300-year-old house called Broadspear, which has 100 acres of fields and woodland.

  • The best dahlias to bring a pop of colour to your garden

    The dahlia is about to take centre stage in our borders and it will grab the limelight until the first frost brings the curtain down – and these days that could mean November. No other flower will carry you through from summer into late autumn with as much pizzazz and vibrance.

  • Reviving my late mother’s garden soothed my grief

    I loathe the wisteria that is coiling viper-like around the apple tree I’ve been coaxing back to full health.

  • The best ways to stop rats living in your outside space

    There are those – most of them probably non-gardeners – who hold us compost-makers responsible for rodent uprisings. I feel that this is somewhat unfair, but here are some rat facts for gardeners that I have gathered from personal experience (being an avid compost maker and sometime poultry keeper) of which we should be aware.

  • Gardening jobs in August: what to plant and tidy in your garden this month

    This is usually the hottest month of the year and unless you have planned carefully it can also be a moment when the garden starts to look a bit tired and lacking in flowers. However, this is easy to remedy, and colourful stunners such as dahlias, sunflowers, crocosmia and cannas step up now, while gardens planted in a subtropical style are reaching their height.

  • The golden rules you need to know for seasonal planting

    Plants and gardens are rather like people: they all have different personalities, and one of the great gardening skills is finding the right place for them in your personal paradise, however small it may be.

  • Kirsty Wark interview: ‘Every morning, I go out into the garden and feel the day’

    Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark draws inspiration and solace from her garden in Scotland.