Gardening

Emilia's Elegant Escape

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At the end of a hard day's filming, Silent Witness star Emilia Fox likes nothing better than to venture into her oasis of calm, with its walls of lavender, pretty clematis and fragrant roses.

Gardening gifts for mum

Sophie Conran tools and accessories, £19.95, Burgon & Ball (www.burgonandball.com)

Stuck on the usual 'flowers or chocolates' dilemma? Why not find some inspiration in the garden this Mother's Day, and treat the woman who knows you best to everything from decorative twine to wind chimes, seed collections or serious tools.

Lawn care after the flood

wet grass

If the recent deluge of rain means your luscious, closely-cropped carpet of green is now nothing but a soggy bog, you might be feeling a bit downhearted.

Perk up your patio

Garden Designer Diarmuid Gavin

If the rain ever lets up long enough for us to venture out on to our patios, we'll need some quick fixes to brighten them up in time for the warmer, and hopefully drier, months of spring.

A touch of texture

plants including digitalis, pimpinella and ravenswing create texture

Italian garden designer Luciano Giubbilei is famous for his creations of understated elegance, simple and clean symmetrical design complimented by his use of nature, materials, light, space and art.

Taking the spade work out of veg growing

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Each autumn, there's a collective, nationwide groan as gardeners think about the endless digging they'll be doing over winter to improve their soil's condition for the following year.

Join the feeding frenzy

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There's never really an excuse for not having a bird feeder standing in your garden. But with the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch taking place on January 25 and 26, there is no better time to invest in a bird feeder, or two, to keep our feathered friends happy during the winter and beyond.

Plants by post?

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Shopping by mail order is meant to make our lives easier, but the reality is often a little different - especially, it seems, if you're a gardener.

Stump up for a better garden

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Stumperies may be a throwback of a bygone age, but - perhaps thanks to the current trend for all things retro - they could once again command a place in the British garden, creating a cornucopia of planting opportunities and providing a haven for wildlife.

New year, new garden

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If you've had time over the festive season to leaf through those gardening book gifts, or to visit a public garden and walk off those Christmas excesses, you'll hopefully be awash with innovative ideas on designs to replicate in your own garden in the new year.

Festive decorations - The natural way

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If you've left decoration-buying until the last festive minute, it's easy to reach out for all the brightly coloured, sparkling Christmas baubles and wreaths tumbling from the shop shelves.

The best books for garden-lovers

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Think of the festive season and you probably think of being snuggled up inside by a roaring fire - but put a new gardening book on your Christmas wish-list, and you could be thinking of your spring planting too.

How to treat your Christmas tree

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Picture the familiar Christmas scene: you arrive home from the garden centre, a tall, bushy tree proudly under your arm. You're anxious to get it up and show it off in all it's festive glory - but once it's actually inside, once you've pruned and snipped it into it's allocated space, the magic seems to have faded.

A swift improvement

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Having a place to park a car by your home is important, there's no arguing that. But is it more important than having an open green space to welcome you, visitors and nature to your front door?

Cranberries for Christmas

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Cranberries are the staple fruit of Christmas, creating the sauce synonymous with turkey or adding warmth to winter punches, relishes and jellies.

Grab a gardening gift

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What do you give the gardener who has everything? Perhaps a luxurious back and neck massage to ease those endless hours of digging? Or perhaps a good manicure to file away all that grime from under the nails?

It's tulip time

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You have probably planted most of your spring bulbs by now, but it's not too late to add tulips to the mix, ready to create a riot of colour next season.

Slug it out

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Imagine a Britain without vegetable patches, allotments or beautiful flower beds, where gardeners are unable to grow anything outside, knowing any plants will be ravaged by a foreign predator.