Gardening

P-0d2118fb-442d-4c48-89ee-532e06933f6d

300 years of a very capable gardener

He is said to be to landscaping what Turner is to painting, and Wordsworth to poetry. And the legacy of Lancelot 'Capability' Brown remains for us all to see in immense parkland and gardens, both at home and abroad.

Doing what comes naturally

P-1e101fe3-8be4-436d-9f23-c779c45ff311

As the trend towards naturalistic gardens continues this year, tidy gardeners with pristine plots may need to chill out a bit if they want to really contribute to the balance of nature.

Gardening trends for the New Year

P-0442da51-c3a3-4306-820b-fb3a5e3a8904

As we plan for new beds, borders, patio plantings and hard landscaping, it's a good time to find out what followers of fashion will be doing to their gardens in the New Year.

Garden experts turn over a new leaf for 2016

P-821baabb-71e5-4aaa-a282-4763f11c9a3b

If your New Year resolution involves spending more time in your garden, whether working in it or enjoying some valuable downtime, you're not alone. These popular garden experts have big plans for 2016...

Top of the festive pots

P-da1c514e-64b6-4c06-a754-ea841ce65a0f

The poinsettia has historically been the time-honoured Christmas favourite - but figures suggest it may be falling out of favour.

Festive books for gardeners

P-fb272230-8718-4288-87bb-7b0333addb5f

As you sit by the fire enjoying your glass of mulled wine and mince pie, now's a good time to start planning your garden for next year - and there are plenty of ideas out there in books.

Festive displays the natural way

a Succulent wreath from The Winter Garden by Emma Hardy (photography by Debbie Patterson) is published by CICO Books, Picture credit should read: PA Photo/CICI Books

As the festive season begins, there's no better time to have a wander in your garden to see what greenery you might be able to use to make your own decorations.

Pick the perfect Christmas tree

P-19280416-2516-49df-98ef-d81bc794cb95

If you're trawling garden centres and nurseries looking for a real Christmas tree, there are certain things you have to bear in mind.

Great gifts for gardeners

P-d4e2915f-f3c9-4b6a-899b-067ce4ee725d

As shops are already adorned with baubles, tinsel, fairy lights and mistletoe in preparation for the Christmas rush, come in from the garden for a few minutes to consider what your gardening friends and family might like under the tree this festive season.

The secrets of pollination

P-eb612c25-4a06-4349-8d58-e3df015bf241

Did you know that some flowers change colour when the flower has been pollinated, letting insects know there are no rewards on offer?

Autumn days out

P-5d004431-ca6f-4711-905c-a7b0847ad4b5

Before we have to batten down the hatches for the predicted Siberian winter we're going to face, take advantage of bright, crisp autumn days when we can really appreciate the burnt oranges, deep reds and warm yellows of the season.

Get your greenhouse winter-ready

P-9edb9f30-19bb-4294-ac59-22516bbf15d7

The first frosts have already arrived in parts of the UK, which is your sign to get tender plants under cover before they succumb to the ravages of winter.

A prickly subject

P-9b15954b-a714-48b1-8bb1-e0a3663b65e3

Hedgehog populations are in trouble. They've declined by 30% in the last 10 years alone and there are now thought to be fewer than a million left in the UK, according to the RHS.

Getting to the core of apple success

P-4a1316b1-f3fa-43a5-b293-9fbf41be3e97

October is the month for apple festivals, when National Trust gardens, nurseries, farms and orchards invite the public to taste and buy hundreds of different home-grown varieties, and get tips from top growers on how to reap the best harvests.

Counting on conifers

P-50828b80-c97a-40ac-bf5b-24f4d8e1489e

Gardeners who love a riot of colour throughout the seasons may dismiss conifers as dull, boring specimens which add little to the glory of the garden.

Size matters with giant veg

P-e5d84591-2c8c-49f0-a5eb-93ad5a7cba72

All over the country, vegetable growers are harvesting giant marrows, pumpkins, carrots and other whoppers to enter into competitions at autumn shows.

Back to basics to boost your plant stock

P-cf2097d4-e568-473a-9969-aba0453933c4

If you noticed some space in your borders this year, or some of your more established plants didn't flower as well as they have done previously, autumn is one of the key seasons to propagate.

Summer bulbs to lift or leave

P-aa07de17-a194-4033-9014-9e4e63cde936

Dahlias may still be blooming, but many other summer bulbs including lilies and gladioli, are now past their peak. So, what can you do to give summer bulbs the best chance of returning in future years?