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A little slice of England – in Japan

Traditional beehives are a feature of Paul Hervey Brooks’ garden What We Are. Photograph: Jonathan Ward With the garden show season coming to a close in England, it’s still going strong elsewhere in the world: in Japan, the Gardening World Cup is now in its fourth year: each year there’s a theme, and this year it is world peace. Paul Hervey Brooks in his show garden What We Are. Photograph:.. Read More

Olive Delves obituary

Olive Delves retired to the rundown Red Lion estate, Camden, and set about transforming it with plants and shrubs. The gardens have won many awards For 37 years Olive Delves, who has died aged 96, was responsible for all the catering at Kingsway Hall, the headquarters of the West London Mission where Donald Soper (Lord Soper) was superintendent minister for many years. This included daily meals for the elderly as.. Read More

Can science stop invasion of the giant killer slugs?

Experts fear that the Spanish slug, above, could breed with native varieties to form a hybrid combining the worst of the Spanish slug with tolerance to frosts and cold from British species.  Photograph: Steffen Hauser/Alamy The gardens and fields of Britain were saved from a grim invasion this spring. Thanks to the sharp, late frosts of May, millions of giant Spanish slugs – which threatened to devastate plants across the.. Read More

Alys Fowler: noble rot

‘I spend all winter putting the garden to bed.’ Photograph: Alamy A few years back, I went to the last night of the legendary Portland, Oregon nightclub Satyricon, where a band called Big Daddy Meat Straw went a little wild on stage. I found myself talking to a punk who had recently taken up gardening. She said she’d always hated Oregon’s warm, damp autumns because they were a precursor of the even damper.. Read More

Prairie garden – in pictures

Kirsty Grocott decided to emulate plantsman and designer Piet Oudolf when creating a new garden, composed entirely of herbaceous perennials such as the echinacea and perovskia pictured here, and many grasses. This border is typical of the style, featuring the grass Stipa gigantea (top right), Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Blue Spire’ (middle), fennel (top left), sedum (front middle) and foxglove seedheads (middle left). Photograph: Jonathan Buckley for the Guardian

Gardens: prairie garden

‘I wanted to create my own prairie garden, composed entirely of herbaceous perennials and grasses.’ Photograph: Jonathan Buckley When I bought a house with a blank canvas of a garden, I wanted to pay homage to one of my horticultural heroes. Having admired the ethos and designs of plantsman and designer Piet Oudolf, I decided to emulate his style by creating my own prairie garden, composed entirely of herbaceous perennials and grasses. I used to.. Read More

Feathers on canvas

A family of Light Sussex chickens painted by Chris Jones. Being a poultry enthusiast often extends beyond just keeping chickens: for many people who have a flock of birds, the interest can rapidly become an all-consuming addiction. Such enthusiasts span from those with a few birds in the back garden through allotment owners to smallholders and then the farmers beyond; they are all, in some shape or form, chickeneers. This.. Read More

Dry, pickle and freeze: how to preserve your crops

Behind – or within – every good gardener, there’s a great cook (or at least, as in my case, an enthusiastic one). The lure of eating our own produce is what drives us on during the bad times – the sting of spuds blasted by blight is anaesthetised by thoughts of buttery new potatoes; the bitter taste of root-flied carrots is forgotten when pictured against perfect, finger-sized pullings. There is,.. Read More

Letters to a Beekeeper: linking bees, plants and people – video

Gardening columnist Alys Fowler and London roof-top beekeeper Steve Benbow exchanged letters to each other over a year exploring the relationship between insect pollinators, plants and people. They’re crowd-publishing a book with Unbound. Here, from Alys’s verdant garden and Steve’s rooftop hives they explain their project • Letters to a Beekeeper • The London Honey Company Send to a friend Video play settings Share Embed video

Let the fading foliage stand this autumn | Dan Pearson

Dan Pearson: ‘The fennel are standing taller than I am. On warm days the ripening seed has wafted the smell of aniseed through the windows of the house’. Pictured: fennel seedheads. Photograph: Jason Ingram for the Observer The beds at the front of the house are planted with bronze fennel. The south-facing position and a dry summer have suited them perfectly and they are standing taller than I am. From.. Read More