Continue to enjoy an impressive variety of freshly harvested homegrown food throughout the year. Photograph: Richard Johnston

From golden Cape gooseberries to sooty skinned figs, the garden keeps on giving during autumn and winter

The strangely medieval-looking medlar, which can be used to make fragrant medlar jelly to serve as an accompaniment to game, pork or lamb

Plant a medlar tree between now and March and in time you could be harvesting fragrant fruits to make jellies and liqueurs

Tasty bounty: an array of homegrown fruit,vegetables and edible flowers grown in an Irish kitchen garden. Photographs: Richard Johnston

Lazy gardening is a great way to clear that weed patch and get it ready for spring growth

Lichens growing on a stone statue in the historic gardens of Mount Stewart, Co Down. Photograph: Richard Johnston
Loving lichen

An appreciation of the silver, moss-like growth that adorns our garden walls, pots, ornaments and plants

Zwena McCullough (on left), the award-winning allotment provider and the owner of the Hydro Farm Allotment site in Blarney, Co Cork, with plot holder Peggy Murray. Photograph: Richard Johnston

The new water charges threaten community and school gardens

 Landscape architect Eoghan Riordan Fernandez greens up Crampton Court. Photograph: Richard Johnston

A ‘living wall’ in Temple Bar has plants growing out of tiny pockets

Rider Jamie O’Brien with therapeutic riding coaches Arina Jozwik and Rachel Ardagh as they follow Festina Lente’s new therapy trail past a border designed by Oliver Schurmann. Photograph: Richard Johnston

At Bray’s Festina Lente, the fun of horseback riding is enhanced by the sheer joy of flowers

 The colourful winter stems of Cornus sericea ‘Flaviramea’, C. sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ and C. alba ‘Sibirica’ surrounding the silver-white trunks of Himalayan birches together make a spectacular display. Photograph: Richard Johnston
Shrub it and see

Shrubs might not be the glamour-pusses of the garden but they’re stout undergarments

Peerless Pears

Grow pears for your heirs, the saying goes. Fionnula Fallon heeds some advice on speeding up the process

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