Claire Ryan (right) and Patsy Wrafter of the Informal Florist. Photographs:  Richard Johnston

Get to a certain age in life, and even the best-loved Christmas traditions can sometimes begin to feel a little stale. Which is how – while searchi(...)

Clarke’s Soaps, handmade in Dublin

I could start off this week’s column with a Grinch-like list of gifts that the nation’s gardeners are hoping not to find under the tree this year ((...)

Flanagan’s Fields in Rialto, a community garden using 21st century methods to grow food. Photographs: Richard Johnston 3:28

Some people become gardeners, while others are born green-fingered. A shining example of the latter is Dublin-born Michael Flanagan (1833-1931), th(...)

These baby plants may be of Lilliputian proportions, but they are wonderfully decorative and intensely flavoursome. Photograph: Richard Johnston

Sometimes it’s the little things in life that make all the difference. Take micro leaves (or micro greens or microveg, as they are also known), tho(...)

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

It may be mid-November, but Dublin-based gardener Nicky Kyle’s produce-filled polytunnel is remarkable proof that with a bit of forward planning, i(...)

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

I don’t grow medlars (Mespilus germanica), but last week’s sight of Airfield Gardens’ gnarly old tree, its twisting branches heavily laden with these (...)

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

Despite the muck and melancholic skies, there is a part of me that loves autumn. And why not? That sense of urgency that consumes most gardeners durin(...)

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

Here’s a little quiz for you . . . Which widespread organism is found on almost every garden surface (soil, trees, some evergreen leaves, walls, ro(...)

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

If I had to single out one of the very best things to emerge from the economic wreckage of the late noughties, it would be that, as a nation, we redis(...)

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

Even for those who live in the very heart of our capital city, the odds are that you won’t know of Crampton Court, the medieval laneway that runs betw(...)