Bumble bee feeding from a cosmos flower. Photograph: Richard Johnston

Bad days, we all have them. Something happens, and suddenly you find yourself briefly but uncomfortably at odds with the world. I was having such a(...)

The purple flower spires of the native foxglove, Digitalis purpurea, lighting up the edges of a Wicklow woodland.

Fairy thimbles, fairy gloves, witches’ bells . . . whatever name you might know it by, the lofty purple flower spires of our native foxglove are on(...)

Sligo-based gardener, writer and designer Lorely Forrester, who will be building her first Bloom show garden later this month. Photograph: Fionn Rogers

It’s not easy bringing a show garden to life. Ask those who’ve succeeded, and they’ll confirm that it requires steady nerves, patience and time, al(...)

Meet the Tomtato: You say tomato, I say potato . . . but now meet the “tomtato”. Gardeners have taken to this strange plant in a big way. Its ‘(...)

Fionnuala’s garden last summer, filled with plants grown from seed under cover earlier that year. Photograph: Richard Johnston

‘And now,” cried Max, “let the wild rumpus start!” It’s at this time of the gardening year that I start to feel like that little boy in Maurice Sen(...)

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 ((...)

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(...)

Tunnel vision

If you belong to that growing band of Irish gardeners who are proud owners of a polytunnel, then this is the month when the latter should, by rights, (...)

 Sow seeds of colourful, unusual cut-and-come-again salad leaves this week

l Sow seeds of colourful, unusual cut-and-come-again salad leaves such as the crimson-leaved Amaranthus tricolour, Kale “Red Russian” and the multi(...)

Anthea Howbert of Howbert & Mays garden centre in Monkstown, Co Dublin. Photograph: Richard Johnson

I f ever you’ve happened to pay a visit to Howbert & Mays in Monkstown, Co Dublin, then you’ll already know that as garden centres go, it’s pretty(...)