The new dahlia garden in Aras an Uachtarain, which contains several Irish-bed cultivars include Dahlia ‘John Markham’. Photograph: Richard Johnston

What does it feel like to have a plant named after you? Someone who knew the answer to that question was the late John Markham, the greatly respect(...)

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(...)

These gardens bring nothing but good to a community, enriching many lives in many different ways.

While it’s difficult to put an exact figure on how many community gardens there are in Ireland – 200? 250? – it’s fair to say the majority have bee(...)

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(...)

The edible flowers of pot marigolds. Photograph: Richard Johnston

The very best gardens are those that feed the mind, body and soul. An example is the pint-sized kitchen roof garden which I spotted on a recent tri(...)

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 ‘(...)

Fitzgerald Nursery staff harvesting a crop of sweet potatoes grown under cover in Co Kilkenny. Photograph: Pat Fitzgerald/Fitzgerald Nurseries

In the same way that I have a soft spot for eccentrics and oddballs of the human kind, so I’ve always been intrigued by the horticulturally strange(...)

Cosmos ‘Double Click Cranberries’

If the summer garden is like a glass of Champagne, then flowering annuals are its fizz, its sparkle, its fun. Used with flair and imagination, they(...)

Sam Smyth of Urban Plant Life surrounded by the Kentia palm (Howea forsteriana), one of his favourite indoor plants. Photographs: Richard Johnston

It’s not easy being a house plant. Too often, it’s expected to have the endurance skills of a French Foreign legionnaire along with a supernatural (...)

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(...)