Edible rose petals and lemon verbena leaves crystallised by Ballymaloe House’s head pastry chef JR Ryall. PHotograph: Richard Johnston

I’ve spent the summer eating flowers. Sweet William, aquilegia, cornflowers, elderflowers, scarlet broad bean and runner bean blooms, peppery nastu(...)

The ‘smarties bed’ in June Blake’s Co Wicklow garden last year, filled with ‘Burgundy’, ‘Ballerina’, ‘Negrita’, ‘Aladdin’ and ‘Bastagne Parrot’ tulips. Photograph: Richard Johnston

There are moments, such as in the middle of an ice-cold, stone-hard winter, when it feels as if time has slowed to a frozen standstill in the garde(...)

Omphalodes ‘Starry Eyes’. Photograph: Paddy Tobin

What is your favourite Irish plant? And no, you’re not allowed to say shamrock … Instead, I’m thinking of the thousands of wonderful garden plants (...)

Tulips growing in dustbins

It’s the flower that was introduced into Europe by the charismatic Flemish diplomat Augier Ghislain de Busbecq, the flower that supposedly almost b(...)

A bench by John Bielenberg based on a painting by Neil Shawcross. Photograph: Richard Johnston
Seat success

What a wonderful summer it’s been for sitting outdoors, savouring the almost forgotten feeling of warm sunlight on our faces. But the next time you se(...)