I love the magic, the promise and the muddy-fingered industry of planting flower bulbs in autumn. Not only does it feel like an expression of hope,(...)

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(...)

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 ‘(...)

Sculptural foliage of silver leafed Astelia, Schefflera hoi and tree ferns growing in the city garden of designer Bernard Hickie. Photograph: Richard Johnston

Like most people, I don’t have a woodland garden. Which is not to say that I don’t have plenty of shady spots in the garden that are eminently suitabl(...)

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 ((...)

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 (...)

Grow it yourself: a great way to save money. Photograph: Getty Images

Gardening has become rocket science all of a sudden after news this month that astronauts are growing their own vegetables in space, suggesting(...)

You know the drill

Alas, allowing for a few notable exceptions (some oriental leaves, onions, aubergines, for example), it’s still too early to sow seed of most vegetabl(...)

It’s March, which means that it’s seed-sowing time – that annual ritual of faith in which we gardeners invest so much of our hopes, dreams and ambi(...)