Photograph: Getty

Frilly flowers, tasty potatoes and onions worth waiting for can all be grown from seed

A wildlife-friendly pond. Photograph: Richard Johnston

Stop using pesticides, allow weeds to grow and go for pro-pollinator planting

Horticultural entertainment and inspiration for gardeners. Photograph: Getty Images

These inspiring shows will take you all over the gardening world

Freshly harvested produce in the walled kitchen garden of Burtown House in Co Carlow. Photograph: Richard Johnston

The kind of gardens we want to create will radically evolve over the coming decade

Wild about Weeds, Garden Design with Rebel Plants by  Jack Wallington

Winter has its icy grip on the garden leaving little for the gardener to do except pick up a good book

Ceramic ‘Girl Power Vase’ by For All Womenkind (€35, )

From “Brexit” seeds to hanging pots – what to give the green fingered person in your life

A litter of fox cubs emerging from their den in Delgany, Wicklow. Photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Some argue that we feed birds, hedgehogs and other wild animals, so why not foxes?

A handful of homemade leafmould. Photograph:  Richard Johnston

One of nature’s great gifts to gardeners is a simple free way to lavish love on your plants

Freshly harvested Irish plums. Photo Credit Richard Johnston

Supermarkets are piled high with fruit imports but it’s not hard to grow your own

Avoid putting out very salty, stodgy or highly processed foods in the feeder.

Set your bird table and feeders at least two metres from ground cover so they can’t be ambushed easily by cats

Pinus mugo ‘Carsten’s Wintergold’ a slow-growing conifer that is a great choice for a winter container. Photograph:  Richard Johnston

A generous pot of trailing and upright evergreens will create a pleasing lushness in the winter garden

The lipstick-pink and orange fruits of the native spindle tree, Euonymus europaeus, in their autumn glory. Photograph: Richard Johnston

These six shrubs and trees feed birds and make tonics and syrups for humans

Some of Ireland’s loveliest gardens put on a fine display of autumn foliage

A selection of ripe seedpods and seed from Fionnuala’s garden in autumn including tagetes, nicandra, lunaria and papaver. Photograph: Richard Johnston

Calendula, tagetes, sweet pea and poppies are just a few of the season’s flavours

Peony in flower. Photograph:  Richard Johnston

Now is the perfect month to plant spring-flowering bulbs including narcissus, crocus, scilla and allium

Garlic ready for planting. Photograph: Richard Johnston

Best of all, growing your own means avoiding supermarket bulbs shipped from China

A snowdrop emerges from its bulb. File photograph: Getty

Product from UK nurseries could be pricier, but there’s potential to grow more here

Jimi Blake in his west Wicklow garden, Hunting Brook. Photograph: Sean Jackson

New book shows all sides of this Irish horticultural genius and his beloved Hunting Brook in west Wicklow

Tulip ‘Absalon’. Photograph: Jacque Amand

Here’s a shortlist of just some of this year’s ‘must-haves’, along with a guide to reliable suppliers

Fig tree: originating in Asia Minor, the culinary fig (Ficus carica) is  one of the earliest species of fruit cultivated by humankind. Photograph:  BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A fig tree will happily grow in a sunny spot, or in a polytunnel or greenhouse

Tanguy de Toulgoët at Dunmore Country School. Photograph: Richard Johnston

Tanguy de Toulgoët’s Co Laois plot is a flower-filled, hugely productive family garden

Dahlias: Dahlias are notorious for the ease with which the tubers of different varieties can accidentally get mixed-up. Photograph: Getty

Important to deadhead, water and liquid feed container-grown flowering plants

Consider drying fruit during abundant harvests

This damp August has created optimum soil conditions for seeds to germinate

The spectacular display of produce at the Totally Terrific Tomato Festival at the National Botanic Gardens, Dublin. Photograph: Jonathan Hession

It takes time and expertise to coax these greedy, sun-loving, thirsty plants to give of their very best

Persicaria ampexicaulis ‘fat Domino’.  Photograph:  Richard Johnston

Add colour and texture to the garden with these hardy perennials

Sweet pea flowering in Fionnuala’s flower farm. No photo is going to let you know what it feels like to breathe in the intoxicating perfume of sweet pea in full bloom on a warm summer day. Photograph:  Richard Johnston

The many different smells of a summer garden have the power to stimulate our senses in mysterious ways

lys Fowler: “Being that tidy-minded is not only an awful lot of hard work, it also comes at an enormous cost to our wellbeing.”

The gardening writer was in Ireland just before the same sex marriage vote

Giverny, France - June 8th, 2017: Claude Monet’s garden at Giverny, in the background the house of Monet can be seen. Photograph: Getty Images

This week in the garden: Irish gardeners share their top places to visit on holidays

Caution: garden eating deers about. Photograph: Alan Betson ,

Deer find certain plants delicious, like camellia and roses, but they don’t like rhurbarb

Few plants can beat the rose for its intensity and richness of scent plus the sensuous beauty of its blooms. Photograph: Richard Johnston

While most roses will like space, a rich, fertile soil and full sun, there are some that will cope well with all kinds of conditio(...)

Birds, frogs, hedgehogs, centipedes and beetles are all predators of slugs. Photograph: DK/Getty

Hoe your way to happier, faster-growing plants and let nature take care of the slugs

Cheiranthus cheiri F1 Hybrid, Sunset Apricot wallflower

Don’t buy from a garden centre in early autumn, propagate from seed sown now

Florists are eschewing outdated ‘toxic’ oasis foam for natural, curly stalks in a vase

Fashionable florists choose simple posies over imported flowers and ‘toxic’ foam

From garden festivals and talks to the hundreds of lovely Irish gardens open to the public, there is plenty to enjoy this month. Photograph: Getty Images

Lots to see and do this month plus garden festivals, workshops and open days to get you going

Bloom: five-year-old Adrianna Fayiah, seven-year-old Eoghan Fox and four-year-old Florence Marlow Ward at the launch of this year’s Phoenix Park garden festival. Photograph: Alan Betson

What’s on, where to buy tickets, where to eat and how to get to the Dublin showground

If a plant looks particularly miserable, it may need to be repotted  or potted on.

Freshly potted plants should be placed away from direct sunlight and high temperatures

Liat and Oliver Schurmann, who are bringing an underwater marine garden, called Aquamarina, to Bloom. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Climate change is a focus for some of Ireland’s top gardeners at Phoenix Park festival

For centuries, lilac has been prized as a cut-flower. Photograph: Richard Johnston

Grow them as a shrub or small tree in a lawn, an informal hedge, or even trained against a high wall where their foliage will act (...)

TJ Maher in his garden Patthana in Co Wicklow, planting summer containers. Photograph: Richard Johnston

Now is the time to start planting pots that will burst into colour in high summer. Artist and gardener TJ Maher shares some of his(...)

Aquilegia flowering in an Irish garden. Photograph: Richard Johnston

These May flowers will bridge the gap between the spring bulb rush and summer

A cluster of pots filled with culinary herbs. Photograph: Richard Johnston

Most culinary herbs can be grown in pots or tubs while plenty will stay compact enough to grow very happily in a window-box

Joyce Russell: lifelong gardening passion began in her childhood in the Yorkshire dales. Photograph: Ben Russell

New book from west Cork gardener Joyce Russell is full of simple, practical advice

Bumble bee feeding on cosmos flower. Photograph: Richard Johnston

Let’s celebrate some of the loveliest flowering plants for the Irish garden

June Blake’s garden near Blessington, West Wicklow, will also be celebrating its “Month of Tulips” throughout April with a spectacular display of these spring-flowering bulbs.

Sow organic seeds, cut less lawn and let the wild things grow in your garden

Well rotted manure makes an excellent organic mulch. Photograph credit: Richard Johnston

Spread lightly at this time of year a good organic mulch helps to protect against the effects of summer drought

Triona Noonan  in her garden in Dun Laoghaire with some of her prized alpine and rock plants Photo Credit Richard Johnston

Alpines and miniature species will happily grow in small pots and stone troughs

Custom-made leather tool belt from the small family-run US firm Wheeler Munroe, whose belts are things of beauty as well as lifesavers for busy multi-tasking gardeners.

Great tools can help you become a great gardener. Here’s some of the best

Close-up of the delicate spring flowering, black cherry plum blossom also known as Prunus cerasifera ‘Nigra’,

A bad case of Prunus plantlust - fed by this year’s early splendid displays of blossoms

The native Irish primrose (Primula vulgaris) flowering in an Irish woodland this spring.  Photograph:  Richard Johnston

Few plants are as charming as this hardy, spring-blooming, native wildflower

The golden flower heads of Stipa gigantea

Fionnuala Fallon: Preparation put in over coming weeks will be repaid tenfold in future months

Photograph: Moment/Getty

Follow the three Ds by using secateurs to remove any dead, diseased or dying wood

The size of the material in your compost heap will  affect the speed at which it breaks down.  Photograph: Getty

Known as ‘gardener’s gold’, kitchen waste and even human hair can be transformed in to a rich mulch in a matter of weeks

Many Irish gardens are filled with one of the best and earliest-ever displays of snowdrops. Photograph: Moment/Getty

Altamont, in Co Carlow, has one of greatest displays of any Irish garden open this month

Sheltered beneath that all-important protective skin of glass or polythene sheeting, plants enjoy a modified microclimate that facilitates growth.

Cheaper than a greenhouse and easier to put up, a polytunnel takes your gardening to a new level

Niamh O’Donohoe, the young National Botanic Gardens-trained horticulturist

You need barrow-loads of intelligence and creativity, a strong back and green fingers

Artfully pruned: the branches of the deciduous conifer Larix decidua frame herbaceous planting in June Blake’s garden in west Co Wicklow. Photograph: Richard Johnston

But look beyond the triffid-like leylandii, for plants that work with other fashionable foliage

Now is the  time to rifle through the pages of the new crop of seed catalogues. Photograph: Richard Johnston

Not much happens in the January garden but it's a good time to find summer inspiration in seed catalogues

We can all do our bit in the garden to protect plants and wildlife. Photograph: Getty Images

We need to start future-proofing our gardens to cope with meteorological extremes

Photograph: iStock

This year’s fine crop tackles everything from wartime gardens to a guide to propagation

Christmas wreath: everything to make it comes from the wild or from the garden. Photograph: Richard Johnston

Keep it natural with local, simple and seasonal willow, twigs and berried branches

David Austin rose ‘Strawberry Hill’ from Mr Middleton – €22

Trees to plant, gloves to wear, cards to write trowels to dig, seeds to sow and a pad to rest

House plants decoratively displayed are a favourite with Instagrammers

Thank Instagram for endless shots of spider plants dangling from macrame pot-hangers

A Japanese acer in brilliant autumn colour in Heen Dillon’s old garden. Photograph:  Richard Johnston

November marks the start of bare-root season making it a good time to plant a deciduous tree

The Mottisfont glasshouse, one of the Alitex National Trust range

Plants can grow with lush abandon all winter long in a good greenhouse

Freshly harvested Irish plums. Photo:  Richard Johnston

Who has the space to grow apples, plums, pears, medlars or quinces? Anyone with a pocket-sized patch, that’s who

Seamus O’Brien, head gardener at National Botanic Gardens at Kilmacurragh – and now author

Some of loveliest plant species in Irish gardens hail from the tiny Indian state of Sikkim

Paperwhites: their tall, deeply perfumed, multi-headed ghostly white flowers can fill a room with their scent. Photograph:   Mr Middleton

With a little forward planning, you can have a beautiful addition to the Christmas table or a lovely gift for the flower-lover in (...)

Delicate flowers: no summer garden is complete with sweet pea’s ruffled, ephemeral beauty. Photograph: Richard Johnston

Sow by the end of November for bigger, stronger, longer-flowering plants

Freshly harvested courgettes sit next to nasturtiums in an Irish garden. Photo credit Richard Johnsto

Prepare beds, mulch, think about planting fruit trees and hardy crops – and save seeds

The violet, drumstiock flowers of Allium ‘Globemaster’ , an early summer flowering bulbous plant.  Photograph:  Richard Johnston

Fionnuala Fallon: Autumn is here, but think of spring and plant as many bulbs as you can

Wild-flower meadow. Photograph: Moment/Getty

You don’t need huge space to grow a meadow garden – and now is the time to sow it

Nigella seed heads drying in a glasshouse. Photograph: Richard Johnston

Fionnuala Fallon: Watching a plant spring to life from a seedling or cutting is utterly magical

An armful of freshly picked summer flowering hardy annuals. Photograph: Richard Johnston

Fionnuala Fallon: Hardy annuals will happily endure an average cold Irish winter

Green manure is a plant crop designed to be grown and dug back into the soil to improve its structure

St Brigid’s Hospice on the Curragh in County Kildare Photo Credit Richard Johnston

How I wish every hospice and hospital garden could be like the one at St Brigid’s Hospice

Watering cans at the ready. There are many rain barrels/water butts, which can be easily sourced from good garden centres and local authorities.  Photo Credit Richard Johnston

No amount of watering is going to be as good for plants as sweet, clean, cool Irish rain

Tomatoes ripening in an Irish glasshouse in late summer. Photograph:  Richard Johnston

It's a busy month in the gardening year. Time to tidy the summer pots and start planting for winter greens

A Peacock butterfly feeding on the nectar-rich flowers of oregano growing in Ashtown Walled Garden in the Phoenix Park. Photograph: Richard Johnston

Late-summer flowers like marigolds, lavender, phlox and daisies are all a valuable source of food for butterflies

The Dublin garden of Olive and Alan Fitzpatrick. Photograph:  Richard Johnston

No herbicides, fungicides or pesticides are used, not even organically-approved kinds

Many novice gardeners overlook hugely ornamental, floriferous species in favour of prettier-looking pot-grown specimens. Photograph: Getty Images

They might not look much in the garden centre but clematis and climbing roses will flower for you all summer long

View along the double herbaceous border at Altamont’s walled garden in Co Carlow, which is managed by nurseryman Robert Miller. Photograph: Richard Johnston

The walled garden and nursery at Altamont in Co Carlow is horticultural heaven

Freshly picked ruby chard. Photograph: Richard Johnston

Even with the hosepipe ban, you can coax a decent harvest over the coming months

27/06/2018- Home and Design .. One of the country’s best known gardeners Helen Dillon pictured in the garden of her new home in Monkstown, Co.Dublin . Photograph: Bryan O'Brien / The Irish TimesKeywords: garden flower plant planting property

After 45 years in her Ranalegh show garden, the celebrated TV gardener started from scratch at nearly 80, in a walled garden that'(...)

It’s tempting to water everything in sight, but you need to prioritise. Photograph: Getty

Don’t cut that parched lawn and resist the urge to sprinkle every plant in sight

If you’re something of a serial killer when it comes to window box plants, then you’re probably not watering them enough

Astrantia ‘Gill Richardson’. Photograph:  Richard Johnston

Some hard-working flowers and shrubs will last all the way to September

Photograph: Richard Johnston

You could join people of of all ages, creeds and backgrounds who have come together to create beautiful, tranquil, biodiverse gard(...)

Time to get the garden ready for summer. Getty

Follow these steps then sit back and relax with a good (gardening) book

Something for every garden enthusiast at Bloom in the Phoenix Park, Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Pick of the prize winning gardens and don't forget to try gins laced with botanicals in a new distillery zone

Wisteria: make sure to buy a well-grafted plant rather than one raised from a cutting, seed or layering. Photograph: Getty

Wisteria is in magnificent bloom in many Irish gardens and now is the time to buy it in garden centres

So you want all the plants? Photograph: Getty

The pots to choose, the best way to fill them, and those neglected plants? Don’t be soft-hearted; choose those in peak health

A small informal herb garden

Your herbs will be fresh and flavoursome, organically grown and chemical-free

Annual pictorial meadows like this one at Airfield Gardens in Dundrum show how colour can be used in imaginative and enlivening ways in the garden. Photograph: Richard Johnston

You don’t need a field or a very large garden – a great big container will do

A velvety lawn in the gardens of Glenarm Castle,  Co Antrim. Photograph:  Richard Johnston

Storms, snow, rain - it’s been a tough winter for grass. Here’s how to repair the damage

Arrangement of early vegetables.

Give yourself a break this spring and opt for perennial veg that will keep giving for years

Drifts of bluebells flowering in the woodland gardens of Mount Usher in Co Wicklow. Photograph: Richard Johnston

To see woodland plants at their best, visit some of Ireland’s loveliest woodland gardens

Flowers from the garden: calendula, tagetes, alchemilla, sanguisorba and dahlias. Photograph: Richard Johnston

Gardeners hate to pick their blooms; a designated flower garden is often the answer

Plant sweet pea in April and you’ll be picking their intensely perfumed, pretty flowers by early summer. Photograph: Richard Johnston

Spring is on the way and the ground is warming up. It’s time to start planting

As long as the ground isn’t frozen or waterlogged, March is a good time to plant lily bulbs. Photograph: Richard Johnston

No other group of plants has the same ability to add movement, life and texture to a garden

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