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

Houseplants decoratively displayed are a favourite with Instagrammers

Thank Instagram for giving us endless images of spider plants, air plants and aspidistras dangling elegantly from vintage coat-rac(...)

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


The good news is you don't need a big garden for these evergreen shrubs as camellias will happily grow in pots

Colour groupings make for better borders

Pick compatible plants that will coexist and not compete with one another for light

Ireland’s moist climate is ideal for slugs

How to deal with spring slugs in search of food and prospective mates

Giant tree ferns growing in Kells Bay. Photograph:  Richard Johnston

Billy Alexander plans to create a little piece of Kells Bay for the Chelsea Flower Show

‘Raising plants from seed has a lot to do with dodging some common pitfalls and following a few immutable rules of horticulture.’ File photograph: Getty Images

Crack open the seed packets – and keep timing, temperature and freshness in mind

Early-flowering plants spark joy and mark the turning of the season

Witch-hazels are one of the most beautiful of flowering shrubs at this time of year. Photograph: Richard Johnston

You don’t need a glasshouse or polytunnel – a sunny porch will do

Spinkles of snowdrops flowering in the walled garden of Bellefield House, Co Offaly. Photograph: Richard Johnston

February is peak snowdrop season so it’s a good time to visit galanthophiles’ gardens

There’s no shame calling in the experts to help with some of the really heavy work

Call in an expert for inspiration; visit the best gardens; meet some gardening heroes

Rudbeckia ‘Sahara’, one of the must-have plants to grow from seed this spring. Photograph: Richard Johnston

The all-important business of seed sowing is just around the corner

Cambo gardens Scotland

With little doing in the winter garden, plot a visit to some of the world’s most beautiful gardens  

“Instagram at its very best is a potent mixture of beautiful, original imagery and informative, witty, inspiring text”

Gardeners growing their presence on social media are becoming key influencers

Take advantage of any dry weather over the coming weeks to tidy up around the garden.

Round-up of reads features no less than three octogenarians and one nonagenarian who have made outstanding contributions to hortic(...)

The raw ingredients that Hanna Heubach of Hanako uses in this seasonal piece are the kind that you might find growing in the garden or could forage for in local hedgerows or woodlands.

Flower farmer Hanna Heubach looks to nature to create ‘miniature landscapes’ – and has tips on making a stunning seasonal piece

Colourful cast-concrete handmade planters designed by Dublin-based Ail+El

From seeds to secateurs, some green gift ideas for the keen, and the casual, gardener

Even the loveliest ponds need some tough love every 5-10 years to stay free of encroaching weeds

Leafy foliage plants growing in the shady Dublin space of garden designer Bernard Hickie. Photograph: Richard Johnston

What are the options to gently filter more light into the darkest of gardens?

A carport surrounded by flowers, as seen at Bloom in 2014.

Making room in your garden for a carpark space can be achieved in an eco-friendly way

Sweet-pea is a fast-growing annual climber that is ideal for training against a sunny wall or garden fence. Photograph: Richard Johnston

November is the perfect time to plant this fast-growing, ultra-colourful and deeply scented annual climber

Mature trees and shrubs such as these shown growing in Helen Dillon’s old Dublin garden are an important part of the charm of established gardens. Photo graph: Richard Johnston

Advice for owners who want to renovate their house while protecting a mature garden

City rooftop garden designed by Paul Martin

Good containers, thoughtfully planted can transform these small, windy spaces

‘Long-tailed tits feeding from a bird feeder in an Irish garden. Photograph:  Oran O’Sullivan

Even a small suburban garden can host 25-30 species of birds in winter

Amaryllis: Plant its giant fleshy bulbs into a pot in the next few weeks and you should have its tall, splendid, lily-like blooms in time for Christmas when the plants make an excellent gift. Photograph: Getty

Plant its giant fleshy bulbs now and you should have tall, lily-like blooms for Christmas

Outdoor art should have a place in almost every garden – no matter what its size

A mixed basket of tulips from Angela Jupe’s garden. Photograph: Richard Johnston

Size does matter when it comes to bulbs so rush out and get the best varieties now before they are snapped up

Patthana,  a garden in    Kiltegan Wicklow. Photograph: Richard Johnston

TJ Maher and Simon Kirby’s country garden looks utterly wonderful well into November

Look after your lawn.

Turn those autumn blues into green fingers by saving seeds and tending to the lawn

An array of tender suuculents growing outside in Hunting Brook, the west Wicklow garden owned by Jimi Blake.  Photograph: Richard Johnston

Succulents are everywhere - in quirky containers decorating the windowsills of hip apartments and embellishish everything from jew(...)

Alan Power is head gardener at Stourhead, the centuries-old 2,500 acre historic estate in Wiltshire

Corkman Alan Power on becoming the new head gardener at the famous Stourhead

OPW gardener Brian Quinn and trainee gardener Daniel Sanchez harvesting potatoes in Ashtown walled garden, surrounded by self-seeded pollinator-friendly plants such as borage and viper’s bugloss. Photograph: Richard Johnston

OPW gardeners fine-tune their style to be as pollinator-friendly as possible

A vibrant combination of pink comsos, scarlet roses and purple lythrum growing in Helen Dillon’s old garden in Ranelagh a few years ago. Photograph:   Richard Johnston

Colour creates an atmosphere of tranquillity as easily as one of excitement and energy

The glory of a self seeding garden

Self-seeding plants are a joy – and a surprise – so get ready to embrace the unexpected

Dahlias and cosmos flowering in Fionnuala’s garden. Photograph: Richard Johnston

Just when you fancy using your garden as an outdoor room, it can be looking a little tatty

There are ways to deal with slugs which don’t involve nasty chemicals. Photograph:  Wodicka/ullstein bild via Getty

You’ll have a better chance of controlling slugs and aphids if your soil is clean and good

BBC ‘Gardener’s World’ presenter heads a long list of experts at popular nine-day event

Orlaith Murphy in her Wicklow garden.

Pick flowers and leaves for their taste as well as their good looks

The delicate bell-shaped flowers of the ornamental climber Clematis alpina. Photograph:   Richard Johnston

Grow pint-size gardens upwards by clothing walls and fences with an array of climbing plants

Time to clear out those rusty old tools and invest in these top-notch implements

Japanese knotweed in an Irish bog in Kerry. Photograph: David Morrison/iStock/Getty

Japenese knotweed is already causing huge damage under Irish homes and in gardens

Colourful kale leaves growing in an Irish garden. Photograph:  Richard Johnston

Take action to stop indoor plants drying out, outdoor pots suffering and slugs arriving

An array of colourful Lupins. Photograph: Richard Johnston

These are some of the many flowers that can be grown from seed in early summer

Freshly harvested courgettes sit next to nasturtiums in an Irish garden. Photograph:  Richard Johnston

Plant fast-growing lettuces, beans, peas and tomatoes now to eat in a matter of weeks

Bloom is Ireland’s biggest food and garden show, running from Thursday until Monday. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

From parking to the plants and insider tips, here’s how to make the most of your trip

Wake up and smell the flowers this summer. Photograph: Getty Images/Cultura RF

Get your fill of green, from tiny city gardens to lovely country spreads

Garden enthusiasts at Bloom in 2016. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

We preview the best of this year’s festival, which kicks off in the Phoenix Park on June 1st

Heleniums, one of the starts of the late summer/early autumn garden are a good candidate for the Chelsea Chop. Photograph: Richard Johnston

Clever pruning works wonders with many kinds of herbaceous perennia

Nettles: the soupy mix will  transform itself into a smelly but impressively effective, nutrient-rich, liquid plant feed. Photograph: Richard Johnston

This is the time of year to harvest wild plants and seawood and turn them into plant feed

The meadows at Highgrove House  in Tetbury, England. Photograph:  Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Highgrove, the prince’s wild country garden, is proof he’s a true-blue environmentalist

Garden flowers from  Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest, and Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms, by Erin Benzakein and Julie Chai. Photograph: Michèle M. Waite

Fresh local blooms are a lot more lovely than chilled flowers flown in from afar

A homemade ice bowl using edible flower petals. Photograph: Richard Johnston

Even the smallest spaces can yield salad, peas, peppers and dahlias both pretty and tasty

Species tulips naturalised in grass in Angela Jupe’s Offaly garden. Photograph: Richard Johnston

Beautify your garden with some of the many tulip types and check out garden shows

Start now if you want a soft, thick sward of velvety-green grass this summer.

Even a woebegone, bedraggled lawn can show signs of improvement within weeks

Visitors to Phoenix Park can appreciate the impressive beauty and productivity of the Ashtown Victorian kitchen garden. Photograph: Richard Johnston

New exhibition highlights role Phoenix Park has played in capital’s history

Start with small projects such as growing sunflowers, potatoes and even oranges

A bumblebee feeding on a cosmos flower. Photograph: Richard Johnston

Trees, variety and a little wilderness – seven ways to lure pollinators to your plot

Prospect Cottage at Dungeness, once owned by Derek Jarman.  Photograph: Getty Images

Holiday-home gardening is a horticultural challenge so forget the lawn and think pebbles, driftwood and easy plants instead

Daffodils  are a sign of spring in the garden

So why do so many gardeners avoid the colour in garden planting schemes?

Stephen Butler must create a sense of horticultural realism without poisoning the animals.

Horticulturalist Stephen Butler creates habitats that conjure up far-off lands

Grow your own: Michelle Obama took a spade to the White House’s South Lawn in 2009 to make a kitchen garden

The Obamas followed a long line of US presidents into the garden. Will the Trumps carry on the tradition?

More articles