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

What is it about a lilac in full bloom that so touches the heart? The poet and essayist Walt Whitman called this woody plant’s intensely perfumed flow(...)

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

Is there any group of culinary plants more useful than herbs? I can think of nothing else that has that near-magical ability to transform the most mun(...)

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.

Canny gardeners will know that one of the most important milestones of the Irish growing year is the vernal equinox, which this year fell on March 20t(...)

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

I spotted the first flush of wild primroses flowering in nearby woods a few weeks ago. Speckled along the edges of a steep, damp bank that sits beneat(...)

The golden flower heads of Stipa gigantea

Some people hate late February but not me. It gives us hellebores with flowers the colour of ballet shoes, crushed strawberries, storm-clouds and cuc(...)

Photograph: Moment/Getty

Few things feel more counter-intuitive to a gardener than the annual late winter/early spring ritual that is rose pruning. Because if you want your ro(...)

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

What does it take to make a career as a professional horticulturist? A strong back? Green fingers? A love of nature and of working alone outdoors? A w(...)

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

January- that mournful month of small, grey days and an invalid sun that hangs low and weak in the winter sky - is never an easy time of the year for (...)

Photograph: iStock

Looking for a Christmas gift for the gardener in your life that will inspire, entertain and inform them in equal measure? Covering topics as diverse a(...)

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

I used to think that when it came to the chore of Christmas present shopping, buying a gift for the green-fingered person in your life was as easy-pea(...)

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