Hone your creative skills by planting a living willow structure such as a dome, arch or arbour. Photograph: iStock

1. Make some leaf mould As autumn leaves come tumbling down, now is the time to put that natural beauty to good use in your garden or allotment. Leaf(...)

Ripe apples ready for harvesting.   Photograph: iStock

If you’ve ever eaten a ripe plum straight from its parent tree or plucked it from the grassy ground beneath its branches, then you’ll know that it’s a(...)

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(...)

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

When is the best time to plant a tree? So goes the proverbial question, to which the killer punchline of a proverbial answer – “Twenty years ago . . (...)

Planting at this time of the year also minimises the time-consuming demands of labour-intensive chores such as watering. Photograph: In Pictures Ltd/Corbis via Getty Images

If you’re tinkering with the idea of creating your very own native hedgerow, then between October to late March is the best time to do so, while woody(...)