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(...)

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(...)

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

Rework those summer pots: This month is an excellent time to give any tired-looking, drought-stricken summer containers a new lease of life so that th(...)

Freshly picked ruby chard. Photograph: Richard Johnston

As gardeners, it’s fair to say that we’re rarely happy with the Irish weather. “Too cold” was our gripe only a few short months ago, after which it wa(...)

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

What a month of blisteringly cold blizzards, icy gales and floods it’s been, with the result the soil in many Irish gardens is cold and wet, plants ha(...)

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