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

Like many gardeners of a certain vintage, I’m possessed of a lifelong aversion to conifers (or at least most conifers) that has been difficult to shak(...)

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

Remember the promise you made to yourself some time last summer when you realised with a sharp pang of regret that your garden wasn’t looking as well (...)