Many types of low-growing alpines, including  perennial candytuft (Iberis sempervirens) above, will thrive in challenging growing conditions, which echo their habitats in the wild. Photograph: iStock

Tucked into a matchbox-sized mossy crevice in the base of an old garden wall right next to a busy Dublin city pavement is a fairy world in miniature t(...)

Drifts of bluebells flowering in the woodland gardens of Mount Usher in Co Wicklow. Photograph: Richard Johnston

If this were – deep sigh – a typical spring, then many Irish gardens would already be awash with the flowers and foliage of some of our loveliest wood(...)

George Gerard Mealy: ‘My father will regularly spin more than 100 lots in an hour, and up to 800 lots in a day. I would be lucky to get through the lots at half that pace.’

I’m the third generation to work in the family auctioneering business. Mealy’s Fine Art, based in Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny, holds four main auctions o(...)