The behaviour of raccoons is not that different from that of Ireland’s native pine martens. Illustration: Michael Viney

Last summer, moved by some inscrutable ambition, a raccoon set out to climb the facade of a 25-storey office tower in Minnesota, clawhold by clawhold.(...)

A Peacock butterfly feeding on the nectar-rich flowers of oregano growing in Ashtown Walled Garden in the Phoenix Park. Photograph: Richard Johnston

The recent drought may not have been kind to many Irish gardens, but oh what a wonderful summer it’s been for seeing butterflies on the wing. In recen(...)

OPW gardener Brian Quinn and trainee gardener Daniel Sanchez harvesting potatoes in Ashtown walled garden, surrounded by self-seeded pollinator-friendly plants such as borage and viper’s bugloss. Photograph: Richard Johnston

It’s always fascinating to note the events in our lives that help to shape and define us as gardeners. In the case of Brian Quinn, the horticulturist (...)

A bumblebee feeding on a cosmos flower. Photograph: Richard Johnston

With a horde of scientific studies confirming the fact that populations of wild bees, butterflies and other insects are in dramatic decline, many gard(...)