Peony in flower. Photograph:  Richard Johnston

In the turning of an Irish gardening year, I always think of October as the gateway month, its weeks filled with the bittersweet beauty of autumnal de(...)

Garlic ready for planting. Photograph: Richard Johnston

Autumn is an excellent time to plant edible bulbous plants in the kitchen garden or allotment for harvesting next year. The shining example is garlic (...)

Fig tree: originating in Asia Minor, the culinary fig (Ficus carica) is  one of the earliest species of fruit cultivated by humankind. Photograph:  BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Ever since childhood I’ve had something of a mild obsession with ripe, garden-grown figs, a fruit that seemed more the stuff of Victorian gardening bo(...)

Tanguy de Toulgoët at Dunmore Country School. Photograph: Richard Johnston

At a time when there is much talk of rewilding our gardens as a natural means of counteracting climate change, it’s cheering to know there are people (...)

Few plants can beat the rose for its intensity and richness of scent plus the sensuous beauty of its blooms. Photograph: Richard Johnston

Is a summer garden truly a summer garden without roses? Many would say it’s not. Certainly, few plants can beat the rose for its intensity and richnes(...)