Witch-hazels are one of the most beautiful of flowering shrubs at this time of year. Photograph: Richard Johnston

If you love to grow even a little of your own food, then tomatoes – or ‘love apples’ as they’re sometimes known – are almost certainly one of your all(...)

Madeline McKeever: ‘It seems to me that those who use chemicals should be regulated, not the people who don’t’

Plant scientist Madeline McKeever sends organic vegetable seeds all over the world from her remote farm on the Turk Head peninsula in west Cork. What(...)

Looking forward to tomorrow’s Christmas turkey and figgy pudding? Can’t wait to finally hear some sleigh-bells in the snow, rather than the steady dr(...)

Fitzgerald Nursery staff harvesting a crop of sweet potatoes grown under cover in Co Kilkenny. Photograph: Pat Fitzgerald/Fitzgerald Nurseries

In the same way that I have a soft spot for eccentrics and oddballs of the human kind, so I’ve always been intrigued by the horticulturally strange(...)

One of the Brown Envelope Seeds polytunnels filled with the ripening seedheads of salad and vegetable crops. Photograph: Richard Johnston

Ask Meath-born Madeline McKeever, botanist and founder of the award-winning organic seed business Brown Envelope Seeds, what she loves most about l(...)

Clarke’s Soaps, handmade in Dublin

I could start off this week’s column with a Grinch-like list of gifts that the nation’s gardeners are hoping not to find under the tree this year ((...)