Gardening

The gardener-soldiers of the First World War

28 June 2014 9:00 am

First, a confession. Even an ardent radio addict can enjoy a fortnight away from the airwaves, disconnected, switched off, unlistening.…

My application to be chairman of the BBC

17 May 2014 9:00 am

To: Karen Moran, HR Director, BBC Dear Ms Moran, I have decided to give up on the gardening this year,…

Jacqueline Wilson: 'The first book that made me cry'

12 April 2014 9:00 am

Rumer Godden’s An Episode of Sparrows, first published in 1955, focuses on the roaming children — the ‘sparrows’ — of a shabby street in bomb-torn London. When ten-year-old Lovejoy Mason finds a packet of cornflower seeds and decides to create an ‘Italian’ garden hidden in a rubble-strewn churchyard, the consequences are life-changing for all who become involved. Below is the foreword to a recent reissue of the novel (Virago Modern Classics, £7.99, Spectator Bookshop, £7.49).

The elegant stems of the hornbeam allow for views down into the five garden compartments on the south side of the long water garden at Temple Guiting by Jinny Blom. (From The New English Garden by Tim Richardson)

The most important gardening book of the year

16 November 2013 9:00 am

I’ll own up at once. Tim Richardson and Andrew Lawson, the author and photographer of The New English Garden (Frances…

Dear Mary: The rules of wearing a dressing gown

14 September 2013 9:00 am

Q. What to do when you are an unwilling eavesdropper in a train carriage in which people you know assume…

Dear Mary: What must I do to reclaim the best poolside chair?

27 July 2013 9:00 am

Q. I know this seems petty but last year, on our villa holiday, my brother-in-law always took the best chair…