A yen for Zen

The Zen ‘dry’ garden at Ryoan-ji temple, with cherry trees in blossom
©Alex Ramsay

A new book on Japanese gardens provides insights into the celebrated ‘dry landscape’ at Ryoan-ji temple in Kyoto

Snowdrops and crocuses
©Mark Bolton/Getty

Moss boss

Most of the problems are due to months of rain and can be eliminated now as a once-only intrusion

An inner­city garden in Birmingham, from the Bournville Village Trust’s ‘When We Build Again’, 1941

Class gardens

‘It is a frightful myth that the love of beauty is only to be found in leisured, educated people’

Yellowstone, Purple Haze and Rainbow Mix carrots

Veg with an edge

‘I doubt if any of these vegetables will be on sale in supermarkets. To enjoy them, you will have to grow them’

'Scholars meeting in a garden'
©The Art Archive/Alamy

Garden state

Contemporaries blamed Huizong’s controversial giant rockery for their state’s ruin

Magnolia Manchu Fan
©J S Sira/Gap Gardens

Wall-to-wall colour

‘I am not going to install stumpery, statuary or animal sculptures. I want a green oasis which has high points’

In your mildest dreams

‘The best viburnums have been in flower for four months and mahonias are enjoying a jubilee year’

Germaine Greer on her estate at Cave Creek, Queensland

Germaine Greer: queen of the jungle

The academic and writer’s latest love affair is with a patch of Australian rainforest where she has set up an eco project

‘The Beautiful Fruit Gatherer’ (c1790), artist unknown
©Garden Museum

Style tips from the FT’s budding fashion guru

A new show at London’s Garden Museum examines the fascinating links between clothing trends and gardening


The best time to go and smell the roses elsewhere

Hermit required, please apply

Sow far, sow good

What seeds to buy online now to ensure a colourful summer showing

China, where football kicked off?

A recent V&A exhibition of centuries-old scrolls offers some surprising insights into China’s garden heritage

A year to spring surprises

If gardening was predictable, it would lose one of its charms, but in 2013 we never knew what was coming next

Badgers with a game plan

UK ministers claim the stripy population has ‘moved the goalposts’. The truth is far more disconcerting

Sun King’s hidden courtiers

I was in a fabled Garden of the Hesperides, the fruit grove at the western edge of the mythical world

The genius of grandeur

To mark the 400th birthday of France’s genius of grandeur, Versailles is hosting an exhibition in his honour

Bloomsbury blooms

Two new books independently discuss whether the gardens of the renowned sisters reflected their personalities

A labour of lava

English gardener Rachel Lamb is the complement to Marchese Giuseppe’s thoughtful vision at Villa San Giuliano

Fruit of artists’ labours

The 350-year-old watercolours may have been used by travelling nurserymen to help pitch for sales


Robin Lane Fox Robin Lane Fox writes a gardening column for the FT Weekend supplement.

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