The garden king of Kabul

How the restoration of a warrior emperor’s 16th-century garden is helping to secure Afghanistan’s heritage

Arne Maynard’s Allt-y-bela home with espaliered malus trees
©WM Collinson

How to create French-style espaliers

Trained tree branches are a striking way to dress a historic building — and planning and upkeep are part of the enjoyment

Tagetes Paprika
©Tim Gainey/Alamy

Heirloom seeds: why older is not wiser

If ‘vintage’ and ‘heritage’ are so wonderful, why do breeders work hard to produce newer and better flower varieties?

Alexander von Humboldt: nature as a whole

The life and work of the 18th-century German aristocrat, who was an ecologist before the term ‘ecology’ was invented

Magnolia soulangeana
©Westend61/Getty Images

2015’s flowers of endurance

A turf professional told me that a springtime sowing would fail and that I was horticulturally unsound

Review of 2015 — from the badgers

Debating was fierce at their annual Christmas conference which exposed strong feelings on Europe (and hedgehogs)

Kew’s Palm House illuminated for Christmas
©Ben Stansall/Getty Images

Winter posers indoors and out

Hardy plants for unseasonal mild weather and indoor plants for seasonal cheer — plus December at Kew

Stavordale Priory, Somerset
©Jason Ingram

The best gardening books of 2015

The year’s standout horticultural books offered lessons from some of Britain’s finest gardens and most accomplished gardeners

View of the Dutch plantation Cornelis Friendship in Suriname
©akg-images/Quint & Lox

How Suriname became a vision of hell

The 17th-century destruction of an idyllic wonderland by the English shatters their image as guardians of the landscape

Why the cotoneaster is a berried treasure

There are several varieties of this underrated high-class oriental that are worth another look

‘Guerrilla’ gardening at Tate Modern

An exhibition at the art gallery invites visitors to throw seeds or bulbs into giant planters filled with soil — and wait for the results

Warm welcome to UK’s mild autumns

Mid-October is no longer the signal to rush out to protect half-hardy plants, with flowers now lasting much longer into the year

Why trees don’t need passports

The family seat at Tullynally in Westmeath is for gardeners who love beauty, not arboreal ethnicity

It aster be the best

Asters have been on top form in England this autumn, though the most tempting varieties are still the most risky to grow

Frida Kahlo: a fertile imagination

An exhibition in New York reimagines the Mexican artist’s garden and examines the hidden meanings behind her use of plant imagery

Italy’s Ninfa moves to its own rhythm

A visit to the famous garden uncovers ancient Roman myths about floating green islands moved by the stamping of feet

A box of delights: Italy’s Castle Ruspoli

The castle near Rome has a rich history — Handel, Bardot and ‘La Dolce Vita’ — but ultimately an air of unknowable mystery

The fruits of blood-soaked soil

Two hundred years after the Battle of Waterloo, the Belgian orchard that served as a pivotal site in the struggle is being replanted

The best bulbs for boxes and borders

Pick of the finest irises, crocuses, tulips and other spring flowers — and how to plant them to achieve a sustained burst of colour

A dalliance with dahlias

Chenies Manor in Buckinghamshire is home to flower-filled gardens and tales of 16th-century intrigue

ABOUT ROBIN

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

To receive an email alert for Robin Lane Fox , sign up at the top of any his columns.

SHARE THIS QUOTE