My mission this week has been to gather up all the seedlings around the terrace that look like they could be albizia (silk tree) and pot them up.

I’ll probably find, in another few months, that I have 27 small wattles thriving in the potting shed, but that’s a risk I’ll have to take. The reason is that three of my friends who have albizias have asked me why they’re dying, throwing me into a total panic in case ...

I have one pair of shoes branded ‘Abelia’, as well as a vintage camisole I bought in the UK 10 years ago, and one Italian dinner plate. There are also thousands of lodges and motels with Abelia in their name, as well as quite a lot of cheap jewellery.

My interest, though, is in the plant – a hedgy-looking thing with red stems and pink flowers that grows like a weed in a subtropical climate, and like something rat...

Back in the summer, my neighbour asked me to water the begonia in her office while she was on holiday. With complete indifference I topped it up every second day and failed to be impressed by its apricot flower. For no particular reason, I’ve never been a begonia fan.

Then about a month ago I walked into her kitchen one day and was gobsmacked. What she’d done lent a whole new meaning to the expression “riot of co...

If you live in a drought-prone area you’re probably not worrying about it being very wet underfoot. More than likely you’re more anxious about falling down the large cracks in the ground caused by having no real rain for months.

But if it’s wet in your neck of the woods, this may be the time of year when you start thinking that the trudge to the clothesline across a soggy patch of lawn is not very appealing, and ...

For the past several weeks – well, since the end of January, actually – there has been a pile of junk proliferating beside our garden shed.

It contained (until I went mad and paid someone the equivalent of a case of quite good Chardonnay to take it away) items as diverse as 17 rotting timber posts and the cast iron frames of two elegant garden chairs which, unless you happen to know a willow weaver who can craft ne...

A few years ago, when I was wedded to stylish outdoor living spaces, I went in mortal dread of anyone giving me a gift for the garden. What would I do, I worried, if someone gave me a hypertufa sculpture of intertwined mermaids with seaweed round their necks? Where would I hide a hand-made corrugated iron guinea pig?

I learned my lesson one day when someone highly recommended a garden to photograph for the garden magaz...