Through the looking glass
A Mirror is the best new play so far this year and raises the question of whether reality must be portrayed literally or through the filter of imagination
A blessing in disguise
With its messy, lopsided leaves and tiny yellow flowers, wood avens would never win a beauty contest, but this unprepossessing plant has a rich spiritual history and even some surprisingly snuggly qualities
Kew's Herbarium should stay put
TO describe the Herbarium at Kew Gardens as its beating heart could be seen as ironic—all the plant specimens it contains are as dead as the dodo—but its importance to science and the future of the world’s botanical riches cannot be underestimated.
Set in stone
This former working farm in the Cotswolds with its scattering of ancient buildings has been transformed into a series of beautiful gardens surrounding the main house
Taking stock in the Cotswolds
A sense of normality has crept back into this once frenetic market, but some noteworthy sales are still being achieved
Follow your (white) hart
Whether a harbinger of death, a religious symbol or an inspiration for artists and poets, the white deer has long loomed large in our imagination, as Deborah Nicholls-Lee discovers
All in the family
Exquisite craftsmanship and attention to details are the bywords at jeweller G. Collins & Sons, where the second generation is now at the helm
Lark Rise ascending
Flora Thompson’s evocative trilogy captures the ‘threadbare idyll’ of a countryside on the cusp of dramatic change, says Matthew Dennison, as he looks back on a world of rustic wonder, 80 years after the third book was written
Why my heart belongs to the Cotswolds
Arguably our most-loved Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and long at the top of tourists’ must-visit lists, the allure of the Cotswolds is as strong as ever. Paula Lester meets seven people who are lucky enough to call it home
Making history live
In the second of two articles, John Goodall looks at the stylish reinvention of this grand Regency house, home to the Berkeley family for more than four centuries
A fawn too far?
A young roe deer has a close encounter and an Indian summer saves the barley
The end of capercaillie?
CAPERCAILLIE numbers in Scotland have almost halved in the past 10 years and the bird is heading towards extinction in the UK, according to a new report by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT).
Five decades of rare progress
THE great and the good of the rare native-breeds world descended on the House of Lord’s last week to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.
Royal help for rural people
SOME £250,000 has been made available by the Royal Countryside Fund (RCF) for rural community organisations, it has been announced. The grants, which can be up to £25,000, are part of the RCF’s Supporting Rural Communities programme and the organisation is ‘keen to hear from people whose community projects are responding to specific needs in their village or town’.
How to make friends and entertain people
These glorious gardens are the perfect places to enjoy the last of the summer sun
Go with the flow
Scotland's natural capital is proving a boost to its prime property market
Not all heroes wear capes, some are more likely to put on the wrong trousers and ask their dog if he wants 'more cheese'. Harry Pearson meets Wallace and Gromit, two of our best-loved Plasticine characters
Who are you calling prickly?
Hedgehogs live on the fringes of our world, adored, yet often unwittingly harmed. Spurred by her own encounter with Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, Sarah Sands explores what they tell us about our relationship with Nature and life
An architectural accident
In the first of two articles, John Goodall tells the story of how a stable was replaced by a splendid Regency seat
Fifty shades of green
Plants have developed surprising ways of spreading their seed, says John Wright, as he explores the unusual and risqué manner in which some species reproduce
Roll out the green carpet
Dusty periwinkles may have given groundcover a bad name, but, as John Hoyland points out, large plantings of a single species can be both practical and key to a garden's design. The trick is to choose the right plants
Tea with Miss Jekyll
GRAHAM STUART THOMAS perhaps the greatest gardener ever was for many years gardens adviser to the National Trust. It was not his only career, because he started his working life as a nurseryman and ended it as the author of many of our most influential books about plants and gardens. But his work for the Trust established the principles by which some 120 gardens were planted, managed and enjoyed. He would have been thrilled to learn that the Trust recently acquired Munstead Wood.
A Scottish fairy tale
The garden of Aldourie Castle, Loch Ness The home of Mr and Mrs Anders Povlsen The team of owners, designer and gardeners has waved a magic wand over this 500-acre estate, writes George Plumptre, rejuvenating the parkland and arboretum and brilliantly enhancing the castle's heritage with boldly contemporary schemes
Back to the wall
Solitary daily pacing of Hadrian's Wall, in the footsteps of Roman soldiers, brings back family memories
For the love of a lady
An image of Mr Sponge’s sporting bride, a Danish landscape and sun-kissed Pyramids are stars of a summer sale of paintings at Christie’s
There's snow place like Crans-Montana
The Swiss ski resort is finally ready to step out of the shadows of its glitzier cousins
A clean passport of health
The world of men's wellness is booming, but can be a scary place for the uninitiated. The best solution is a holiday health spa, preferably in the sun
Green around the grilles
Deadly nightshade, hemlock and giant viper's bugloss festoon the Chelsea Physic Garden on its 350th anniversary. Russell Higham explores this lush London oasis and its history of growing lethal and healing plants
Originally laid out in the 1630s, this latest iteration of the garden, says Charles Quest-Ritson, has found a perfect balance between planting and design
Those magnificent birds we never notice
That scrap of brown flying by may be a house sparrow, a dunnock or a skylark, birds so nondescript that they are lumped together in a single category. However, there's more to 'little brown jobs' than meets the eye