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The food revolution happening beneath your feet


Just 33 metres beneath London’s streets, under Clapham’s cocktail bars and relentless traffic, a subterranean farm is taking root. Using the latest hydroponic systems and LED technology, micro-salads are being grown in a network of forgotten air raid shelter tunnels, the leaves destined for the plates of the capital’s top restaurants. Not convinced about your food being grown underground? The entrepreneurial duo behind Growing Underground believe it’s a sign of things to come -the “agricultural revolution” of the future.

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The Edible Garden Show: handy products for city gardeners

by Drucilla James

What a difference a year makes! Last year it rained for the UK’s only national garden show dedicated to fruit and vegetables, at Stoneleigh Park. This year the event moved to the Alexandra Palace in London and not only did the sun came out, the show also had the seal of royal approval with a visit from Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall.

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Keukenhof Spring Garden Holland: Tulip Mania

by Drucilla James

On arriving at the Keukenhof, all you see at first is a mass of dazzlingly-coloured tulips and crowds of people capturing artistically posed selfies in amongst the blooms or assiduously disregarding the ‘do not walk on the grass’ notices to be photographed by their loved ones. Yet other amateur cameramen, inspired by the sheer exuberance of ‘the most beautiful spring garden in the world’, are composing close-up images of flower interiors and blossom clouds.

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Growing from seed: sowing kit

by Drucilla James

Scoops, sporks, sprakes, swoes and wrotters – gardening has a language all of its own when it comes to describing the tools of the trade. Here are some suggested seed-sowing tools, from dibbers to twine dollies, to make the growing easier this spring.

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Colourful gardens at Grand Designs Live


A survey released this week suggests that the green-fingered Brit is in decline, particularly amongst the young, with a quarter of them content to watch out of the window while their parents go cultivate the garden It is heartening then to see young designers amongst the finalists, selected to bring their garden plans to life at Grand Designs Live this year.

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Chelsea blooms within and without


From Britain in Bloom to Chelsea in Bloom, with the RHS Chelsea Flower Show now only a month away, detailed garden designs are being revealed and preparations are well under way for a thoroughly floricultural experience.

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Hampton Court Palace Flower Show Designs


Gardens to suit every pocket are being planned, from the cost-conscious designs of the ‘Your Garden, Your Budget’ competition to the first show entry by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne, as preparations hot up for this year’s Show which takes place in July.

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Garden of Medicinal Plants opens at Chelsea Physic Garden


What did plants do for us? A new Garden of Medicinal Plants, opened at Chelsea Physic Garden this week, tells us all about the importance of plants as sources of healing,from the garlic used in Ancient Egypt to current research into bananas for the treatment of HIV.

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Bumblebee Good News Stories


Researchers from Plymouth University, monitoring bumblebees foraging in front gardens on a residential street, have found that the most common bumblebees were pretty indiscriminate in their flower selection .

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In Flanders fields the poppies blow


“Imagine thousands upon thousands of bright red poppies growing in every garden and window box – the entire nation covered in poppies,” suggested The Greenhithe Royal British Legion.Now is the time to realise their vision and start planting poppy seeds to flower in summer to mark the centenary of the outbreak of The Great War.

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Chelsea show garden designs revealed


With the Chelsea Flower Show only two months away, garden designers and sponsors are busy outlining their plans for this annual festival.

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Garden features at the Ideal Home Show


The Ideal Home Show, which starts this week and is back in its original home at Earls Court, will have plenty of inspiration for gardeners this year.


The Big Dig- Welcome Back


The Big Dig, which encourages people to get involved in their local community food – growing gardens, will take place after all this year, thanks to the efforts of local coordinators and additional funds being made available to Sustain the event organisers.

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Gardening events this week

by Rose Crompton

Pick up something new to plant in your garden this week at the Garden Museum’s Spring Fair and the new RHS Alpine Garden Show, or discover how to make your garden more wildlife friendly in a course led by Garden Organic experts.

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Spice up your pots with some unusual edibles

by Emma Cooper

“Whatever space you’ve got, it starts with a pot”, the Horticultural Trades Association is telling us this year – and for many gardeners it ends with a pot as well. If you’re a fan of going potty on the patio, weeding on the windowsill or battling bugs on the balcony then here are some more exciting edibles you can grow in containers this year.

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Create a colourful Easter egg tree

by Drucilla James

If you want to steer clear of chocolate this year, why not decorate some eggs instead and create an Easter tree. It can be great fun for all the family.

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The High Line: New York

by Drucilla James

People frequently make reference to the New York High Line and the possibility of replicating it in other cities. But what is the High Line really like? Annik La Farge’s book ‘On the High Line’ is a sumptuously illustrated walk through the park, interwoven with reflections, philosophical, scientific and aesthetic, which illuminate the history, nature and purpose of this unique public space.

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William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain: the Gardens

by Abigail Willis

The inventor of the English Landscape Garden, William Kent, still influences designers today. Tom Stuart-Smith, for example, describes Kent’s garden at Rousham as his ideal-’magical, hauntingly beautiful and deeply intellectual’. The V&A’s William Kent, Designing Georgian Britain exhibition, which opened last week, is a timely reminder of his many talents and marks the latest in a round of cultural events celebrating the 300th anniversary of the Hanoverian accession.

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Hepaticas:hidden treasures


The tiny, exquisite hepatica is seldom seen and yet it must be the ideal plant for the city garden, balcony or container in spring. John Massey Victoria Medal of Honour holder and award-winning specialist from Ashwood Nurseries tells us the secrets of how to make the most of these marvellous, yet little known, treasures.