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The Curious Gardener, By Anna Pavord

Fans of Anna Pavord's column in this paper's magazine relish her rare combination of enthusiasm, knowledge and good humour. This delightful posy of her journalism forms A Year in the Garden.

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In January, we learn that a stock called Starlight Sensation is "desperately wholesome... like the young Shirley Temple. Half of me goes 'Aaaah!', the other half goes Arrrgh!'".

In April, she overhears a mystifying view on fritillaries in a stratospherically pricey New York florist: "Edgy. Very edgy." In September, she drifts off during an interview on mazes: "It's all good, spooky stuff, but I glazed over when he got into sacred geometry mode."

Splendid horticultural entertainment – but practical too. Now's the time to get "low-growing crocus and iris" into your window box.