Anna Pavord

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Anna Pavord's A to Z of pests and problems: N is for neighbours, nettles and nutrient deficiency

Our green-fingered correspondent Anna Pavord continues her A-Z of horticultural pests and problems standing between you and your perfect garden

Gin blossoms: If you want to create a beautiful, flower-filled hanging basket, ask a publican

By way of consumer research, I asked a hard-drinking friend of mine if he knew of any pubs in his area with good flowers. "Flowers?" he said incredulously. "Flowers?" he repeated, his voice rising with disdain. "I don't go to pubs for bloody flowers".

Into the long grass: Alive with insects and bursting with colour - a meadow in flower is a spectacular sight

I've just come back in from fighting hogweed in Foxpatch. The battle has been going on since we arrived here and first started to let the grass grow long in this half-acre plot. Each summer for the past seven years, we've cut off the hogweed flower heads to prevent it seeding. Every week, from early June onwards, I take off more than 200 of the wretched things. And each year the hogweeds come back. This is the reality of trying to manage a "meadow". The bullies are always trying to muscle in.

Anna Pavord's A to Z of pests and problems: M is for machinery, mealy bug and mildew

Do you really need that hedge-trimmer? And how to tackle moles. Anna's essential A-Z continues

Weekend work: Cut back early-flowerers

What to do

Vive la différence: Seduced by a Gallic garden

Anna Pavord visits the Le Pavillon de Galon, which was once a hunting lodge and sits in a landscape of vines and olive trees.

Weekend work: Time to tidy up plants

What to do

Incredible edibles: Beans and sweetcorn are set to burst from the soil

For vegetable growers, these are exciting times, says Anna Pavord.

Weekend work: Time to prune plants

What to do

National Gardens Weekend is the perfect opportunity to pinch ideas for your own patch

The writer Rory Stuart wonders why we don't approach gardens in the same way as we might an exhibition of sculpture, and why we don't take more trouble to analyse why some things work and some don't.

Day In a Page

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal
Supersize art

Is big better? Britain's latest super-sized art

The Kelpies are the latest addition to a growing army of giant sculptures. But naysayers are asking what a pair of gigantic horse heads tells us about Falkirk?
James Dean: Back on the big screen

James Dean: Back on the big screen

As 'Rebel without a Cause' is re-released, Geoffrey Macnab reveals how its star perfected his moody act
Catch-22: How the cult classic was adapted for the stage

How a cult classic was adapted for the stage

More than half a century after it was published 'Catch-22' will make its British stage debut next week