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How to guard your garden against the incessant rain - and what to plant if your patch is prone to waterlogging

When I was little, before the Thames Flood Barrier was finished, we lived in Twickenham, in a house by the river that would flood every single winter.

Floral tribute: Horticulture has a long and distinguished history with haute couture - as a new exhibition attests

Fashion isn't in the forefront of my mind when I step out to garden: a faded blue canvas jacket, my second best pair of welly boots. That's it. But a new exhibition at The Garden Museum in London, curated by Nicola Shulman and sponsored by Vogue, spins elegant connections between the two.

Weekend work: Time to tend to snapdragons

WHAT TO DO

Makes perfect scents: Let the perfumed tropical nurseries at Kew soothe you

It's easy to be sad in February. It's easy to find your brain filled with worries, with fragments of tasks you should be getting on with, a perpetual to-do list cycling in the frontal lobes.

White stuff: For mass impact, the snowdrop display at Welford Park is hard to beat

Millions and millions of flowers carpet the wild beech woods there

Weekend work: Time to tend to palms

What to do

Restraining order: Zen and the art of garden maintenance

"Restez Zen", as the French say. Well, maybe not the ones who wrote my dictionary, which seems curiously quiet on the subject, but certainly the ones who composed my recent issue of Marie Claire. Chillax! they exhort us, as a rough translation. Keep your Zen topped up.

Sowing kit: Seeds of annuals will give a patchy area in your garden some shape and colour

Like the sofas and side table in the sitting room, the flower garden at our place is furnished with some big things that mostly stay where they have been put: huge spurges, the fleshy arrow-shaped leaves of arum, fat clumps of monkshood and sea thistle. But among the set pieces, I use different annuals each year, to change the way the whole area looks.

Package Holidays: The seeds that will bring the taste of a Continental getaway to your plate

In the middle of the night, hidden beneath the covers, I start laughing at the idea of anyone else finding out what I'm Googling. No, I'm not funding the dark web, I'm not streaming illegal stuff of any kind, I'm not even shopping for kittens; I'm soothing my troubled insomniac brow on frenchclick.co.uk, gazing at things formerly only purchasable in French supermarkets, now brought all the way across the Channel to my London front door – with no delivery charge on orders of more than £35. (More than £35? Pah. I can spend over £35 on biscuits alone in a French supermarket.)

Let it grow: Britain is using up peat 200 times faster than it is being formed

Which? sparks controversy by telling gardeners not to bother growing plants in peat-free compost

Watchdog says it would not recommend any of the products it trialed, but in Britain we are using peat 200 times faster than it is being formed

Anna Pavord's A to Z of pests and problems: W is for whitefly and wind

Our green-fingered correspondent warns that you can never know enough when it comes to gardening...

Weekend work: Time to wake hippeastrum

WHAT TO DO

Beginner's pluck: Follow our expert's choice tips and you'll be mulching in no time

Round our way, amateur versions of Gardeners' Question Time are a popular way of raising money for charity and from time to time I get to sit on the panel. "What tips would you give to a new gardener?" is a favourite question and more interesting than the usual queries about scrofulous bits of greenery. Answers depend very much on the panellist's own interests. And character.

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