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"There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling." This is Mirabel Osler, writing in A Gentle Plea for Chaos. The book, a classic, has come out in paperback (Bloomsbury, pounds 9.99). No one comes so close as Ms Osler to describing the way you feel when you are pottering about on a summer's evening, not exactly gardening, but just being in the garden.

Last year, Country Life magazine launched a strawberry appeal on behalf of the Brogdale Horticultural Trust at Faversham in Kent. The trust was hoping to track down early strawberry varieties to add to its collection and thought they might still be lurking, nameless, in old gardens. Readers of the magazine responded enthusiastically and David Pennell, director of the trust, thinks they finally might have tracked down 'Sir Joseph Paxton', a Victorian favourite. At last we may be able to test the saying that strawberries do not taste like they used to.