For Taurus, happiness lies in a superior salvia

You can plan your life by the stars, so why not your garden? 'Mystic' Anna Pavord presents a horticultural horoscope

How can it be that a serious newspaper such as the Independent is still without a horoscope? Everybody knows what an important part they play in public life these days, and yet here we are with no Mystic Meg, no Petulengro or astrologist of any kind on the staff. It really is too bad. Most horoscopes, though, tend to be obsessed with peripheral matters: career opportunities, emotional relationships and such like. These are interesting enough in their way, but cannot compare with the really big issues: the arrival of a new pot in your life, the anxieties caused by a demanding aspidistra. Stargazers - start here.

Aquarius (22 Jan-19 Feb) Dream on Aquarians. One day you, too, could be asking a question on Gardeners' Question Time. But there is a danger that in your own garden, your dreams will never quite be translated into reality. Get round this problem neatly by designing gardens for other people instead. The future will always be more interesting to you than the past. Junk Jekyll. Think instead of pergolas of spun steel, water gardens of perspex and laser light shows among the lilies. Uranus in your birth sign makes it likely that you will want to try out things that others might regard as slightly eccentric. But if they don't like your trompe- l'oeil Taj Mahal in mirror and bottle tops, more fool them.

Pisces (20 Feb-20 Mar) The Sun in your birth sign after the 19th means that you will be able to do whatever you set your mind to over the next few weeks. But still, choices must be made. 'Kiftsgate' rose or 'Rambling Rector'? 'Mermaid' or 'Paul's Himalayan'? Letting nature take its course can prove a doubtful doctrine as you may have already found this winter. Drains and poplars do not mix. Pisceans are apt to be lazy and take the line of least resistance: you are curiously drawn towards wildflower gardens. But Pisceans are also intuitive. You will recognise that a plant is in difficulty long before it is past saving, a useful trait in a gardener.

Aries (21 Mar-20 April) Ariens are good at getting round obstacles and are extremely energetic. All your ebullient energy will be needed this month to circumvent some great drama. It may involve a neighbour. It may involve a boundary. You like quick results, which makes you an impatient gardener. Try this year to curb the trait. In the garden centre, avoid annuals which will die this year and go for perennials which will die next year instead. After the 15th, Mars, your ruler, moves into a tricky part of your chart. Avoid this period for servicing lawnmowers.

Taurus (21 Apr-21 May) Happiness is a more obscure salvia than your neighbour's and in this game of horticultural one-upmanship, Taureans will score every time for they are careful, tenacious gardeners. Venus, your ruler, enters the bossy sign of Aries on the 9th and the days thereafter may be full of anxiety. Should it be petunias rather than busy lizzies in the front border this year? Choose carefully, for old ties, once severed, may never be remade. Your worst fault is stubborness. Try and accept advice more readily. But on the positive side this can be said; you do not believe in short cuts. Taureans always read the instructions on a pack of weedkiller.

Gemini (22 May-21 Jun) Criticism never goes down well with Geminis, but is it, after all, such a good idea to plant an all-black garden? It is vogueish, certainly, but you may begin to find it just the teensiest bit limiting. You can have too much even of ophiopogon. Finance continues to be a problem and will be until you learn that you do not necessarily have to throw away the potted camellias after they have finished flowering. You are good at pretending to know more than you do, love variety and will be a compulsive buyer of garden gadgets. Speaking of which, there is the most amazing gismo around now which cuts edges, shaves legs and minces parsley.

Cancer (22 Jun-22 Jul) Your delight in the difficult comes to the fore this month when seedlings, always keener on dying than living, demand your attention. Pluto, warring with Mars on the 19th, indicates difficulties in your personal life. Hang on, though: your partner's predilection for mixing purple and orange in the herbaceous border has almost run its course. You are known for your delight in looking after things, so you are likely to find yourself teamed up with tricky alpines. Failing that, you may invent immensely complicated life-support systems for your house plants when you go away. But this might be the year when you discover that you can get seeds which actually take less than a year to germinate.

Leo (23 Jul-23 Aug) This is a decisive month for Leos as it marks the start of the giant onion season, the Leo's favourite plant. Make the most of it. Pluto has a challenging aspect which may mean that slugs are massing. The limelight you enjoy will pass you by unless you attend assiduously to watering and pricking out. Outrageous flowers such as gladioli and dahlias, chrysanthemums and begonias are much more likely to be your thing than the more tasteful euphorbias and hellebores. Leos are generous, though, and therefore goodpeople to have as neighbours. "My rose is your rose," they will say munificently as their 'Bobby James' rambler climbs over the boundary fence and reaches 15ft tentacles across your lawn.

Virgo (24 Aug-23 Sep) The sun in something or other provides just the boost you need to lash out on a really exciting new asset. A lawn edger, perhaps. You know how you fret if the grass is a whisker out of place. Loved ones do not help this month by leaving tools lying unseen in the shrubbery. All the portents suggest that your black eye will have healed by the solstice. You are likely to be a good planner and organiser but you must learn not to fret if things do not always go as they should. But then that's gardening for you. You are probably best left to garden on your own, for you can be hypercritical, often unfairly, of other people's efforts.

Libra (24 Sep-23 Oct) Unexpected developments are about to alter the whole course of your gardening life. Look for love among the bonsai trees, however unlikely this may seem. Everything this month points towards a complete break with the past. Chuck out all your hostas and think Japanese. Librans are star gardeners for they are diplomatic, love harmony and are brilliant mediators. Get yourself elected chairman of your county's National Gardens Scheme committee. They need you. Occasional indecision is your only downfall, but when you have decided, the results in your own garden are likely to be much photographed. Librans get their gardens into all the best magazines.

Scorpio (24 Oct-22 Nov) Your delight in a bargain has unexpected consequences when officers of the Fraud Squad turn up to repossess the divine little cherub you picked up for two songs in Pimlico. The National Trust logo stamped firmly on the base should have warned you that something perhaps was amiss. Never mind. Back to Haddonstone. You are likely to have a beady eye for everyone else's business as well as your own. Trust a Scorpio to give you the cheapest source of supply for anything from compost to cotoneasters. You are also likely to be argumentative. When at dinner parties stay off contentious issues such as peat and pesticides.

Sagittarius (23 Nov-21 Dec) You need to assert your independence this month - and fast. No matter what the style gurus say, it is perfectly possible to plant a garden without a single grey-leaved plant in it. Try it and see. There are other far-reaching changes on the horizon. Goodbye chrysanthemum. Hello dendranthema, leucanthemopsis, arctanthemum, tanacetum... You do not always realise how hurtful your bluntness, a characteristic of all Sagittarians, can be. Some people really do love cacti dressed up in sunglasses and paper skirts. It is not your place to stop them buying them. You rarely sulk, however. But it is equally rare for you to learn from your mistakes. Sagittarians murder more rhododendrons than any other group of gardeners.

Capricorn (22 Dec-21 Jan) Long-standing attachments are hard to break but, for once, forget the pennies and lash out on a pair of secateurs. They will be so much easier to use on the philadelphus than the bayonet from the hatstand in the hall. Economical is the polite way to describe Capricorn gardeners. You are the people who save seeds wrapped in screws of paper in old Ovaltine tins and who hover round the recycling bins, waiting to retrieve Gardens Illustrated magazines that other souls are throwing away. But you are likely to work hard, not shirking even the most hideous chores such as scrubbing down the greenhouse. If you are hiring help in the garden, check birthdates first.

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