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Goldfinches are now found in almost five times as many gardens as they were 16 years ago, latest figures from the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) show.
Feast your eyes on part one of our ultimate Christmas gift guide: this week, terrific toys for boys and girls, foodie treats, addictive gadgets, literary treasures and much more…
Horace Walpole, self-appointed arbiter of mid-18th-century architectural taste, didn't think much of efforts to add a voguish dash of the Picturesque to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. As the construction of Sir William Chambers' 10-storey Chinese Pagoda soared so high it could be seen from the antiquarian's lawns at Strawberry Hill in Twickenham, he scornfully observed that "in a fortnight you will be able to see it from Yorkshire". Sir William's mock Roman ruins were similarly derided for being made from "Act-of-Parliament brick".
Scorching heat and sunshine will give way to average temperatures and bursts of rain before the end of the week, forecasters warned today.
Where to go, what to do in 2011
Like flicking through a family album, perusing a photographic archive of people and events throws up forgotten gems and moments of affectionate nostalgia. And the occasional embarrassment.
The difference between designing for the home and for fashion is enormous,’ Celia Birtwell told me in an exclusive interview. ‘Fashion moves so fast and is so demanding that there is little time to rest and take stock. 'Home' has longevity.’ Five decades on, textile designer Birtwell is back at the forefront of both the fashion and the interior industries. This autumn, she launches an online shop, and a home collection including readymade curtains, bed linen and a retro oilcloth for John Lewis.
Susan Philipsz's sonic installations have been nominated for the Turner Prize – and sound art is taking over galleries across the land. It's time to sit up and listen, says John Kieffer
With spring upon us and optimists predicting a long hot summer, Kate Watson-Smyth presents a roundup of the season's must-have accessories
Extraction releases huge amounts of CO2 into atmosphere
The biggest collection of fungi in the world will be created this week as Kew Gardens takes delivery of more than 400,000 specimens.
'New York made me feel that anything was possible'
Seemingly arbitrary names have been springing up in flowerbeds across east London. Except there's nothing random at all about artist Joshua Sofaer's dazzling community project, says Emma Townshend
Award winning photographer Daniel Beltrá has released new images of his trip to the Amazon Rainforest.
Go down to Kew in lilac time, wrote the poet Alfred Noyes in a ditty called The Barrel Organ, singing the praises of the blossoms and the birds in the Royal Botanic Gardens at the height of the spring. Shame he didn’t mention the butterflies.
Environment editor Michael McCarthy did – and spotted eight species at the start of our butterfly hunt