Jane Merrick: The Emperor's New Clothes (29/07/12)

They are designed to soothe, but a neighbour's wind chimes have got our writer running for the scissors

Weekend work: Time to do some deadheading

What to do

Nato says Afghan militant attacks are up 11%

Insurgent attacks in Afghanistan during the past three months were up 11 per cent, compared to the same period last year, according to the latest statistics on monthly violence released by the US-led coalition. 

Hilary Mantel on Booker Prize longlist following success of Wolf Hall

Past winner Hilary Mantel and three former shortlisted authors found themselves among the 12 writers on the Man Booker Prize longlist today.

“Wouldn’t it be fun for Britons to organise themselves quickly enough to beat Starbucks to a chain of tea houses,” says tea grower Jonathan Jones (pictured)

For all the tea in Truro – how a Cornish plantation is turning the tables on China

It's shortly after noon and the Tregothnan country estate is bathed in a low blanket of mist. Leaden skies loom overhead and a steady drizzle of rain makes the surrounding foliage glisten bright green.

Yearly mating ritual will see pavements and gardens covered with swarms of flying ants

Cleared for take-off: it's the day of the flying ants

Yearly mating ritual will see pavements and gardens covered with swarms of insects

Finnegans Wake By James Joyce

No one said it would be easy ...

Wayne Amiel in the Clapham garden he has been lovingly tending for five years

'My best find was in a skip': Wayne Amiel reveals his dedication to abandoned plants

I used to know the streets round London's Clapham Old Town reasonably well, wheeling pushchairs past the grand façades of The Pavement, balancing small children on swings in Grafton Square, haring after scooters in Rectory Gardens. Someone once told me this was the oldest squat in London. I like Rectory Gardens – the random collections of stuff tacked on to walls, the small bits of garden laid straight on to the street, shored up with timber offcuts, casually, promiscuously planted with marigolds and lettuce, petunias and parsley.

Weekend Work: Time to prune wistarias

What to do

B&Q sees its sales spruced up in the rain

B&Q slashed prices on paint and wallpaper to encourage homeowners to make the best of the wet weather by getting on with the decorating, its owner Kingfisher said yesterday.

Archbishop of York climbs aboard giant Noah's Ark

The Archbishop of York has inspected the final preparations for an event billed as Britain's biggest outdoor theatre production.

Kohlrabi (Brassica 'Purple Delicacy')

Caravan of love: How Joy Larkcom transformed the way we grow, cook and eat our greens

Emma Townshend pays homage to a woman whose passion for vegetables saw her take to the roads of Europe in the 1970s.

Gardeners say slugs have made this year a nightmare

Slug alert! Invasion of the gastropods

Record rainfall leads to population explosion – and devastation of British gardens

Weekend Work: Time to cut out flower stems

What to do

Archie Bland: Cameron would do better not to take sides in future

It's embarrassing enough to be overheard being rude about your neighbour if it's just the guy from down the road when you're mouthing off in the pub. Consider how much worse for David Cameron.

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Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders