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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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones