Beyond string theory: keeping flowers growing straight and true

It's complex, but there are more ways than one to give your flowers the support they need

The Bachelor

Grace Dent on TV: The Bachelor, Channel 5

These women are ready to love Spencer from Chelsea forever. They just haven't met him yet

Emperor's new crop: the case for leeks

For first-time vegetable growers, leeks are an easy and tasty option. And if they're good enough for Nero...

One Minute With...Gerald Seymour, thriller writer

Boyd Tonkin

Book of a Lifetime: The Cement Garden, by Ian McEwan

In 1975 Ian McEwan was famous at our school because his short story collection, First Love, Last Rites, was sensationally banned by our doddering headmistress, Miss Gems. After examining a stray copy, Miss Gems set about a full-scale censorship to protect us from what she declared was a shocking, dirty book. Copies were confiscated, detentions issued to those of us who admitted to having read it. We found it hilarious. As a result of the ban everyone saved up to buy a copy.

A model catwalks for Chanel's Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2012-2013 collections show yesterday at Grand Palais in Paris

Chanel blossoms on the Paris catwalk with a spellbinding exhibition from Lagerfeld

Why hire an 18th-century salon complete with flower-festooned garden when you can build one yourself? That is what Karl Lagerfeld chose to do at the Grand Palais for the Chanel haute couture show in Paris yesterday. Guests walked on a grey carpet – so much smarter than a red one – flanked by potted camellias, famously Coco Chanel's favourite flower, and took their seats around little white tables on wicker chairs.

The New York Botanical Garden conservatory has been transformed into Monet's Giverny garden

Monet-making venture: The artist's famous home has been recreated at New York's Botanical Garden

On my first visit to New York, I never got as far as the Botanical Garden, out in the Bronx. Don't make the same mistake. It's a perfectly easy journey, only 20 minutes from Grand Central Station, on the Metro-North railroad to the stop called Botanical Garden. Before you get off, you'll probably see the centrepiece of the garden, an astonishing conservatory, completed in 1902, which makes a great curving C of glass, bending round a courtyard.

Prince Charles has travelled to Portugal; Sweden; Canada and Spain in the last 12 months

Prince of Wales, and Spain, and Qatar... Charles' budget is up 11%

Royal family's accounts raise concerns amid austerity

'This is the Trust's most important plant conservation initiative for more than 60 years' - Mike Calnan, National Trust head of gardens

Secret site to protect plants from disease

A high security conservation centre to safeguard Britain's flora from the spread of new plant diseases is to be established at a secret location in the Devon countryside.

'This is the Trust's most important plant conservation initiative for more than 60 years' - Mike Calnan, National Trust head of gardens

The only National Trust property they don't want you to see

Secret site will protect at-risk plant species from disease

Unique shed category: Geoff Hill's 'Smuggler's Cove'

Shed of the Year 2012 finalists announced

The annual celebration of sheds is nearing its conclusion as the winners of each category are revealed

The Last of the Haussmans, Lyttelton, National Theatre, London

It seems to be open season on the baby-boomer generation in the English theatre at the moment.  First we had Love, Love, Love from Mike Bartlett at the Royal Court.  Now, in his debut play in the Lyttelton, Stephen Beresford takes a similar, comically sceptical look at the dubious legacy that these folk have bequeathed to their children.

The harebell, which appears at the end of summer, is one of our frailest wild flowers – its stalk is as thin as a wire – so it is easily outcompeted and shut out by grasses

Pollution causing steep decline in UK's favourite wild flowers

Many of Britain's best-loved wild flower species are disappearing because of nitrogen pollution from car exhausts and farm fertilisers, experts are warning.

The harebell, which appears at the end of summer, is one of our frailest wild flowers – its stalk is as thin as a wire – so it is easily outcompeted and shut out by grasses

Wild flowers are overpowered by exhaust fumes

Pollution blamed as nettles and grasses flourish – and force out much-loved species

Charities call on Londoners to help save the 'Cockney Sparra'

The chirruping of the cockney sparra was once commonplace, but now, ten years since a study found that the bird was on the verge of extinction in the capital, charities are calling on Londoners to help save it.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot