Rose (flower)

In brief: Tom Sharpe

Tom Sharpe (obituary, 7 June) arrived in Dorset shortly after the publication of Wilt, settling in a house on the edge of Bridport.

How To Be Beautiful: Everything's coming up roses

Given their ancient associations with beauty, it's not surprising that roses turn up in your bathroom cabinet more than any other flower, and in so many forms. In cosmetics, it's a conceptual thing – how many lipsticks, glosses, blushers and primers come with rose-based names, promising velvety, petal-softness and delicate hues?

Coming up roses

Your garden might have gone to sleep but your beauty regime doesn't need to, says Harriet Walker

No job too small: Anyone can create a sleek haven with Ann-Marie

"So lately," says Rob, gazing into the middle distance, "I've been thinking that the problem is that perhaps it needs to have a sort of centrepiece. Like a giant rock." My neighbours and I are having a gin and tonic. There has been some discussion about whether gin and tonic is permitted under their strenuous pre-holiday dietary regime, but caution has been thrown to the wind. So here we are on the terrace, sipping our drinks, sitting in the sunshine, and everything is almost perfect. Almost.

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Cutbacks, cutbacks: It's time to cut loose with the pruning shears

And how am I going to reach that?" my neighbour guffaws. We are looking up at a stray tendril, hovering temptingly between the ground and first floor, just out of reach. The rain has made everything grow so ridiculously, fairy-tale-beanstalk-tall this year. Stems have grown long and wandering, leaves are plate-sized. Sometimes that's a good thing, but lately it can feel as though the main result has been an eye-watering quantity of pruning and weeding.

Let dark petals bloom

Flower power is back but don't try to channel the 1960s. Instead a moody, more gothic look is trotting off the catwalk and heading for our homes

Weeds have run rampant during the wet summer - it's time to go on the

It's been an amazing season for weeds. In the hideous conditions of the past few months, docks have grown to tropical proportions and you can wring enough water to wash in from the crunchy stems of sow thistles. Round here, there have been endless reminders of how thinly order lies on chaos. In the steep lane that leads out of our valley, more than 50m of bank let go of its moorings and slid so smoothly down, that the trees in the landslip stayed upright. The day after the fall, it was like looking at the beginning of the world: torn earth, gloopy mud, impenetrable tangles of briar among the tree trunks. Impassable.