Weekend Work: Time to cut back broom

What to do

The light fantastic: Transform your garden with some well-placed tealights and lanterns

It takes Derek St Romaine and his wife Dawn at least two hours to set out the 500 candles that light their garden for a special evening opening each year. What dedication! They hang tealights in lanterns through the rose arbour. Their mophead hollies are lit from below by candles set in bags of sand. They float tealights in clear plastic cups on their pond, highlighting the gleaming scales of the koi carp nosing around underneath. "You've got to put a bit of sand in the cups as ballast. Otherwise they capsize," says Dawn.

Weekend Work: Time to protect young pea plants

What to do

Flower power helps Nicolas Almagro turn other cheek after courtside garden fall

Nicolas Almagro came out smelling of flowers from his fourth-round match today after he landed in a heap on one of the courtside geranium displays - and emerged unscathed thanks to his "big bottom".

Everyone's a winner: The alternative to the Chelsea Flower Show has no prizes but plenty of surprises

"No prizes, no medals, no judging," says Chelsea Fringe director Tim Richardson with a grin on his face; and it's clear that this long-time enthusiast and critic of flower shows has something different in mind. Two weeks ago The Independent on Sunday gave away a guide to highlights of the Chelsea Fringe, but now things are in full swing there have been pleasures both planned and surprising.

Hedge Britannia: a curious history of a British obsession, By Hugh Barker

Barrier, border, habitat, evergreen history – a rich past dwells inside your humble hedge.

Shady character: All hail the mighty fern

It's spent millennia perfecting itself, unfurls its fronds like a Zen master, and can liven up the dullest bit of tarmac...

Katherine Butler: Confessions of a tea-party republican

My heart goes out to republican-minded malcontents at this time. It must be dismal seeing the bunting go up in your street and have the papers gushing about how you should bake an Elizabeth sponge, when you regard the monarchy as a travesty that was outdated in feudal times. The great thing about being the citizen of an actual republic, yet resident in a kingdom with functioning royalty, is that you can marvel at the pomp and ceremony, completely free of inner conflict. You can – as I, an Irishwoman, did on Tuesday – hail a taxi and say "take me to Buckingham Palace" , without compromising your democratic values. Some of my English colleagues were full of contempt.

Hole truth: An artist's impressions of the forthcoming Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in Hyde Park, London

Memories of the far pavilions: A sneak preview of this year's offbeat addition to Hyde Park

Can a large, cork-lined hole in the ground in London's Hyde Park – with a steel disc floating above it, mind – be architecture? It can if it's designed by Herzog & de Meuron, and Ai Weiwei, the Chinese artist considered a threat to cultural order by his country's political apparatchiks.

The Plankbridge shepherd's hut

Sheditecture: designer gardens make their mark at Chelsea

People really are going to work in the garden. This year’s Chelsea Flower Show not only inspired gardeners, it inspired homeworkers too

Joe Swift's winning garden features a palette of copper, green and white

TV gardener wins top prize at Chelsea

Joe Swift, the BBC Gardeners' World presenter who was forced to stand down from this year’s coverage of the Chelsea Flower Show after new BBC rules banned anyone involved in designing a show garden, has won a prestigious gold medal for his efforts.

Brewin Dolphin garden scoops top prize at the Chelsea Flower Show

A garden celebrating the popularity of topiary has scooped best in show at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Parador de Granada, Spain

The Big Six: Garden retreats

Parador de Granada, Spain

Made in Chelsea, but set to flourish all over the capital

The Chelsea Flower Show, for all its indisputable merits, is not cool. Manicured lawns, panama hats and nicely-trimmed clematis all have their place, but do they really express what it is to be a trowel-wielding, window sill potting urban green-fingers in 2012?

View of the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden

Horticulture: Can you dig it?

A group of gardening guerrillas has set up a hip alternative to the Chelsea Flower Show. Charlie Cooper meets them

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee