Walthamstow

The jungle look: Anna Pavord is captivated by a magnificently

Many roads in suburban London have a similar feel about them: terraced or semi-detached villas of the late Victorian, early Edwardian kind, the front gardens too often obliterated by concrete slabs and wheelie bins. Maynard Road in Walthamstow is different. The first thing you see, turning into the street from Beulah Road, are two brick flower beds, magnificently planted with Brussels sprouts and sunflowers, red cabbage and bright yellow African marigolds, nasturtiums, lilies, tomatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, borage and pumpkins. The beds stood alongside half a dozen tatty garages set in a block on the right hand side, but this didn't look like council work – too eclectic. If not them, who?

Perfect match: How the crossover between fashion and art inspires

Even the most rarefied of fashion designers is unlikely ever to describe him or herself as an artist. That would be rushing in where angels fear to tread. Art is art – a highbrow and only ever a coincidentally commercial pursuit – fashion is fashion, catering to the pretty, privileged and vain. Or so any purists out there might argue. It's a far from modern view, though. Witness the Louis Vuitton flagship store that opened on London's New Bond Street earlier this year with its Michael Landy kinetic sculpture, Damien Hirst monogrammed medicine chest and hugely successful bags designed in collaboration with Takashi Murakami to see how these two apparently very different disciplines benefit one another. Or how about the Prada Foundation in Milan, home to some of the most innovative artworks of the age. The brains behind it – Miuccia Prada and her husband, Patrizio Bertelli – are presumably more than a little aware that if designer fashion is aspirational, fine art is even more so and any association only serves to heighten the outside world's perception of a brand's status and power.

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Talented twins win secondary school places aged 9

Like thousands of primary school children, Paula and Peter Imafidon will today find out the name of their secondary school. Unlike their classmates, the twins will be ripping open the envelope safe in the knowledge that they will be two years younger than their peers and have already passed their maths A-levels.

Office living: the new work-life balance

Faced with rising rents and a lack of supply, cost-conscious tenants are taking advantage of empty office space to escape the rental race and embrace loft-style living. Holly Williams reports

Building excellence: A multibillion-pound scheme to upgrade schools is

Building Schools for the Future (BSF) is perhaps the most ambitious known scheme of its kind. Launched in 2004 by the then Department for Education and Skills, £2.5bn-£3bn of capital investment is being spent on the programme each year to renovate or rebuild every school in England.

Lethal Bizzle - The grime of his life

Lethal Bizzle's uncompromising, personal, lyrics have put him in the political spotlight and led to racist attacks. With his new album moving up the charts, he tells Fiona Sturges what drives him