News Winging it: The shrill carder bee is thriving in Kent

Conservationists stunned by the insects’ rapid recovery

Close to the hedge

Wild flower meadows may be fashionable, but they're difficult to manage. Try creating an Irish-style shrub bank instead, says Anna Pavord

Bumbling beekeepers breeding mite plague

``And is there honey still for tea?'' Perhaps not, in a few years - because many of Britain's beekeepers are failing to take a lethal parasite seriously.

First remove your soil; then plant some weeds

Creating a meadow is an upside-down way of gardening, but highly rewarding, writes Josie Barnard

Border bloom

Less business than labour of love, Elizabeth Taylor's Powys nursery is a treasure trove of unusual plants, writes Anna Pavord

Open house among the tombstones shows that cemeteries are not always so grave is not always such a grave business

Thousands of east Londoners will give Southend and the Lakeside shopping centre a miss tomorrow in favour of an outing among the headstones and Gothic funereal architecture of the City of London Cemetery in Wanstead Flats.

The joy of gadgets

MARY KEEN'S SUMMER DIARY; Mary Keen gets to grips with a couple of strong and silents types, which could quietly take the backache out of gardening; plus the difficulty and frustration of creating that perfect 'wild' flower patch

Plea for meadow seed cash falls on stony ground

While Tony Blair has been trying to save the planet in New York, back home the administration he heads has turned down a request for a paltry sum to help England's meadows bloom again.

A walk across the water

Hamish Scott takes the ferry to Cornwall's St Anthony peninsular

Deep in the urban jungle, something exotic stirs...

National Nature Reserves are the jewels in the crown of Britain's wildlife sites. As of yesterday, two of them are now located in the nation's two biggest cities.

Orchid goes public after 50 years

The Lady's Slipper Orchid, Britain's rarest wild flower has gone on public display for the first time in more than half a century after being saved from extinction.

What price nature? At pounds 20 trillion a year it is truly our most precious asset

What price a wild flower, or lark song, or a view of wooded hills and meadows? Poets might ask the question but biologists and economists have now conspired to come up with an answer.

Wild flowers for a Tudor farmhouse

Workshop: Anna Pavord advises on the best use for an odd patch in your garden

I want to be a ranger ...

The city worker's dream is within reach, thanks to the demand for managed wild habitats.

Group therapy

Newsgroups have revived the art of storytelling. Perhaps I am going a little over the top because many of the long postings you see around the newsgroups - when is someone going to come up with a better title? - are a long way off being the literary masterpieces the term implies. But these vast virtual forums provide a wonderful medium for people to tell stories which in most cases would never find their way into print, and so would otherwise only be shared with a few friends in the pub.
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas