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How flowering plants conquered the world

Image copyrightGetty Images
Image caption Angiosperms produce flowers and fruits, which contain their seeds.

Scientists think they have the answer to a puzzle that baffled even Charles Darwin: How flowers evolved and spread to become the dominant plants on Earth.

Flowering plants, or angiosperms, make up about 90% of all living plant species, including most food crops.

In the distant past, they outpaced plants such as conifers and ferns, which predate them, but how they did this has has been a mystery.

New research suggests it is down to genome size – and small is better.

“It really comes down to a question of cell size and how you can build a small cell and still retain all the attributes that are necessary for life,” says Kevin Simonin from San Francisco State University in California, US.

‘Abominable mystery’

Hundreds of millions of years ago, the Earth was dominated by ferns and conifers. Then, about 150 million years ago, the first flowering plants appeared on the scene.

They quickly spread to all parts of the world, changing the landscape from muted green to a riot of vibrant colour.

Image copyrightGetty Images
Image caption Angiosperms are the most diverse group of land plants, with hundreds of thousands of known species

The reasons behind the incredible success and diversity of flowering plants have been debated for centuries.

Charles Darwin himself called it an “abominable mystery”, fearing this apparent sudden leap might challenge his theory of evolution.

Simonin and co-researcher Adam Roddy, of Yale University, wondered if the size of the plant’s genetic material – or genome – might be important.

The biologists analysed data held by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, on the genome size of hundreds of plants, including flowering plants, gymnosperms (a group of plants, which include conifers and Ginkgo) and ferns.

‘Strong evidence’

They then compared genome size with anatomical features such as the abundance of pores on leaves.

This provides “strong evidence”, they say, that the success and rapid spread of flowering plants around the world is down to “genome downsizing”.

By shrinking the size of the genome, which is contained within the nucleus of the cell, plants can build smaller cells.

In turn, this allows greater carbon dioxide uptake and carbon gain from photosynthesis, the process by which plants use light energy to turn carbon dioxide and water into glucose and oxygen.

Angiosperms can pack more veins and pores into their leaves, maximising their productivity.

The researchers say genome-downsizing happened only in the angiosperms, and this was ”a necessary prerequisite for rapid growth rates among land plants”.

“The flowering plants are the most important group of plants on Earth and now we finally know why they have been so successful,” they say.

For instance, why were flowering plants able to shrink their genomes more than others? And why do ferns and conifers still exist, despite their large genomes and cells?



Five smart gardening tools that will save you time

Connected gardening gadgets free you up for more interesting, creative gardening while saving that most precious of resources – time

For those horny-handed sons of toil who equate gardening with hard labour, or technophobes who prefer to call a spade a spade rather than a non-automated digging apparatus, the proliferation of gardening gadgets on the market may seem bewildering, even unnecessary.

But taking advantage of technology that handles routine jobs leaves you free for the more interesting horticultural pursuits, such as propagation or sowing seeds.

Here are five garden tools to save you that most precious of resources – time.  


Made local: the Husqvarna Automower is manufactured in Britain, made to withstand British climate – rain and all


1 Cordless hedge trimmer

A well-kept hedge gives a garden an elegant look, and formal box or privet hedges will need trimming two or three times a year during the growing season. Battery-operated trimmers do away with the need for cords that can get in the way and slow you down, but a disadvantage in the past has been short usage time. New models on the market are offering extended battery life so you can get the job done in one go. Husqvarna’s 536LiHD60X is a powerful, lightweight pro-lever hedge trimmer that gives you the convenience of a 36V battery with the oomph of a petrol hedge trimmer.

2 Robotic mower

The ultimate time-saving garden tech has to be the robotic mower, which will not only cut the lawn for you, but dispose of clippings – so no raking or emptying grass bags. It does this by cutting little and often, producing grass “shavings” that are simply left on lawn to act as a mulch; so it saves time on feeding the lawn too. Many models in the Husqvarna Automower® range can be connected to an app on your mobile phone so you can control them while you’re out and about. And from September 1, Husqvarna robotic mowers will be compatible with Amazon’s cloud-based voice service Alexa; users will be able to start, stop, park and get status updates from their mower by just asking Alexa. The upgrade will be available to the many thousands of connected Husqvarna robotic mowers already in gardens and parks around Britain.

3 Watering system

For those who want to hand over total lawn-care duties to the robots, the Gardena Smart System is a fully automated package which comprises irrigation control, a robotic mower and a bunch of sensors that will keep track of rainfall, sunlight, temperature and grass growth. Having gathered the necessary data, it will determine how often your lawn needs to be watered and mowed, and get the jobs done. Using WiFi, the system’s components all “talk” to each other via an app. If you think the system’s getting a bit too smart for its own good you can intervene, and control settings and schedules.

4 Steam weed killer

Weeding can be one of the most dispiriting tasks, so if you’re averse to weed killers and flame guns make you jittery, try steam power. The Batavia SteamBoxxer electric steam cleaner and weed killer is a handy multi-function tool that builds up a head of steam to break down the cellular structure of weeds, killing them down to the roots. It comes with three different attachments designed to zap weeds growing in various places, plus it can be used for steam-cleaning tasks indoors, making it a versatile timesaver.

5 Power barrow

If you have a largish plot or a sore back, a motorised wheelbarrow may not be a cheap option, but it will save you a heap of time and effort traipsing around the garden transporting heavy compost, logs, garden plants and debris. The three-wheeled Greenworks Self-Propelled Garden Cart is powered by a 40V 2Ah battery that runs for 20 minutes on one full charge (45 minutes if you buy a 4Ah battery), and can handle loads up to 100kg. It’s easy to use, with two forward speeds and reverse, has a simple lever function for easy unloading and will even haul loads of up to 90kg up a hill.

A perfectly cut lawn, effortlessly

Keeping your lawn healthy can be a lot of hard work. Husqvarna Automower isn’t just a lawn mower, it’s a robot that does the work for you – unsupervised, round the clock.

Automower trims your lawn day and night, handling gardens of any size. Best of all, it’s manufactured in Britain. Prices start from £1,000. Locate your nearest Husqvarna dealer by visiting husqvarna.com.



Gardening jobs for the weekend: Plant spring window boxes and prune holly

Delicate spring flowers are especially delightful in containers, especially window boxes. Finishing pruning is a priority before the bird-nesting season; a wildlife-friendly “dead hedge” makes good use of prunings. Protect soil and smother weeds with mulches. Indoors, buy seed compost ahead of the sowing season.

Spring window boxes

Dainty understated delicate flowers such as primroses, primulas, viola and winter-flowering heathers make inexpensive spring window boxes (far right) reminiscent of spring posies. Hardy cyclamen, grape hyacinths and dwarf narcissi are delicate bulbs that combine well with small flowers. All can be recovered and planted in the garden when it is time to plant up window
boxes with summer flowers. These plants don’t mind shade, are small enough to avoid windy weather, and shrug off frost.

Pruning holly

Holly (left) grows slowly, but can creep up on you and suddenly cast excess shade and block views. Holly may sulk if it is pruned at other times of year, but trimmed now it recovers quickly, even if large branches or trunks are removed. In fact, it can be cut back to near ground level and soon recover to make a more shapely hedge or tree. Holly flowers on old wood, so pruning female trees will lead to a few berry-less years.

Holly leaves at RHS Garden Harlow Carr. Photo: RHS

Dead hedges

These are temporary barriers that suit wilder parts of the garden, perhaps while a living hedge grows. Twiggy branches left over from pruning are laid as a compact long stack, held in place by stakes driven into the ground at about 50cm intervals. Branches are pressed down between these stakes until the barrier is high enough. The hedge rots in three or four years. This natural process supports wildlife, feeding birds and hedgehogs, for example.

Seed compost

Seeds need moisture and air to germinate. Small seeds, in particular, must not be sown so deep that they cannot reach the light. Also, germinating seeds are prone to rots and moulds, so a disease-free sowing medium is essential. Fertiliser may harm seeds. Specialised seed-sowing composts are fine enough for even sowing depths, contain little fertiliser, but are “open” to allow water to drain and air to enter.


Winter rains are over, spring droughts are common and weeds are ready to grow. Spreading mulch, 5-8cm thick, of organic matter reduces evaporation from the soil surface and suppresses weeds. Rotted manure or compost is rich and suits fruit trees and roses; bark and wood chips are infertile and long-lasting, ideal for other shrubs and trees. Finer bark or composted stable manure suit herbaceous plants. Where the soil is excessively alkaline, acidic mulches derived from bracken are suitable.

Twitter: @GuyBarter

Guy Barter is the Chief horticultural adviser for the Royal Horticultural Society

The Royal Horticultural Society is a charity working to share the best in gardening and make the UK a greener place. Find out more at rhs.org.uk.

Gardening: ‘Organic’ or not, give farmers a break

A few years ago, a news report announced the results of a study in which it was determined that organic vegetables had, on average, the same nutrient levels as inorganic vegetables. At first, I was amused. Someone actually spent a bunch of money to figure this out. But then I was shocked at the surprise evidenced by the people commenting on the story.

People are equally stunned by a study that came out a year or two ago that showed that “certified organic” vegetable growers had fewer beneficial organisms, applied more chemicals and still had higher rates of disease and pests than non-certified businesses. I also have stood in the farmers’ markets and listened as vendors claim they are “spray free.” And I look at their vegetables and fruit and I know they are misrepresenting their businesses.

I don’t blame them. Much of the public now thinks “spray free” is synonymous with “organic.” It is far easier to tell your customers what they want to hear than to try to educate them. The puzzle of pesticide use is a vast tangle that takes time to sort out. And few customers want to listen to a 20-minute diatribe on a Saturday morning when they just want to get their produce and get on with their day. But I also know that those same customers would never, ever purchase a truly spray-free apple. They are too ugly and misshapen.

In the United States, growers are allowed to use the word “organic,” or anything related to that word, only if they have been officially certified by the government. The certification process starts with at least five years of documentation regarding what you grow, how you grow it and where you grow it.

After that time you can apply, at which point your farm is inspected regularly to make sure the processes you claim are actually the processes you use. Any seeds must be from a farm that is certified organic. Any chemicals must be certified for organic use. And, oh, by the way, organic seeds and chemicals are vastly more expensive. Irrigation, water runoff, crop rotation, harvesting, handling, packaging, shipping, and equipment are all watched carefully — and all must be continually documented. So when you complain that your organic produce costs too much at the grocery, just remember what the farmer has had to endure to get that rating and keep it.

Farmers are often accused of tossing sprays and fertilizers about like candy, killing wildlife and polluting the rivers. And all their plowing caused the erosion that clogged the Chesapeake Bay and destroyed the East Coast fishing industry. But please understand: sprays of any kind are expensive. So is fertilizer. In an economy where absolutely every penny counts and a work week regularly includes 15-hour days, seven days a week, a farmer is not likely to waste either time or money spraying anything that isn’t absolutely necessary. As for soils, “no-till” practices came into effect in the early 1900s. Farmers spend a lot of time and effort improving their soils, and if the soil in the fields has run into the river, it isn’t there to grow the crops.

Therefore, most “non-organic” growers also use methods that keep their soil healthy. They keep close watch on the chemicals they use and their costs. They carefully educate themselves as to the pros and cons of each of those chemicals, both on the humans that eat their food and on the environment and ecosystem in which they grow them. They watch their waste and figure out how to use it so that it improves their farmland. They plant areas to invite beneficial insects and organisms to their sites. And they rely on healthy plants, healthy soil and proper watering to control many of their pest and disease issues. All “sustainable” practices. Which, simply put, means they are gardening in a manner that will make the farm just more productive for their children and grandchildren. But they can’t use the “O” word because they haven’t undergone the rigorous government requirements.

However, in all my years of gardening, I have met three commercial gardeners who truly do not spray anything. All three are small farms, and they have carefully vetted and chosen the produce that will work on their properties. They make major sacrifices to maintain this principle. One gave up $20,000 annual profit in basil sales because she couldn’t raise it without spraying fungicide. That is not a small number for a farming operation.

Unfortunately, I think the public’s perception of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) is the biggest loss in the fight against chemicals. Since mankind began farming, plants were chosen for flavor, looks, and insect and disease resistance. Seeds were gathered from these plants and replanted the next year. And guess what, folks? This is the most basic form of genetic modifying. Broccoli, cauliflower, corn and many other vegetables would not exist except for the fact that humans were picky about the things they ate.

Today, I’ll admit, it’s a bit scary because we can do with one tweak under a microscope what used to take hundreds of years to accomplish. And I don’t agree with all the modifications. But to be able to change a gene that allows a plant to resist disease or insects?

Bananas are one of the most important sources of food worldwide. Yet, we are on the verge of losing all the bananas in the world due to a blight. Once it’s introduced to a field, bananas can no longer be grown there. Much of our lost tropical habitats are the result of banana growers clearing new land to replace their blight-infested fields. A blight-resistant GMO banana currently exists. However, the major banana producers refuse to grow it because they fear the reaction of the public.

In America, sweet corn needs a tremendous amount of insecticide to get it to market blemish free. There is also a GMO sweet corn that needs no insecticide. Again, it is rarely used for fear of customer perception. Thus far, there has been no evidence of a GMO vegetable that causes harm to the humans that eat it.

So I ask for a bit of reason and education in our public. Find out all about what you are protesting and make sure it is bad before you protest it. And please, give your farmers a break. Most want to produce a safe and healthy product while keeping their farmlands productive for many years to come.

Mary Stickley-Godinez is The Daily Progress’ gardening columnist.



regnant Kate Middleton wraps up in a Barbour jacket as she drops into London school for a spot of gardening

THE PREGNANT Duchess Of Cambridge displayed her burgeoning baby bump as she wrapped up against the winter chill in a Barbour jacket for a visit to a school this morning.

Kate, 35, met staff and students at Robin Hood Primary in south-west London to celebrate its gardening successes.

Kate displayed her growing baby bump on a school visit this morning

Dressed down in black trousers, boots and a knitted jumper she saw its work with the Royal Horticultural Society’s campaign for school gardening.

While there Kate was handed a bouquet before donning gardening gloves and joining a group of youngsters planting daffodil bulbs.

She was also shown around Bug-ingham Palace – an outdoor insect house constructed out of old pallets and laughed: “Lucky insects have such a good place to stay.”

Addressing the kids in the playground she told how she was passing her passion for the outdoors onto her children – George and Charlotte.

Kate’s baby bump was clearly visible under a black knitted jumper
Pregnant Kate Middleton wrapped up against the winter chill in a Barbour jacket today on a visit to a school
Kate was handed a bouquet by a pupil of Robin Hood Primary in south-west London

She said: “I’ve got such fond memories of being in the garden and being outside from my own childhood, and I’m sharing that with my own children, George and Charlotte, at the moment.

“And I’m really excited about what you’re doing here and taking inspiration from that in the school environment as well.

“What you have created here is really so special. Hopefully you’ll have lots of memories of your time here in the garden, looking for insects or planting bulbs.

Kate paid a visit to the school to celebrate its gardening successes

SWNS:South West News Service

Kate teamed her Barbour jacket with a chunky black knitted sweater
Kate saw the school’s work with the Royal Horticultural Society’s campaign for school gardening

On a visit to a museum she said that her and Prince William were both excited about the smitten pair’s big news.

She said: “William and I  are absolutely thrilled.

“It’s such exciting news.

“It’s a really happy time for any couple and we wish them all the best and hope they enjoy this happy moment.”

Kate donned a pair of gardening gloves as she joined youngsters in the garden
Kate shared a playful moment with one schoolboy
Initiative supports schools to provide children with gardening opportunities

Kate spoke of her joy as she visited the Foundling Museum which is dedicated to the history of the UK’s first children’s charity and public art gallery – the Foundling Hospital.

She was forced to take time off royal duties earlier in her pregnancy after suffering severe morning sickness.

Kate spoke with staff and students during her visit
During her visit Kate was shown around and outdoor insect house dubbed Bug-ingham Palace
A sign describes this insect house as Bug-ingham Palace

The smitten royal designed Meghan’s ring himself with two diamonds belonging to his late mother Diana, Princess of Wales.

American actress Meghan will live with Prince Harry in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace once they are wed next year.


Student jokes she is Madeleine McCann and shows off her eye spot as evidence

banged up abroad

Brit woman, 21, faces jail in Dubai after ‘witnessing a drunken punch-up’


Harry ex Cressida Bonas posts cryptic ‘truth’ quote 24 hours after engagement


This concrete manhole in a mum’s back garden leads to a VERY big surprise


Coldest night of the year as temperatures set to plunge to -10C TONIGHT


War crimes suspect ‘drinks POISON’ in court after sentence verdict

Harry and Meghan will marry at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle next May, after spending time at the royal palace during their whirlwind romance.

The prince was christened in the 15th-century chapel, which was also the location chosen by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall for their marriage blessing in 2005.

Kensington Palace has also revealed that Meghan plans to become a British citizen and will tour the UK with Harry – starting with a visit to Nottingham this Friday.

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Garden and Landscaping DIY How To Projects

Why do people like gardening?

There are lots of reasons and it will depend on who you are why you want to garden. Here is a selection of the main reasons that people reach for a trowel to start gardening:

  1. Grow your own food; In a relatively recent survey by the University of Illinois discovered that the number one reason that people wanted to garden was so that they could grow safe and healthy food. You have complete control over what goes on your plants and you know the provenance of the fruit and veg that you produce.
  2. Building beauty; When you are gardening you are creating a beautiful environment and working with spectacular plants. Even if it a simple planter in a patio or a window box in a flat window you are adding colour, a touch of nature and making a focal point that the eye is drawn to. There are few things as satisfying as creating and then watching a garden grow and change through the seasons
  3. Gardening is good exercise; Gardening in a free “sport”, and provides excellent cardio and aerobic exercise. It requires lots of bending and stretching keeping people supple and calories are burnt – around 300 an hour for women and about 400 for men.
  4. A leaning experience – Not only will gardening exercise your body it is a great challenge for the mind also. The topic is so broad that there will be something to suit most people; for the more academic there are the Latin names and the biology of the plants and for the more artistic there is the challenging of matching colours and creating garden styles or themes. Gardening is also a wonderful place for children to start to learn about plants, agriculture and nature.
  5. Gardening is emotional; People also garden so that they can express their creativity, they can satisfy an emotional need for tranquillity and a distraction from every day life. It is also an opportunity to create an enduring legacy that will last and grow on, possibly for many generations.

A Short history of the British Garden:

For many thousands of years man has attempted to tame nature and use the land to cultivate plants for his own use. Forest Gardening is the earliest form of this style dating back to prehistoric times. This approach was more for agricultural reasons, and soon by about 10,000 years ago out door spaces were being enclosed, although the purpose is not full understood. The history of the garden really begins with the Romans when they conquered Britain.

Roman gardens: Despite this long history we will take up the story of the British garden in roman times as this is thought to be one of the earliest times that gardens were planted here in Britian. There is a wonderful example of a roman garden at Fishbourne Roman Palace in Sussex. Romans gardens were formal and often planted with low box hedges. There would have been urns, statues and garden seating. They would also have had more open landscaped gardens and most villas will have had a kitchen garden which would have grown fruit and vegetables for the household.

When the Romans left, the warring Saxons were considered not keen gardeners and little is know about them.

Monastic Gardens: It was the monasteries in the middle ages that made the garden important to life in Britain once again. Gardens would be found all around monasteries and they would provide a tranquil environment for the monks as well as food for the monastery. They were typically small and enclosed with a well or fountain as the centre piece. Walk ways would be covered and seating would most likely be turfed and there would be mounds for resting on.

Later in the medieval period garden became common around castles and fortified manor houses. These were simpler and often just grass areas surrounded by hedges where games like tennis were played.

After the reformation, powerful land owners enclosed common land to create parks where they kept cattle and deer. More formal garden could be found near the house protected by walls and hedges.

Tudor gardens great contribution is the knot garden. These are intricate patterns of lawns and typically box hedges. In between the hedges were flowers, herbs and shrubs. The idea that this sort of garden would be views from above, such from windows of the house.

Stuart Gardens: The Stuarts took the French style of garden and made the formal Italian Tudor gardens less formal. Chatsworth house in Derbyshire is an excellent example of this style, which is characterised by broad avenues sweeping away from the main house. These are often flanked by square parterres with formal low hedges.

By the 18th century William Kent had created a highly influential garden for Lord Burlington at Chiswick house. This style created vistas and follies in open parkland settings with statuesque trees and classical ornaments.

English Landscape Garden: Kent’s pupil and son-in-law, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown had a huge impact on the English garden and even architectural style. As the leading proponent of the English Landscape Garden he led the movement started by his farther-in-law for more rounded and natural features; out went the straight lines, rectangles and hedgerows and fences; in came a style for open parkland coming right up to the house. Great examples include Longleat and Blenheim Palace.

Victorian Gardens: The Victorians brought us the public garden and there are a large number of parks and green spaces created for public use during this period aimed at brining culture to everyone.

The style shifted back to one of masses flowers in beds which were brought on in greenhouses. Intricate designs and bright colours were fashionable. There were variations between the formal and the wild gardens, which could be imaginatively integrated in a single garden.

Modern Garden: This can be thought of as an extension of the traditional cottage garden. Flowers, shrubs and climbers are crammed into a boarder to make a profusion of colour and texture. The undisputed champion of this period is Gertrude Jekyll, and possibly the most influential gardener of her period. Her inspiration was to consider that the home and the garden were a whole to be designed as one, rather than the garden and interesting after thought.

Gardening can be a very rewarding pass time and there is a long history and heritage in this country to draw garden ideas and inspiration. The reasons why we garden are almost as varied as the history of gardening, but we hope you find everything you need to know to help you on your way in this our gardening and landscaping section.



Queen discovers renewed love of gardening at 91

The Queen has discovered a renewed interest in gardening, it has emerged, proving that even at the age of 91, it is never too late to take up a new hobby.

The monarch, who toured the Chelsea Flower Show on Monday alongside the Duke of Edinburgh, is said to have been inspired by a garden restoration project at Windsor and has developed an impressive knowledge about plants.

She has taken such an interest in the regeneration of the gardens at Frogmore House that for her 90th birthday last year, her friends are said to have given her plants for the new beds.


The Queen tours the Chelsea Flower ShowCredit: LUKE MACGREGOR


Robert Hillier, chairman of Hillier Nurseries, one of the country’s leading horticultural suppliers, has met the Queen on several occasions but revealed that he was taken aback by her sudden interest and in depth knowledge of the subject.

He said: “She has never shown her knowledge before. We have met many times but suddenly she is so interested in plants and planting.

“She is really thrilled with the way Frogmore is developing. She has now got more ambitious and wants to do a lot more.

“She obviously enjoys going to Chelsea, but in the past she has not been so animated. She has got really into gardening. It’s never too late!”


The Duchess of Cambridge tries a tomato in Chris Evans Taste Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower ShowCredit: WPA Pool


ady Elizabeth Anson, who has been overseeing the project, said: “Her knowledge of plants of phenomenal – and she knows the Latin names.”

Frogmore, a Georgian house set in 35 acres inside the Home Park of Windsor Castle, is bursting with tulip trees, redwoods and wisteria. The grounds were designed as an escape for Queen Charlotte, the green-fingered wife of George III, and are rarely open to the public.

Such is the Queen’s love of its lawns, that it has been claimed the five-strong gardening team are not allowed to remove a single tree or shrub without her permission.

As the monarch toured the flower show, it emerged that her knowledge even extended to earwigs, recalling how gardeners used to trap earwigs with upturned flower pots on top of tomato canes.


The Queen was said to have loved looking around the Chelsea Flower ShowCredit: JULIAN SIMMONDS


“‘I do remember that,” she said. “And the children had to go out and empty them.”

uring her tour of the gardens, it also emerged that the Queen, previously an ardent listener of Sir Terry Wogan’s BBC Radio 2 breakfast show, now tunes in to his successor, Chris Evans.

She met the DJ as she toured his Taste Garden and told him he was on her radio on Monday morning.

He said: “She said ‘I was listening to you this morning’, because it was the Chelsea flower show.”

“She loved the garden, she was here for a while.”


The Duchess of Cambridge talks with exhibitors at the RHS Chelsea Flower ShowCredit: WPA Pool


The Cambridges are understood to enjoy an extensive kitchen garden at Anmer Hall, in Norfolk, where they grow all sorts of vegetables.

But the Duchess, 35, revealed she has had to teach Prince George, 3, not to eat the fox gloves as they are poisonous.

Describing her own growing efforts, she said: “It makes such a difference when you take it from the ground.”


The Queen meets Mary Berry at the Chelsea Flower ShowCredit: JULIAN SIMMONDS


eanwhile, Mary Berry, a Royal Horticultural Society ambassador, got chatting to the Duke of Edinburgh and learned that he was no fan of kohl rabi.

She said: “The Duke was asking about kohl rabi and he reckoned it was a bit wet and not full of flavour – and I think I agree with him.”



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