Country Life 17 May 2023

Country Life 17 May 2023 is our summer gardens special, previewing the Chelsea Flower Show, growing delphiniums and getting Alan Titchmarsh's take on how the RHS should move forward.

The impossible made possible

This year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show promises aromatic planting, re-imagined rock gardens and mouth-watering productive plots, as Kathryn Bradley-Hole learns

Delightful delphiniums

John Hoyland rejoices in these delicate and statuesque plants that are equally dazzling in the garden and on the show bench

Let’s celebrate gardening

It’s time to put ‘H’ for horticulture at the heart of the RHS show-piece, argues Alan Titchmarsh

Here’s looking at you, kid

Julie Harding discovers what makes owners fall for the charms of the pint-sized pygmy goat

Gnome alone

Ben Lerwill digs into the history and enduring appeal of our rosy-cheeked garden chums

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Homing instincts

Christopher Woodward reveals how Cedric Morris safeguarded gems from his plant collection

Lady Caroline Percy’s favourite painting

The interior designer is drawn to an intriguing Turner scene

The stork cometh

Jamie Blackett welcomes a rare and exciting visitor to the farm

Time to sit and stare

Non Morris savours a delightful West Sussex garden fashioned with rest and relaxation in mind

Take a bough

Treehouses, swings and seats for summer, from Amelia Thorpe

Baronial dreams

Clive Aslet charts how Lutyens helped a businessman become king of Castle Drogo in Devon

Native breeds

Kate Green on the high-stepping Hackney, a real equine ballerina

When I am feeling blue

Don’t be fooled by the blue tit’s songbird sweetness—it can be unfaithful, warns Stephen Moss

The good stuff

Hetty Lintell falls head over heels for the best of British millinery


Giles Kime soaks up Nature in a luxurious outdoor bathtub

Kitchen garden cook

Melanie Johnson speaks up for tarragon, an unsung herb hero

The plays that turn full circle

Classic drawing-room comedies still sparkle for Michael Billington

And much more