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Is it true that householders could be at even greater risk of flooding this winter

A. It looks more than possible. Some parts of the country have already had a month's worth of rainfall in less than three days and flood warnings have already been issued across East Anglia, the01:00 Fri 26th Oct 2001

Does the current trend of buying property abroad show any sign of abating

A. Quite the opposite, it is more popular than ever. For instance, there are now over half a million British property owners in France alone. With property prices so high in this country, for the01:00 Fri 26th Oct 2001

Why do plants produce berries

A. Berries are another of nature's clever reproduction tricks. Birds and other creatures eat the berries as they build up the reserves either for migration or to withstand the cold temperatures that01:00 Fri 26th Oct 2001

How does frost actually damage plants

A. In freezing temperatures - generally accepted as 32oC and below - water inside the plant freeze and expand which can eventually rupture the cell wall. The effects can vary from causing 'burning'01:00 Fri 19th Oct 2001

What exactly is a botanical garden

A. There is no organisation or body that decides what is a botanical garden and what is, but the general definition of a botanic garden is defined as one that is open to the public and that grows01:00 Fri 19th Oct 2001

Winter s around the corner and our house gets very cold. What can we do to make it warmer without spending anything

A. There are a number of things you can do that will cost you very little or even nothing at all. For instance, just because it is winter doesn't mean we don't get sunny days. When they do occur,01:00 Fri 19th Oct 2001

We're bombarded by invitations to change our gas/electricity supplier. Why

A. British Gas lost its monopoly on supplying gas in 1996, and the 14 regional electricity boards monopolies were broken up in 1999. That means any company can now supply gas and electricity to your01:00 Tue 16th Oct 2001

What damage can wind do to garden plants

A. To some extent it depends on where the wind comes from. Inland South Westerly winds often bring warmer air so if they are not gale-force, can be welcome. It's the colder easterly and01:00 Tue 16th Oct 2001

We often here of alien plants running wild in the countryside. Where have they come from and why are they here

A. There are scores of plants, both land and water-based running amok in Britain and it is basically down to us, the gardeners. As a gardening potty nation we've never been satisfied with our01:00 Tue 16th Oct 2001

Where does the idea of the garden maze come from

A. The maze is a gardening take on the labyrinth, a series of paths and walls leading to a centre, which has been around since the ancient Greeks. The myth of Theseus has the hero making his way01:00 Tue 09th Oct 2001

What s the difference between hardy and half-hardy annuals

A. Just about annuals can be sown in spring to give flowers in summer, but there are many that can be sown in autumn, right now in fact, that will survive the winter and be ready to crack on as soon01:00 Tue 09th Oct 2001

Why have loft conversions become so popular

A. It is a popular option among people who find themselves pushed for space but for whatever reason don't want to go through the process of moving to a bigger house. You might simply like the house01:00 Tue 09th Oct 2001

Autumn s definitely arrived. Is October the month for gardeners to begin hibernating

A. No, unless you want to have a lot of catching up to do next spring. October is an invigorating month, a combination of finishing off this year's business and gearing up for the next. It's time to01:00 Tue 02nd Oct 2001

What is Seed Gathering Sunday all about

A. It is part of an on going campaign to encourage more people, be they keen gardeners or children living on inner city council estates, to be more aware of trees, their value to our lives and01:00 Tue 02nd Oct 2001

Is it true there has been a huge increase in garden crime

A. Yes, although it is almost impossible to quantify it exactly. A recent prediction by a major insurance company suggested that one in three gardens in the UK will suffer some form of theft this01:00 Tue 02nd Oct 2001

What is Britain s favourite garden plant

A. No real surprises here, the rose (it is the national flower after all). What we all really knew anyway was made official by a survey of gardeners carried out by publishers Dorling Kindersley last01:00 Tue 25th Sep 2001

The trees will soon be giving us the annual autumn display. What causes the leaves to change colour

A. What happens is this. The green pigments in leaves are the result of the production of chlorophyll, the stuff that converts carbon dioxide and nutrients into food for the plant to grow, which01:00 Tue 25th Sep 2001

Has the home working revolution hit Britain yet

A. Slowly but surely more and more of us are working from home. Millions self-employed people are now using their homes as offices instead of renting premises while employers are increasingly01:00 Tue 25th Sep 2001

What are the main disadvantages of gardening next to a main road

A. Gardeners living by main roads have to live with two sorts of pollution, noise pollution and airborne pollution. There are trees and shrubs that are particularly good at counteracting the former,01:00 Mon 17th Sep 2001

There seems to be no end to us Brits appetite for DIY, but are we any good at it

A. Not particularly, according to a recent survey carried out by internet bank cahoot. It found that around half those who embark on major DIY projects failed to finish them. Tellingly, most of01:00 Mon 17th Sep 2001

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