Homes & Gardens

How much do you really know about cats? (iStock/PA)

15 bizarre things you never knew about cats

We feed them, stroke them, and live alongside them – but how much do you really know about your cat?

While dogs are fairly up front about things – when they look like they’re happy to see you, they actually are – cats can be a lot more mysterious, and their private lives extend far...

Claire Roberts

Claire Roberts




Box tree caterpillar: What is it and how can it affect your garden?

Authored by Marc Astley

The box tree caterpillar has been announced as the top critter in the 24th RHS annual pest and disease ranking – for the third year running.

It’s based on thousands of gardener inquiries, and the pesky caterpillar has brought more inquiries than the rest of the top five combined.

But what does it look like, how does it damage plants and is there anything we can do to...

How to declutter and detox your home (Habitat/PA)

How to make your home calmer and less cluttered in 7 simple steps

Authored by Marc Astley

Spring is almost here – and the start of this new season often makes us yearn for clean, calm, refreshed spaces at home.

Amy Brandhorst and Athina Bluff, aka interior design duo , have teamed up with Habitat to share expert tips on how to banish your home’s winter hangover and make it warm weather-ready and fabulous.

The stylish pair have...

Marigolds, Myrtle And Moles by Alan Titchmarsh

Alan Titchmarsh: Keep getting out there and keep getting mucky

Authored by Marc Astley

Self-confessed romantic and gardening expert Alan Titchmarsh has combined his horticultural passion with his love of words in Marigolds, Myrtle And Moles, his first book of poetry aimed at the green-fingered.

Written mainly in a barn next to his house, overlooking his garden in Hampshire, the book is not full of pretentious prose, but more his own gentle, meandering thoughts about...

Thinking of hiring a cleaner? Here is what you need to know

Authored by Marc Astley

Busy lives and longer working hours mean today’s householders have even less time for domestic chores, and many are turning to professional cleaners for help.

A third of adults struggle to find time to take care of their home, according to research by home appliances brand Beko, and other polls suggest the popularity of domestic cleaning services has risen substantially in recent...

From closet chaos to serene storage: Seven simple steps for making the most of your hanging space

Authored by Claire Roberts

Who wouldn’t want their own personal wardrobe wizard?

Someone who isn’t fazed by messy stacks of sweaters and shirts caught up with strappy tops. Who will put an end to the shocking pink dress that’s never seen the light of day yet always manages to get snagged by the little black sequin number as you rustle through your crowded closet (and then bemoan the fact you have nothing to...

Six of the smallest spring-cleaning hacks that will have the biggest impact on your life

Authored by Marc Astley

It may be a good few weeks before the clocks spring forward, but with daylight soon to be streaming through the windows in the early hours, things we’ve been turning a blind eye to are suddenly in the spotlight… namely dust and grime.

We will soon all be turning into Mrs Mops and dedicating any spare time we have to cleaning.

Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. To help you...

Seven ways to add value to your home

Authored by Marc Astley

Keen to add value to your home? Whether you’ve just moved into a decrepit bedsit, or have lived in a mansion for years of domestic bliss, there is still plenty of mileage to adding value to your property.

Doing so could help improve your own quality of life while you’re still in the property (if buyers find something appealing, odds are you might too), and keep you well placed on the...

How to make your garden a place to nurture friendships

Authored by Claire Roberts

Your front garden could be a space to make new friendships, alleviate loneliness and promote a sense of community.

So says celebrated designer Jo Thompson, who is designing the RHS Garden for Friendship at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show.

She is teaming up with BBC Radio 2’s Zoe Ball to promote making friends through gardening – highlighting how working outside can help...

What does 2020 have in store for the housing market?

Authored by Marc Astley

Some fresh signs of life have been springing up in the housing market.

The average UK house price jumped by just over £4,000 between November and December last year, according to Halifax. And some property websites have reported seeing a boost in activity during December 2019, compared with a year earlier – perhaps indicating more people are considering moving in the near future....

Do you know your flange from your space balls... and why is Friday better known as Poets Day to tradespeople?

Authored by Marc Astley

When the inevitably January DIY turns to failure and you need to turn to the help of a professional it can be a daunting experience if you don’t know your ball cocks from your flanges, and while we try to play it cool when a tradesman is in our house, we all get lost in a sea of trade lingo from time to time.

But not to worry, leading tradespeople comparison site, https://www.hamuch....