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Features

The poet and the plantsman

In 1989 James Fenton startled his friends by moving to a derelict farm to set about making a spectacular garden. Now he has surprised them again by selling up. Julie Kavanagh talks to Fenton and friends – and his gardener, Mike Collins

The curse of genius

We see exceptional intelligence as a blessing. So why, asks Maggie Fergusson, are so many brilliant children miserable misfits?

Vanilla fever

How did hunger for the humble vanilla pod lead to greed, crime and riches? Wendell Steavenson travels to Madagascar to meet the new spice barons

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