Stonehenge unveils its £27m makeover in time for the winter solstice

After 30 years of planning and archaeological controversy, the ancient stones offer pagans and other visitors more than ever Towards the end of December the sun dips ever lower in the sky, almost seeming to disappear. Then, once again, the days begin to lengthen. But this year the winter solstice is a little different – at least for those who hope to mark it at Stonehenge. The 2013 solstice, on …

Christmas crackers: the best shows (plus top ways to escape the tinsel)

From the Nutcracker to American Psycho, from Mary Poppins to Kurt Vile, our critics pick their must-sees of the festive season If you wish it could be Christmas every day Nutcrackers, various You know it's Christmas in the ballet world by the number of Nutcrackers touring the world's stages. In the UK alone, there are close to a dozen doing the rounds, but the top three remain the Royal Ballet's …

2013: feast and famine

Garden designer Tom Hoblyn picks his plant of the year and looks back at how his business fared in 2013 Here we are in mid December and still among the embers of what has been a reassuringly long and wonderful autumn. Walking the dogs in the morning, I see swamp cypress ( Taxodium distichum ) and a sweet gum ( Liquidambar styraciflua ) still hanging in there, gradually fading into the background …