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Gardener's Diary

July 2012


An introduction from Rosemary Martin...


Previously in The Gardener's Diary...

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012



The Gardener's Diary


RosemaryI have been gardening now as a hobby for about forty years, but have no formal training.. I don't have a favourite style of gardening, traditional is nice, but I also think the modern trends work well. 

This column adds a new dimension to my interest in all aspects of horticulture and will hopefully help others find pleasure in this healthy and therapeutic pastime ... 

Please e-mail me with your garden problems, comments, or ideas for this section of laterlife, remembering to tell me which country you are from.. 

Click here for previous editions of Gardener's Diary..



Bluetit-july12This is a month of lazy days and barbecues, if it stops raining for long enough. It is the time of year when I like to walk around the garden, savouring the sights, smells and sounds and wishing I could bottle it all to last me through the long winter months. The gardens everywhere are looking very lush with all the rain they've had and at least the hosepipe ban has been lifted.

I sometimes wish for a warmer climate, but on balance prefer our cooler temperatures and diversity of seasons and landscape.

I am already receiving my new bulbs and shrubs catalogues from various nurseries, and really can't take to the strange new colours of some new breeds of plants; pink Lily of the Valley, pink daffodils, and even daffodils that change from yellow to pink as they age just seem a step too far!  I wonder if sometimes horticulturalists interfere too much with nature in an attempt to swell company profits.




Jobs for the month - July


Fruit and vegetable garden

The Fruit and vegetable garden section for July can be found here

  Runner beans


House plants

This is the month when your houseplants are likely to be attacked by pests such as aphids, red spider mite and mealy bug. One of my larger succulents in the conservatory was found to be covered in white cotton wool like fluff which turned out to be mealy bug infestation. I picked them all off with a cotton wool bud and quarantined the plant. Check all your houseplants thoroughly and treat according to your gardening book recommendations if infestations are found.


It has been said in books that a lawn is only as good as it`s edges, and I agree that however immaculate your lawn is, if the edges are crumbly, ragged and uneven, the effect is lost. So once or twice a year remedy this by cutting any overhanging grass with either a strimmer, or a long-handled pair of shears, and straighten the edges with either a straight bladed spade, a proprietary lawn edger or a special half-moon turfer (turfing iron) If you have straight borders you will avoid getting wavy edges if you put a marking line down.

Herbaceous borders

Rose-july12Enjoy the colourful borders this month, taking care to cut off  older flowers as they fade. This serves as a dual purpose in removing unsightly dead blooms and also encouraging more new flowers. Some perennials should be lifted and divided every few years at this time, so check this out in your gardening book. Feed plants if necessary with a preparation such as "Miracle -Gro" which can be applied with a dispenser that attaches to the hose pipe. Mulch borders if possible.

 Water gardens

Fish may still spawn until August, so be careful not to lose any tiny, newly hatched fry if you are disturbing the water in your pond. Don`t let blanket weed smother your fish and plants, hook it out with a stick, taking care not to catch any frogs or fish in it.. Watch out for any water snails that have been introduced into your pond through new planting, for they may eat the plants. Although most types of snails usually do a good job consuming decaying plant or animal remains, they are not all pond friendly.


I love watching the wildlife in our garden: the blackbirds busy turfing the bark off the borders, looking for food for their young, the other birds with their youngsters, the fox that has his route through our garden every night, the bats flying low at dusk, the hedgehog in the evening and butterflies during the day. But mostly I love watching our puppies watching all of the other creatures. They seem fascinated by them all and their audacity at intruding in their domain. It is a constant drama unfolding.



 Some flower shows to visit this month:-

Hampton Court Palace flower show - July 3rd - 8th

RHS Flower show, Tatton Park -  July 18th - 22nd




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