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Gardener's Diary

December 2011

An introduction from Rosemary Martin...

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..

Robin in the snowThe festive season is upon us once more, a time when many shops and garden centres are packed with bowls of planted hyacinths, Amaryllis and arrangements of gorgeous house plants, marketed to tempt us into parting with our money. It works every time for me - I just cannot resist a pretty face...

I am glad we are done with November, even though it was a very mild month, it was still dank, foggy, dark and gloomy. Thankfully there were no harsh frosts, which enabled many plants to continue flowering until quite late. In the third week of November I was still removing perfect geraniums in full flower, and cutting down the odd delphinium which bravely decided to put on a late show. A host of other winter flowering shrubs are now coming into their own making the garden look every bit as colourful as it did in the summer..

Whilst in the garden machine centre recently I asked if I could have my tractor mower serviced over winter as it is in need of some attention. "Certainly" the proprietor said, "I`ll come and collect it for you." Now I must admit to not giving the logistics of the operation much thought.. I suppose I could`ve driven the thing along the road, not without some odd looks I imagine, but I still think it is an amazing service. Thinking of readers, I asked him how housebound and elderly gardeners could get their garden equipment serviced, and he suggested that people look in the gardening column of their local paper for an appropriate advertisement, or ask their local DIY shop to recommend somewhere or someone. If you can`t do your own regular garden machinery maintenance, get someone else to do it for you, but whatever you decide, do not neglect it..

Don`t forget to keep the bird food topped up over the winter months as they do come to rely on us. And if your pond freezes over make sure you keep a hole in the ice so the fish can get oxygen.

 Some gift ideas for gardening friends below:

Terracotta pots
A gardening book from
Japanese wind chimes
A years subscription to a gardening magazine
Gardening gloves
House plant
watering can
Garden ornaments
Secateurs or other garden hand tools
Gardening Calender or diary
Early prepared Hyacinths
Gift voucher for a garden centre
An azalea or cyclamen
A packet of their favourite seeds
Decorative plant labels
Decorative house name or number
Bonsai tree kit
Heated propagator
Bird feeder
Garden thermometer


Merry Christmas and a Happy New year



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The above article is part of the features section of called laterlife interest. laterlife interest contains a variety of articles of interest for visitors to written by a number of experienced and new journalists.

It includes both one off articles and also associated regular columns of a more specialist nature such as Healthwise, Gardener's Diary, our regular IT question and answer section called YoucandoIT and there's also 'It could be you' by Maggi Stamp laterlife's counsellor on human relationships. 

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