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Gardener's Diary

July 2011

An introduction from Rosemary Martin...

Previously in The Gardener's Diary...

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

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..

RoseJuly should be an easy month in the ornamental garden - when the only attention the borders need is a light hoeing, and watering if it is really dry weather - but a busy month in the kitchen garden.

Why not take some time out and go to a flower show? There are two RHS shows this month; Hampton Court Palace flower show and Tatton Park flower show, both well worth a visit - garden shows are great for finding new ideas for your garden, especially if you are wanting to have a change around or make your garden more easy to manage.

Feeling down? Don't pop pills.. just grow peonies. As we gardeners already knew, gardening really can cure the blues.



Jobs for the month

July 2011


Fruit and vegetable gardening for July click here

 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. Check all your houseplants thoroughly and treat according to your gardening book recommendations if infestations are found. I even found an ornamental cherry tree riddled with mealy bug recently!


A lawn is only as good as it`s edges, and if the edges are crumbly, ragged and uneven, the effect is spoilt. Once or twice a year cut 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

RosesEnjoy the colourful borders this month, taking care to cut off 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. "Miracle -Gro"  also have granular feed for general use, one for roses and one for ericaceous plants, which I find easier to apply. Mulch borders if possible.


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 flitting around at dusk and butterflies during the day. But mostly I enjoy seeing my puppy watching all of the other creatures. He seems fascinated by them all and their audacity at intruding in his domain. It is a never ending drama.


Happy gardening till next month....

sneezing sunflower


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