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Gardener's Diary 

                                 June 2010


Yellow daisyI love Herbaceous perennials. They're such good value for money because they flower for weeks, last for years and you can lift them up and divide them, thereby increasing your stock at no cost.

Garden centres are packed with fresh new season's perennials, so why not treat yourself to a shopping trip. Be a bit crafty, search around for some larger specimens, and once you get them home they can be divided to make several plants for the price of one!

I have one favourite perennial in my garden that must've originally self-seeded from elsewhere; I don't know what it is called but it is a real winner and very hardy, see photo top left of the yellow daisy.







An introduction from Rosemary Martin...

I have been gardening now as a hobby for about thirty 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..

Jobs for the month - June

The Kitchen Garden

The Kitchen Garden section has moved to a separate page, here...


By now you should have re-potted any houseplants that needed it, and checked that they are not going to get scorched in a sunny aspect. When you go on holiday place your houseplants in a part of the house that remains cool all day if possible. There are several types of capillary matting in the garden centres that you can stand the plants on, or even soaked newspaper in a bucket. 


Overcrowded or deteriorating bulbs can be lifted and put in boxes to dry off and be re-planted in the autumn. Don`t be tempted to cut the leaves off bulbs that have finished flowering, instead just leave them to die down naturally and feed them with a liquid fertiliser if you can.


green lawnLawns

Mowing can become a twice weekly job at this time of year. If you didn`t give your lawn a spring "feed and weed" this is a good time of year for a summer application of fertiliser. A fine lawn really sets off any garden, see my lawn on the left.



Make sure that any plants in the greenhouse have adequate ventilation and are shaded from too much sun. Maintain humidity to avoid red spider mite by damping down with the hosepipe. I do this frequently in hot weather.


Most hedges will benefit from a trim this month and again in September. If you are using electric hedge cutters, (or any other electric gardening tools for that matter,) ensure you have an RCD device fitted for your safety. And check that there are no birds nesting in your hedge before you cut it..

Flowers for cutting

Continue training sweet peas up their supports. I have grown several clumps of sweet peas in borders this year and am training them up wrought iron obelisks and wigwams made of canes. Keep cutting flowers for the house and at the same time dead-head any faded blooms to encourage new flowers. Water newly planted out  summer bedding plants until established, if we have a dry spell.

Herbaceous plants

Stake plants if they are fairly tall and feed them weekly. I use Miracle-Gro with the dispenser that attaches to the hose pipe so everything in the garden gets fed...and watch out for aphids on your plants. Keep the borders weed free and mulched.

Ponds and water features

This is still a good time to plant aquatics. New pools planted in May are now ready to stock with fish. Don`t put in too many, your local aquatic supplier should be able to tell you how many fish your pond will comfortably take, allowing for growth. If you are going on holiday get a neighbour to feed your fish.


One legged robinThe little robin on the left only has one leg yet manages to have a thoroughly nice life in our garden; it's probably my imagination but it seems to me that the other birds protect him from danger. He manages to fly around and eat from the feeders, then spends ages sunning himself, straddled across the wall.. He's been around for months now and is perfectly tame..

Birds have made nests everywhere at ours; they seem to be making up for the harsh winter and breeding like mad, in the oddest of places too, you really do have to be careful with pruning at this time of year, in case you disturb birds nests!

Warm June evenings bring out insects, and also hedgehogs who will feast on them, so entice them out with a saucer of bread and milk. Look out for Pipistrelle bats that fly around at dusk whose young will be born this month, and watch out for any young fledgling birds, but don`t try hand rearing any that have been abandoned, just put them gently in the safety of a bush - their parents may well find them.

Don`t be a slave to your garden: make the most of our short British summer by
spending as much time relaxing outside as possible...


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Amazon book - Gardens of the National Trust. When the National Trust decided to take on the care of gardens, the aim was that these would be the very best of their kind in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Trust now has the finest collection of gardens ever assembled under one ownership..

Volunteering with the National Trust

Volunteers are active in all parts of the National Trust, from the new central office in Swindon to the summits of Snowdonia and Divis Mountain near Belfast.

View their latest opportunities, or find out more about the kind of roles and different places you can volunteer:

Still with the National Trust, some of the most visited National Trust properties are now holding regular farmers' and food markets.  Click here for details  and dates.



RHS gardens


Their four flagship gardens not only provide year-round interest and offer a wide range of courses, talks and demonstrations, they also demonstrate the best gardening practices, new techniques and exciting new plants to try in your garden.

Or go to their website for a diary of all other events at:-

Do you take advantage of the DEFRA website for information? I find it a valuable source of information, for up to date legislation, countryside matters and useful information such as plant pests and diseases, which saves me ploughing through all my gardening books, with the knowledge that their information is bang up to date...


Thompson & Morgan LogoThompson & Morgan 


Visit where full information is available on their product varieties and orders can be taken on-line.  Have a look to see what is new, and special seasonal offers


Some places to visit... 



The Eden Project


The living theatre of plants and people
The Eden Project is a gateway into the world of plants and people. A meeting place for all to discover how we depend on plants and how we can help to manage and conserve them for our mutual survival.


Kew Gardens two locations:-

Tel: 020 8332 5655 (24 hr)
Fax: 020 8332 5197

Royal Botanic Gardens

Tel: 01444 894066 (24 hr)
Fax: 01444 894069

Royal Botanic Gardens
Wakehurst Place
Nr Haywards Heath
West Sussex
RH17 6TN


The National Botanic Gardens of Scotland comprise:

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Scotland's Premier Garden

Benmore Botanic Garden, Argyll
Argyll's Magnificent Mountainside Garden

Dawyck Botanic Garden, Borders
Wonderful Woodland Garden

Logan Botanic Garden, Galloway
Scotland's Most Exotic Garden

The National Botanic Garden of WalesThe National Botanic Garden of Wales

The star attraction here is the 91 metre long domed glasshouse, that houses landscapes normally found in the Mediterranean. This would be a super place to visit on a chilly day...




Some websites of interest to gardeners:-



Carry on Gardening - The easier gardening web site from ThriveGardening is an important part of many people's lives. You don't have to give up gardening because of accident or illness, the onset of disability or the problems associated with growing older. The information on their website is designed to provide you with the information to Carry on Gardening.

Carry on Gardening was initiated by the horticultural charity Thrive and is funded by the National Lottery Charities Board.  It brings together information on easy ways of gardening gathered over 23 years by Thrive and research carried out since the early 1970s by Mary Marlborough Centre, Oxford, on tools and equipment for disabled and older people. 



Useful reading:-


"The Yellow Book" contains information of all Gardens of England and Wales open for charity, and can be bought priced ?5 from National Gardens Scheme

National Trust Gardens Handbook is ?6.99 and the new edition is out in May  Telephone 01394 389 950 or see their website

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