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Gardener's Diary 

                                 June   2007


Seventy fourth edition -  June 2007

Crops in Pots: 50 Great Container Projects Using Vegetables, Fruit and Herbs

There's always something new to learn with gardening as a hobby. A beautiful mature clump-forming bamboo plant was growing happily in a patio area of the garden, until this spring when it flowered and then died! I dug it up and replaced it with something else, before setting out to discover why it had died.. Apparently it's what they do, flower then die; it is possible to save them but best to discard them... I have since noticed other dead bamboo plants in local gardens...

I've placed details of a book to the left of this column because I'm having great success this year growing crops in pots... Apart from the usual outdoor cherry tomatoes we so love, I'm growing organic red and green lettuce, broad beans, runner beans, peppers and mint, all in pots... Apart from these, there seem to be potatoes growing from old ones that I've chucked on the compost heap.... Umm, I wonder what they'll taste like!

Jobs for the month - June


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..

House plants

House plants should be fed every two weeks or so from April until September. If, like me, you have some large houseplants, they will benefit from being taken outside on a rainy day, or a warm day and sprayed using the hosepipe on a fine mist. It will clean the dust off the leaves and invigorate the plants.. The Red Spider mite that suddenly appeared on some of my plants has now been eradicated by putting them outside and spraying them with Bug clear gun, but I'll be watchful that it, or something else doesn't appear..


It is a good time to Weed & Feed your lawn now the rain has arrived.. It should be applied three days after and three days before cutting the lawn. If the grass is too wet to use a spreader for the job, just broadcast it by hand.. Don't put the first three mowings on your compost heap as they will be full of chemicals from the lawn.


Bedding Plants

Now that you've planted out the summer bedding plants give them plenty of water during dry spells until they're well  established.. If the ground is very dry you will need to continue watering the plants until it can be seen that they are growing away on their own. Some bedding plants will need more water than others so check instructions. It is usually pretty obvious however, if a plant is not happy.. 

Hanging baskets and tubs

I often find that as soon as I put out my hanging baskets there are strong winds that can batter them to bits within minutes, but it is worth just putting them in a sheltered place until the winds die down. The plants will soon grow stronger and be able to withstand a battering.


If you have lilies growing in your borders that appear to have their leaves eaten away, look out for red lily beetles and zap them with Provado ultimate bug killer.. Fail to eradicate the beetles and your lilies will get too weak to survive after a couple of years..


Ponds and Water gardens  

Continue removing any blanket weed, using a stick or fork and taking care not to damage any wildlife. Add tender water plants to your pond and add new varieties of hardy plants to your existing stock. Feed the fish more frequently this month. Keep water levels topped up in hot weather.  A good month for visiting your aquarist for new fish to add more interest. They will have four months to grow and get acclimatised to your pond.. Watch out for the beautiful dragonflies near your pond.


Not so long ago I read in my daily newspaper that partly because of modern farming methods, British bumblebees could be wiped out in a matter of years. Bumblebees need a constant source of suitable plants throughout Spring, Summer and Autumn, and many gardeners believe that all flowers benefit bees. But lots of hybrids are sterile and lack the pollen and nectar on which the insects feed. Gardeners are being urged to plant the flowers that give them a buzz by turning their borders into horticultural havens for bees. Bees are particularly attracted to white, blue, purple and yellow flowers because they see ultraviolet colours and make a beeline straight for them! Rosemary, Thyme, Lavender, Bluebells, Cornflowers, Honeysuckle, Rhododendron, Geraniums, Delphiniums, Foxgloves and Daisies are some of their favourites.... Read about  The Plight of the bumblebee  here. I am always amazed at the size of these beautiful creatures that fly into our conservatory, only to seem unable to find their way back out. We keep a `bumblebee rescue kit` on a shelf which we use first to catch and then release them with.

The recent rain has helped adult birds find worms and insects for their young. In fact the rain has helped a multitude of wildlife, none more so than slugs and snails. I saw an article recently about slug pellets being harmless to pets, but having read the labels on the slug pellet containers, this doesn`t seem to be so, therefore I shall find other methods of keeping my plants snail and slug free. I find they dislike broken shells and sharp gravel, or even a ring of salt around the plants if they are planted in a paved area. I've also bought a couple of slug dishes to sink in the garden..

Happy gardening till next month....


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.



The Yellow Book: NGS Gardens Open for CharityRHS 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:-


RHS Flower Shows 2007


Tickets for RHS members

Privilege rate tickets are available for RHS members to all RHS shows, but tickets must be booked in advance. Click on the individual show links below for further information.
RHS members are not charged a booking fee for tickets purchased except for advanced tickets to the Malvern shows. To find out how to become an RHS member click here


Do you take advantage of the BBC Gardening 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 any special seasonal offers

Some places to visit... 



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

   Amazon book - Gardens Through Time: 200 Years of the English Garden   Amazon book - RHS Encyclopedia of Gardening: RHS Bi-centennial Edition (Royal Horticultural Society)


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