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Gardener's Diary 

                              June 2008



Traditionally the first week of June is the time for putting out the summer bedding plants, hanging baskets and tubs, but it is still possible to get a late frost, so take care. 

For all it's glories June makes demands on the gardener, with frequent lawn-mowing stints, weeding, watering and tending the vegetable garden. Don't forget the house plants which can be taken outside and given a breath of fresh air and a misting with tepid water to freshen them up.

I couldn't find anything really new whilst doing the rounds of my favourite garden centres, but I have noticed how popular herbs are becoming in gardens, and have just counted twenty different varieties in my own garden.. They are aromatic, attractive and mainly edible, what more could you ask of a plant?  Favourites for scent are Mint, Lemon Balm, Pineapple Sage, bergamot, Rosemary, Thyme and my favourite, Yellow Marjoram, which is a delightful bright yellow leaved plant that smells of lemonade powder when crushed, and in my opinion has the best scent of all the herbs...

Why not have a go at growing  your own herb garden this year? Plants are all available at garden centres now.


Outdoor living ideas Summer in the Garden



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


By now you should have repotted 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 separated or, in the case of tulips, put in boxes to dry off, and be re-planted in the autumn.


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. You may also need to go round with a spot lawn weedkiller to zap the weeds immune to the 'weed and feed'.. (Do make sure you get a weedkiller that is for lawns!)


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.


ViolasIf you have a rose hedge this is the month to spray against black spot, mildew and aphids.


This is the time of year to watch out for nasty little bugs in fruit bushes and trees. Eliminate them with an appropriate spray. Watch out for the birds on fruit bushes and cover with netting if necessary. We're being invaded by wood pigeons this year and have had to net produce in the vegetable garden already.

Flowers for cutting

Continue training sweet peas up their supports. Keep cutting flowers for the house and at the same time dead-head any faded blooms to encourage new flowers.

rhododendronHerbaceous plants

Continue to stake plants 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, the aquatic centre should be able to tell you how many fish your pond will comfortably take, allowing for growth. If you are going on holiday ask a neighbour to feed your fish.


Warm June evenings bring out all those insects, and also the hedgehog who will feast on them. 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.




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:-

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 - A year at Kew  Amazon book - Gardens Through Time: 200 Years of the English Garden Amazon book - RHS Plants for Places: 1000 Tried and Tested Plants for Every Soil, Site and Usage (RHS) Amazon book - RHS Encyclopedia of Gardening: RHS Bi-centennial Edition (Royal Horticultural Society)
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