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Gardener's Diary

March 2011

An introduction from Rosemary Martin...

Previously in The Gardener's Diary...

February 2011

January 2011

December 2010

The Gardener's Diary

Rosemary MartinI 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..

helleboresThank goodness January and February have been mild and dry, and gave us a chance to repair our garden.. Anything that looked dead was removed, even the Cordylines and phormiums, which might have recovered!

 I made a decision that life's too short to worry about plants surviving any future extremely cold winters, so any half-hardy stuff has been evicted. Of course it has left some huge gaps but it is an excellent excuse to buy new stock that will survive extreme temperatures..

Even garden centres are struggling to replace their stock because their suppliers also suffered great losses in the arctic temperatures..


Jobs for the month

March 2011

* This month is your last chance to plant bare rooted fruit trees and bushes, and other bare rooted plants and shrubs.

* Prune autumn fruiting varieties of raspberries down to the ground and shorten blackcurrent bushes to one third of their height.

* Put a bucket or tall flowerpot over your rhubarb to force some early shoots to grow

*hellebore Cut down dogwoods, grown for their winter colour, to within a couple of buds

* Plant overwintered dahlia tubers and begonia tubers in pots under glass

* Prune winter flowering shrubs, and any roses you didn't prune in the autumn.

* Cut late summer and autumn flowering Clematis back to lowest pair of strong buds, about 1-2 feet from the ground

* Prune Buddleia and other shrubs that have become ungainly, checking first in your gardening book the correct time for pruning individual shrubs

* If you didn't do this in the autumn cut back grasses and other perennials before growth gets under way. Split any clumps of perennials that need rejuvenating.

violasI noticed that garden centres are already selling little pots of newly germinated bedding plant seedlings, which I tend to buy, to grow on.. But remember that it will be another three months before you can plant them outside - do you really need to pamper them for that length of time?


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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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