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Gardener's Diary

November 2011

An introduction from Rosemary Martin...

Previously in The Gardener's Diary...

October 2011

September 2011

August 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..


berriesI like November: the garden looks bare but tidy and there is usually a damp and gloomy feel to the outdoors.. The days are at their shortest and darkest too, so what on earth do I find that is nice about November? Well, I can put my feet up and be unashamedly lazy. All summer long I have been a slave to the garden, weeding, digging and pruning which was an excellent way of exercising and keeping fit during the summer months, but it is nice to have a change.. Have I followed my own advice to take time out and enjoy the rewards of my labour? Of course not.... But I will next year!


Jobs for the month

November 2011


  • Apart from a few tidying up maintenance sessions, most of the jobs in the garden are now finished until the spring.

  • Have you planted up all those packs of prettily packaged bulbs that tempted you to buy them in the garden centre, or have you, like me, shoved them in a cupboard and forgotten them? Tulips can be planted out until December, but all others really should be in the ground or pots by now!

  • Sweep up leaves instead of letting them gather in soggy, slippery heaps, ready to trip up an unsuspecting pedestrian. If you put them in bin liners with holes in them, you will soon have wonderful leafmould to put on the borders.

  • If your lawn is still growing and is fairly dry, continue cutting it. I have cut my lawn on Boxing day in years gone by, just for the exercise! Sweep leaves off the lawn because they will kill it if left there.

  • pair of breeding bullfinches in our garden.Check that food for the birds is topped up. Don't forget to give them water as well as food. I make up a mixture of bird food by melting suet and, at the point of setting, adding some peanut butter and various types of mixed bird seed. Allow it to set in the fridge then either spread it in the fork of two tree branches, or mould it into balls or a square to fit into bought mesh containers.. Birds love it and, it is said, that woodpeckers cannot resist the peanut butter.

  • Take care to keep your pets indoors and safe while those loud fireworks are still being let off. If your pet is particularly nervous there is plenty of help available for them from this company.

  • Plan your bedding plants and perennials for next year with a spot of armchair gardening and seed/plant catalogues.

  • There has been a lot of talk of another VERY cold winter, in fact colder than last year, and on the strength of this I am bringing as much stuff indoors as I possibly can in the hopes of saving the more tender plants. I planted lots of spring flowering bulbs in troughs and tubs last year and they rotted off in the extreme cold, so they will get insulated in the greenhouse this year, just in case. I have also taken cuttings of some favourite tender perennials which, again, will be brought into the conservatory where the temperature remains above freezing.

  • Stock up with rock salt to clear your paths and drives

  • I have been looking at the RHS website for Christmas gifts; there are some unusual and not too expensive ideas for the whole family..


Dogwood, midwinter fire

Dogwood, Midwinter Fire..



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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.

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