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Gardener's Diary 

                              November 2009

robinI 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 finally 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 a rest from it all is now on the cards..

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!

Spotted in Britain for the first time, it's Notcher average pest; A voracious Asian moth that devours one of our most popular garden shrubs...







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..

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 your lawn is still growing and is fairly dry, continue cutting it. I have cut my lawn throughout the winter months in years gone by, just for the exercise!

  • dogwood midwinter fire Ensure the food and water for the birds is always topped up.

  • Take care to keep your pets indoors and safe while those loud fireworks are still being let off. If you keep the radio on indoors it will deaden the 'bangs'..

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

  • Put the garden furniture away in the shed for the winter and give anything made of wood a coat of paint before it goes away!



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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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