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Gardener's Diary 

                            September   2007


Seventy seventh edition -  September 2007  


RHS Plant Finder 2007-2008 (Rhs)

It had to happen; the very early spring, which saw our trees in blossom a full six weeks earlier than normal, seems to have brought us an early end to summer, such as it was.. Here we are, as I write this towards the end of August, apparently in the throes of Autumn, with leaves starting to fall, and miserable weather.. And yet, a rhododendron shrub is just coming into flower for the second time this year, which is something I have never seen before!

It's been an easy summer for gardeners though, because apart from not having to water the garden, there really hasn't been a lot to do out there. Despite the slugs eating many of my plants and the rain battering down summer bedding plants, the garden does look green and lush. When did you ever see your lawn look so green in August?

I was reminded how the dreaded toxic Ragwort seems to have sprung up everywhere this year, by  this article  in a daily paper.


Jobs for the month - September


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

Reduce watering this month as growth slows down. On a warm day, give houseplants a spray to clean their leaves; do this either outside with your hosepipe, or in the bath with a tepid shower. (Not hairy-leaved plants though, which need gently brushing to clean off any debris and dust, preferably with a small paint brush)

Enjoy the beautiful scent of hyacinths this Christmas, by potting up prepared bulbs in September/October. They are readily available and easy to grow in just a few months. To have hyacinths in flower for the Christmas period, make sure you buy bulbs labelled 'prepared' and plant them in September and early October. Check instructions carefully when you buy them because each cultivar has different timing requirements.


It's time for an Autumn Weed & Feed if you can find a dry spell for the application! There are some weeds that aren't killed off with this treatment, one of which is Lesser Trefoil, growing abundantly in our lawn. I have had to buy a separate weed killer to zap it.. 

Raise the heighton your lawn mower this month.

Herbaceous borders

Continue dead-heading, weeding and hoeing to keep the borders looking neat.  Cut down perennial plants that  have finished flowering. Plant Wallflowers, Sweet William and winter flowering pansies, for winter greenery and spring colour.


Too much wet and cold weather hasn't done the veggies any good this year.. If you made a late sowing of Salad Leaves or Dwarf Beans last month it would be wise to cover them now with a cloche. I have mine in pots which I have brought into the greenhouse for warmth.. Local farmer friends predict we will be getting lots of our vegetables from abroad this winter.


Ponds and Lakes (Usborne Spotter's Guide)

Reduce the amount of food you feed your fish this month and continue removing blanket weed which, due to lack of sunshine, hasn't been too prolific this year. Tidy pond plants that have started to die down.


I saw two foxes in our garden this week! Caught in the beam of a security light, they walked briskly along a path, side by side.. They looked fit and young so I assumed they were newly weaned youngsters. Foxes provide entertainment for our dogs who flush them out of the borders and ensure they don't get too comfortable in our garden! We live in a fairly rural area and do get a good assortment of furry visitors, which we enjoy watching, but we don't feed them - apart from the birds that is - as this would encourage rats...    

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 - 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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