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Gardener's Diary            July

Gardener`s Diary is a regular feature of run by Rosemary Martin.


An introduction from Rosemary...    




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..




Thirty ninth edition - July 2004

There have been several articles in my daily newspaper recently about the latest gardening trends. It seems we no longer fill our garden spaces with lawns and flowers, but prefer instead to cover them in decking, patio heaters, barbecues and furniture. Have a look around the DIY stores and garden centres to see how true this is. It must be assumed then that it is a financially lucrative trend for the manufacturers, much the same as replacing all our carpets with laminated flooring. Very soon carpets and green lawns will be `back in` and huge bonfires will rage across the land when folk burn their wooden floors and decking.

Me? I never follow trends anyway, so have nothing to lose..


Jobs for the month - July

July is a lazy month for gardeners if they so wish, with easy jobs to do, such as dead-heading flowers, watering and weeding. All your house plants can stay outside for a few weeks for a breath of fresh air and a misting with tepid water...





Look for aphid damage, red spider mite, mealy bug and any other unwanted visitors, and spray immediately. Don`t forget to make provision for your houseplants if you are going away. 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. Failing all else, put your well watered houseplants in the coolest room in the house and draw the curtains or blinds and they will easily cope for a couple of weeks






Lift and dry off any tulip bulbs still in the borders or tubs, and you can order now for Autumn planting from your early bulb catalogues. Last season I bought some miniature tulips to dot around the tubs. They were an absolute delight as you can see here.







New lawns turfed or sown in the spring may now have a dose of weak weedkiller. Keep the cutter blades of your lawn mower set to medium in a dry spell, because if you cut the lawn too short it will soon go brown and look unsightly.




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. Shade cucumbers from hot sun.  




Continue spraying rose hedges this month against black spot, mildew and aphids. You can still trim other types of hedge if they are growing quickly.





You will still need to watch out for nasty little bugs in fruit bushes and trees and eliminate them with an appropriate spray. This is a time of year to begin pruning and training some young fruit trees. You should consult a gardening book for this procedure



Flowers for cutting


Train 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. Spray against aphids and stake any flowers that are getting tall.


Herbaceous plants


Feed plants fortnightly now. 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 fish-spawning time so take care that your pond is not starved of oxygen. If you have tadpoles which by now have developed their legs, try to keep them apart from your fish, for they will eat them.  Provide a ramp for the tadpoles to leave the pond when the time comes. If you want to really help the tiny frogs then spray the flower beds or grass where they will be living with water for a few days if the weather is hot...





Our hedgehogs are back from their winter hibernation and doing a good job of eating insects. The Pipistrelle bats that fly around at dusk are busy as usual, and young fledgling birds are running the gauntlet with next doors cat.  I found a huge egg (over 8 inches in circumference) that I assume a fox had buried in a ceramic flower pot on our patio, which was a mystery as we have a huge range of flower borders in which to bury a hoard. You can see the egg here in the half planted up pot..






The third largest flower show in the UK, Tatton is an annual feast for keen
gardeners as well as those who simply enjoy the spectacle of stunning garden
designs and plant displays.

Around 50 gardens will showcase the very best design talent working in spaces large and small.  More than 90 of the UK`s leading nurseries and growers will provide further inspiration with exhibits in the floral marquees. Visitors will have a chance to buy the very latest plants, flowers, gardening accessories and ornaments from the nation`s top growers and specialist suppliers around the showground.

Charity Gala Preview of the
Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

: :

5 July 2004

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

: :  

6 - 11 July 2004

RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park

: :  

21 - 25 July 2004

Malvern Autumn Garden & Country Show

: :  

25 - 26 September 2004

Wisley Shows

: :  

April, June and August

RHS London Flower Shows

: :  


RHS Fruit Conference

: :  

6 October 2004  


Some of your recent gardening queries

Keep the e-mails with your gardening problems coming (Please tell me which country you live in - knowing the climate helps me solve your problem)

Laterlife is pleased to support the project below:-

Designed to stimulate the senses and provide a haven of peace, a place to chill-out and unwind from the stress of modern living. A garden designed specifically to be "Positive About Disabled People" and raise funds for people with Multiple Sclerosis.

Take a virtual trip around the garden, through different countries, its monthly photo galleries & artwork, explore and discover the plants, birds and wildlife, water features and wind-chimes, as we endeavour to describe the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touch of the various areas. 

We hope you enjoy your visit to the Sensory Garden Project  


And 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 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...



Keep the e-mails with your gardening problems coming

Have a look at previous editions of Gardener`s Diary




Some websites of interest to gardeners:- 


Alan Titchmarsh MBE, TV gardener, writer, broadcaster and thoroughly nice person. Just a few choice words to describe him. See his website....



Thompson and Morgan: 


A growing resource for gardeners worldwide. The site includes the international online seed catalogues, the young plants catalogue (UK only), the wholesale seeds catalogue, together with the award winning Germination Times and a host of other useful information.


Gardening 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. 







Good 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

RHS Garden Finder is 12.99 from Dorling Kindersley





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