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Gardener's Diary            June

Gardener`s Diary is a regular feature of run by Rosemary Martin, who is semi retired.  She says anyone can enjoy gardening whether they have a large or small garden, can`t tell a dandelion from a daisy, or are aged 9 or 90… Here you will be able to see what jobs you should be doing in the garden month by month, get ideas for spectacular seasonal planting schemes, read previews on new plants and products, find out where to buy them, and get up-to-date news of forthcoming events and places to visit. 

For those of you that have never dabbled in the "black art" of gardening you will first need to get some basic knowledge from a good gardening book. You will find some within this article as examples...


But first an introduction from Rosemary...

I have been gardening now for about thirty years, long enough for my husband to know that it`s wise to bury his head in a newspaper when the secateurs come out of retirement...  I don`t have a favourite style of gardening, traditional is nice but I also think the modern trends work well. Plants in my garden have to be resilient as they get moved around frequently, and my husband has been heard  to mutter  “I don`t remember that tree being there this morning..”

Hobbies have come and gone over the years but only gardening has endured, and now in retirement this column will add a new dimension to the hobby, and 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


Second edition  - June 2001.

This month I have looked in depth at barbecues, garden furniture, garden lighting and patio heaters.

Traditionally the first week of June is the time for putting out the summer bedding plants, hanging baskets and tubs, but it is still possible to get a late frost, so take care. If you haven`t already started your runner beans in pots you can now sow them straight into the garden, two seeds per cane about 2ins. (5cm) deep.

June is the month to re-plant your garden if you`re planning to do so, but first check your soil type with a testing kit available from any garden centre.  Plan to plant about half of the borders with evergreen shrubs for year round interest. I love architectural evergreens such as Phormiums - which come in many colours and sizes, Castor Oil plants,   Palms, variegated Vibernum, Bamboos, Ceanothus and my all time favourite Eucalyptus - of which I have many different types. The winter is so long and dull I think it`s a must to have lots of colour in the garden. Take a peek in your neighbour`s garden and see what grows well if you are stuck for ideas...


No one likes hard work and with careful planning you can create and maintain an attractive low-labour garden. 



Jobs for the month - June


 For all it`s glories June makes it`s demands on the gardener, with frequent lawn-mowing stints, weeding, watering and tending the vegetable garden. Don`t forget the house plants which can be given a breath of fresh air and a misting with tepid water...




By now you should have repotted any houseplants that needed it, and checked that they are not going to get scorched in a sunny aspect. When you go on holiday place your houseplants in a part of the house that remains cool all day if possible. 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.


Overcrowded or deteriorating bulbs can be lifted and put in boxes to dry off, and be re-planted in the autumn.



Mowing can become a twice weekly job at this time of year. If you didn`t  give your lawn a spring "feed and weed" this is a good time of year for a summer application of fertiliser.



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.



If you have a rose hedge this is the month to spray against black spot, mildew and aphids.



This is the time of year to watch out for nasty little bugs in fruit bushes and trees. Eliminate them with an appropriate spray. Still watch out for the birds on fruit bushes and cover with netting if necessary


Flowers for cutting

Continue training 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.


Herbaceous plants

Continue to stake plants and feed them weekly. 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 still a good time to plant aquatics. New pools planted in May are now ready to stock with fish. Don`t put in too many, the aquatic department should be able to tell you how many fish your pond will comfortably take, allowing for growth.  If you are going on holiday get a neighbour to feed your fish but don`t do as we did, tell the neighbour "one handful of fish food daily."  I hadn`t noticed the size of his hands and when we got back the pond was full of soggy fish food...........



Warm June evenings bring out all those insects, and also the hedgehog who will  feast on them, so entice him out with a saucer of bread and milk. Look out for those Pipistrelle bats that fly around at dusk whose young will be born this month, and watch out for any young fledgling birds, but don`t try hand rearing any that have been abandoned, just put them gently in the safety of a bush.



Next month I will be looking at  greenhouses, summerhouses, ponds, decking and of course jobs for the month...



Some web sites of interest to gardeners:




  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

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.


And finally if you are visiting a National Trust garden or any other garden or event, do check that they are not closed due to Foot and Mouth disease. For general advice and up-to-date details of restrictions look up the website for the appropriate local authority who will have information about closures. Alternatively look at the following websites:   and  who will have Foot and Mouth up-dates. 


Have a look at previous editions of Gardener`s Diary


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