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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 I get the secateurs out...  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 adds a new dimension to the hobby, 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


Take a look at Rosemary's Gardening web site review too.


Fourteenth edition  - June 2002

June is not such a frantic month for the gardener, as most of the heavy work has now been done. The bedding plants, tubs and hanging baskets are in place and growing nicely and all those maintenance jobs have been seen to, so stand back and take stock of your garden. The next three months are the best in the year for relaxing in the garden and enjoying the fruits of your labour, before the Autumn arrives...

Did any of you manage to get to the Chelsea Flower Show? I would love to hear your comments about the exhibits and the atmosphere of the event..

I have been reading with some concern about a fungal disease that has entered our shores and is killing native oak trees. It is called "Sudden Oak Death" - abbreviated to SOD which is unfortunate - and comes from America. The condition has also been identified in Viburnum plants on sale at nurseries in West Sussex, Dorset, Lincolnshire and Lancashire, believed to have been imported from the Netherlands. The fungus which can also be carried by Rhododendrons is thought to have been in Germany for about eight years. Emergency measures introduced by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - DEFRA - include a ban on importation of rhododendrons and other susceptible plants from areas of the U.S. where the disease is known to occur. I find this all very worrying as I remember the loss of our Elm trees to Dutch Elm Disease. If anyone wishes to find out more about "Sudden Oak Death", type those three words into a search engine to get to appropriate websites... I welcome your views on this potentially serious situation,  please e-mail me with your thoughts...    

June Spotlight


This month, as well as jobs for the month, we cover gardening for less agile and disabled people and explore the benefits of sensory gardens, which stimulate the use of the five senses..








More news from Thrive, the gardening charity

Twelve million TV viewers will have the chance to see Thrive's garden power in action from July 1st-5th 2002.

Thrive has been chosen as one of the five charities to benefit from GMTV's 2002 Get Up & Give Appeal.


See Thrive`s garden at BBC Gardeners` World Live 19th - 23rd June 2002, NEC Birmingham

Jobs for the month - June

House plants

Many houseplants can be put outside safely now that all risk of frost has passed. Put them in a sheltered place out of strong winds and sunlight and check them regularly as they will dry out a lot quicker than if they were indoors. Keep woolly leaved and tender plants indoors. Experiment with cuttings from all types of houseplants. I had a cutting of a hardy flowering shrub brought back from Greece two years ago that has now grown into a beautiful house plant that I am propagating for other people. The only snag is that I don`t know what it is called! 


A tip I learned recently was to rake the lawn before mowing it at this time of year, which lifts up the creeping stems of many lawn weeds. I have noticed that the "Weed and Feed" the lawn was recently treated to, has not killed off the clover in my lawn, so I have given it an application of Verdone lawn weedkiller. I have bought the same brand in a spray to use as a top up spot weedkiller for the stubborn ones. I WILL get them!

Herbaceous borders

Remove May-flowering tulips to make room for your bedding plants, forking a general purpose fertiliser into the soil before replanting. I have been very busy these past two weeks digging in the two lorry loads of mushroom compost I had delivered. I do make my own compost but it takes a while to mature and the soil badly needed a quick fix.   


Careful planning now will provide you with young crops for the rest of the summer. Plant quick growing colourful lettuces in between your flowers. Search the garden centres for tomatoes that you can grow outdoors for those of you without a greenhouse. And why not have a go at growing exotic chilli and pepper plants that are for sale at some garden centres. 


Disbudding, to get large blooms is an important job this month. Take out all the smaller buds on a stem, leaving only the biggest two or three, or just leave one bud if you want show flowers. Supplementary feeds will keep your roses in top condition. Watch out for mildew, black spot and insects, spraying accordingly. 

Water gardens  

June is an excellent time for planting all aquatics. The stocking of new pools or the Spring cleaning and re-planting of established ones can be continued throughout this month. Be careful though not to lose any tiny, newly hatched fish (fry) if you are changing the water in your pond. Don`t let blanket weed smother your fish and plants, hook it out with a stick, taking care not to catch any frogs or fish in it..



The hedgehog can be encouraged to come into the garden in the evening with his favourite drink of milk, and Barn Owls are often seen at twilight at this time of year. It is said that our native Sparrow is on the decline, but we have literally hundreds of them nesting under our roof tiles and in our garden hedges, and what a noise they make.. 


And some web sites of interest to gardeners: 

Alan Titchmarsh MBE, TV gardener, writer, broadcaster and thoroughly nice person. Just a few choice words to describe the peoples` favourite TV gardener. 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. 


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.



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



Have a look at previous editions of Gardener`s Diary



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