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Gardener's Diary            June

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, without any 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 eighth edition - June 2004


The beginning of May wasn`t very memorable in our part of the country, with day after day of dull weather, which didn`t encourage the bedding plants in the greenhouse to put on as much growth as I would have liked. They were planted in the garden slightly undersized, but they will take their chances now and I have every confidence that they will catch up. 

We live in a semi-rural part of the UK and I have noticed an abundance of insects around this year, compared to other years: dozens of large queen wasps looking for nesting sites (my wasp swatter got most of them) horse flies, aphids, ants and last but not least, the air seems filled with tiny white flies which fly aimlessly around.. But at least the birds are thriving with the extra food these insects are providing.

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 keep an eye on the forecast, especially if you have grown Zinnias as I have, because one sniff of frost and they literally melt into a soggy mess like cooked spinach.

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 re-potted 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. Many of my house plants have been infected with woolly aphids, (I suspect arriving on a new plant,) but I have used a spray called `Natural pest and disease control` which contains fatty acids and sulphur. It has done the trick as there is not a sign of them.




Overcrowded or deteriorating bulbs can be lifted and put in boxes to dry off, and be re-planted and divided in the autumn. Don`t be tempted to cut the leaves off bulbs that have finished flowering, instead just leave them to die down naturally and feed them with a liquid fertiliser if you can.




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. For about nine months now I have enlisted the services of to repair and maintain my lawn after the dogs trashed it.. I can thoroughly recommend them as you will see from this photo of my treated lawn, taken last week.





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. I do this regularly twice a day in hot weather




Most hedges will benefit from a trim this month and again in September. If you are using electric hedge cutters, (or any other electric gardening tools for that matter,) ensure you have an RCD device fitted for your safety.







This is the time of year to watch out for aphids etc in fruit bushes and trees. Eliminate them with an appropriate spray. Stop birds stealing fruit by covering with netting if necessary. 






Flowers for cutting


Continue training sweet peas up their supports. I have grown several clumps of sweet peas in borders this year and am training them up wrought iron obelisks and wigwams made of canes. Keep cutting flowers for the house and at the same time dead-head any faded blooms to encourage new flowers. Water bedding plants until established if we have a dry spell.


Herbaceous plants


Stake plants if they are fairly tall 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.





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.





Don`t be a slave to your garden: make the most of our short British summer by spending as much time relaxing outside as possible...





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.

BBC Gardeners' World Live

: :  

16 - 20 June 2004

RHS International Lily Show & Conference

: :  

30 June - 3 July 2004

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

: :  



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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