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Gardener's Diary            March

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, remembering to tell me which country you are from.. 


 Click here for previous editions of Gardener`s Diary..




Thirty fifth edition - March 2004

Much publicity is given to the fact that the fruit and vegetables we buy in the shops is pumped full of chemicals, which I feel cannot be good for us.. This year then, as I have no veggie patch in my garden, I intend to plant some favourites such as spinach, carrots and purple sprouting broccoli in the flower  borders. I usually dot salad stuff amongst the flowers and shrubs anyway, so the addition of a few vegetables should give added appeal. This was a popular practice a few years ago on the trendy TV gardening programmes and I must admit it did not detract from the beauty of the flower borders.. In fact the produce seemed to grow better in the company of flowers, which tend to attract the pests such as aphids away from the vegetables..

February was a month of extremes, but as usual any plants damaged by first the winds and then the frosts, have recovered and are growing merrily away. If you have any damaged plants just remove the blackened parts with sharp secateurs.. So far this year I have moved a lot of shrubs that outgrew their space. They will all survive as the weather is cool and the ground moist.. There were also many perennials that needed dividing. Very often clumps of them die down in the middle, leaving an outer circle of new growth which, if dug up, will make a dozen or so new plants.

Life in the garden really gets into gear this month with daffodils and some of the earlier tulips showing their faces..  Already we can see the cheerful crocus out and bright forsythia, not to forget the wonderful pink and white flowering cherries that seem to be everywhere. 

Things to do this month

  • Tidy borders and hoe any weeds that have already germinated

  • Roses should be pruned by now. Spray and feed them...

  • Continue mulching the borders, avoiding any new shoots coming through.

  • Move shrubs that have outgrown their space

  • Divide any perennials that have grown too big a clump

  • Clean debris from pond, but don`t disturb wildlife

  • Slugs and snails will start to be active, remove them when possible

  • Check tree ties are loose enough and supports are firm

  • clean and tidy the greenhouse before the spring rush

  • Sow any early seeds according to instructions

  • Take time out to go to garden centres and shows!



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 nation¹s top growers and specialist suppliers around the showground.

RHS International Orchid Show

: :  

13 - 14 March 2004

RHS Plant Roadshow at Torquay

: :  

16 - 17 April 2004

The Spring Gardening Show Malvern

: :  

7 - 9 May 2004

Chelsea Flower Show

: :  

25 - 28 May 2004

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

: :  


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)

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 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. 







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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