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Gardener's Diary            May

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



Thirty first edition  - November 2003

We still seem to be suffering from a shortage of any substantial rainfall in many parts of the UK as I write this towards the end of October, despite the definite onset of autumn. I understand that parts of the UK are seriously short of water and we could be heading for a winter drought. 


We are asked to conserve water.

This autumn is glorious and the trees more colourful than ever, which could be due to our hot, dry summer. If you are knee-deep in fallen leaves, please do take care not to slip and fall on them.. If you cannot clear them up, ask someone to do it for you.

My garden is still very colourful with the marigolds and chrysanthemums, amongst other plants, still flowering their socks off. I leave all the flowering plants in the garden until the very last minute, before pulling them out, or cutting them down, after all our winters are SO long. I managed to plant wallflowers and other winter plants in between the summer stuff.. I have placed some photos that I took this morning, (23rd October) around this article.. 

Many of us use pesticides but some of those that we utilise may be banned, so check that you are not using illegal ones. Click here if you would like to access the UK register of Government-approved pesticides.


No one was brave enough to write and tell me about their garden projects or what the flora and fauna is like in their part of the country or world, but one gentleman wrote to me with a garden problem which needed quite a bit of detective work, so rather than list it with the other garden queries for this month, I have catalogued it here . I would still love to hear about your garden though, or your part of the world!

Have you planted all your new bulbs for that glorious spring display? Have a look in your supermarket whilst you are doing your weekly grocery shop and you will most likely find packs of mixed bulbs: some that have even been colour co-ordinated, which are very reasonably priced. B & Q also have a very good selection which are often much cheaper than the sometimes overpriced garden centres. Bulbs can usually be planted until December and the little extra effort made this time of year will be well rewarded next spring when the bulbs start poking their heads up, heralding the new season..

I am favouring the miniature tulips and narcissi this year and have found some delightful packs of 25 for only 2.99 in Tesco. I have planted these in a blue glazed container and overplanted them with yellow pansies. Even now in October, it looks wonderful.

This is a nice time of year for gardeners, when they can relax a bit and look at the glossy gardening magazines, or pour over seed catalogues, whilst making the most of any good weather to do a little light gardening. Or just sit in the warmest spot in the sitting room with a cup of tea, contemplating next year in the garden and taking stock... Take a trip to the local garden centre, to do some Christmas shopping for your garden loving friends and relatives. You will find lots of suitable gifts for them in the way of books, garden hand tools, or even a gift voucher..

Some of your recent gardening queries 

Paul`s Badgers

Keep the e-mails with your gardening problems coming



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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