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Gardener's Diary             August


Amazon book - Colour in Your Garden







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, but have no 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..




Fifty first edition - August 2005   

If your garden is suffering from lack of rain, here are some tips on water conservation from The Royal Horticulture Society..

Have you noticed there seem to be very few wasps about this year? According to my paper, "There was unfavourable weather in late March, April and May, the time when queen wasps emerge from hibernation to start their colonies. Although average temperatures and rainfall were little different from 2004, heavy showers and frost could either have wiped out the queens or made conditions impossible as they scratched around to find materials to make nests.." (Daily Mail, July 6th)

It has been a very dry period for the UK and many of you will be despairing at your brown, dried up lawns, but don`t worry they will soon green up after a few heavy showers and some cooler weather. It is really not worth watering grass in dry weather unless of course it is a newly turfed or seeded lawn.


Jobs for the month - August



Patios and other garden areas


Our love of flower tubs, garden furniture and barbecues can sometimes lead to accidents. Make sure outdoor living spaces are not too cluttered, especially when entertaining. Please make sure that if you have a pond, it is safe, especially when young children visit.




Amazon book - Gardening with childrenLawns


New lawns which have been either turfed or seeded will need to be kept watered during dry spells. Don`t bother watering established lawns, even though they might look awful. They will soon recover once the weather turns wetter and cooler. Remove weeds from lawns and keep the edges neat.









Ventilate tomatoes to guard against leaf-mould. Take cuttings of geraniums (Zonal pelargoniums) and fuschias. Although this is the correct month to take cuttings of pelargoniums, I have always found that overwintering the stock plant and taking cuttings in the spring, produces much stronger plants!



Amazon books - HedgesHedges


If you have a lavender hedge it can be trimmed now, but take care not to cut it back to the old wood because it will not regrow.. Cut off the dead flowers and new growth only.







Spray against black spot and start cutting out old wood from established ramblers. Remove suckers at source.





Amazon book - Illustrated Encyclopedia of perennialsHerbaceous plants


Continue to remove faded flowers from all plants including bedding plants, to encourage new growth. Hoe around the plants to remove weeds and freshen up the borders.


Sow annuals directly in the borders for an early and easy colourful display next year. I am doing this more and more, rather than growing the expensive and labour intensive bedding plants. I love the annuals such as godetia, larkspur, cornflowers, nigella etc., which can also be found sold in packets where the flowers have been colour co-ordinated, all ready to 'throw and grow' .. Gardening made easy!




Vegetables and salad


Allotments are back in fashion, but some property developers, not a million miles from us, are trying to buy the land and offering allotment holders substantial cash deals to sell up. What a shame if this deal comes off for those gardeners for whom allotments are a big part of their lives, .. What a shame too for those who would appreciate the lump sum if the deal falls through, due to someone refusing to sell! 


Keep your runner beans well watered. Shallots and (last) autumn sown onions are now ready for lifting in the dry weather. Lift and store beetroots. Make another sowing of lettuce. If you grow parsley and it is getting straggly, cut it right back to get some new young growth for the autumn. Did you know you can freeze parsley and mint to use in the winter months?



Amazon book - Water Features for Every Garden  Ponds and water features


If you see aphids on the aquatic plants, give them a blast with a hose jet. The fish will love to eat the aphids and you will also have introduced extra oxygen into the pond.







Some of your recent gardening queries

Keep the e-mails with your gardening problems coming Please tell me which country you live in as knowing the climate can help me solve your problem. Your current email address is necessary as my replies are occasionally returned to me as undeliverable..


Thompson & Morgan LogoThompson & Morgan 



You may obtain their free New 2005 Seed Catalogue by telephoning 01473 695224 and their website address is where full information is available on their product varieties and orders can be taken on-line. 


And some places to visit...

RHS Flower Shows 2005

Malvern Autumn Garden & Country Show

: :  

24 - 25 September 2005

RHS London Flower Shows

: :  


Wisley Shows

: :  

April, June and August
  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 WalesThe 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:-


Carry on Gardening - The easier gardening web site from ThriveGardening 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. 



Useful 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




Amazon book - A year at Kew

 Amazon book - Gardens Through Time: 200 Years of the English Garden

Amazon book - RHS Plants for Places: 1000 Tried and Tested Plants for Every Soil, Site and Usage (RHS)


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