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Gardener's Diary            February

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..  (My apologies to the readers that haven`t yet received a reply from me - we`ve had an email technical hitch! Please write again if you wish)

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





Fifty eighth edition - February 2006   


Wonders of the Winter Landscape: Shrubs and Trees to Brighten the Cold-Weather Garden







There were a few good gardening days to be had in January and a lot of useful work was done in our garden... I felt SO good for getting out there too and was thoroughly rejuvenated after the lazy Christmas holiday!

It is a great time of year for moving shrubs because they haven`t yet started their growth for the year and the soil is cool and damp, which reduces the danger of them dying. Some early pruning can be done to tidy the borders up, but do first check in your gardening book, or online, if it is the correct time of year to tackle the items you want to prune.


After reading in our daily paper last month, about the packaging and storage practices of the food industry, I am determined to grow more of my own produce this year, if only for the fresher taste. I do think it is important though not to panic when reading reports of what happens to some of our food on its way to our larders, after all most of us live longer and are far healthier than our ancestors, despite the interference.

Mini versions of vegetables are now hugely popular. With more people wanting to grow their own vegetables but often with little or no space to grow them in, 'Mini-Veg' provide the perfect solution. They are also ideal for vegetable growing for one person.

Varieties in the Thompson & Morgan range are selected either for being able to be grown in baskets, containers or window boxes and/or suitable for growing at close spacings.

For 2006 Thompson & Morgan is offering a range of 18 varieties for Mini-Veg growing, including four new varieties.. Prices for Thompson & Morgan`s Mini-Veg range start at ?1.49 (From T & M press release)





Tomato Gartenperle

Dwarf Runner Bean, Hestia



Jobs for the garden in February


  • If you are like me and can never remember when to prune Clematis, or how much to take off them, you might find this information useful.. Click here

  • Prune Autumn and winter flowering Heathers.

  • If the weather is mild and wet, keep debris off the flower beds to discourage snails and slugs from moving in.  In the snowy weather, keep off the garden altogether as footprints in the snow make grass very soggy. If you are putting salt down to clear ice on paths, take care not to let it touch your plants as they will be poisoned..

  • Hoe the borders gently to freshen them up and remove any winter debris. Take care not to break any bulbs that may be poking through.

  • Put compost on the borders that is sufficiently rotted, again taking care not to break emerging bulbs.

  • Now is a good time to move any shrubs that are in the wrong place.


Amazon book - Gardens of the National Trust. When the National Trust decided to take on the care of gardens, the aim was that these would be the very best of their kind in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Trust now has the finest collection of gardens ever assembled under one ownership..








Try dry stone walling, foot path laying, clearing alien plants that are choking our native species, restoring butterfly meadows, botanical surveys, planting flower borders in historic gardens, clearing beaches of debris, erecting new fences.  

Not your usual holiday in the countryside!

National Trust Working Holidays give you the chance to throw yourself into a new situation, try your hand at basic conservation skills and find yourself surrounded by the country’s most beautiful places. Have a look at the National Trust website for details.


RHS gardens

Their four flagship gardens not only provide year-round interest and offer a wide range of courses, talks and demonstrations, they also demonstrate the best gardening practices, new techniques and exciting new plants to try in your garden.

Or go to their website for a diary of all other events at:-


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..

There was a technical hitch with emails recently and if anyone has not had a reply from me regarding their gardening query, perhaps they would like to re-send them..


Thompson & Morgan LogoThompson & Morgan 


Visit where full information is available on their product varieties and orders can be taken on-line.  Have a look to see what is new and any special seasonal offers

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 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)

Amazon book - RHS Encyclopedia of Gardening: RHS Bi-centennial Edition (Royal Horticultural Society)


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