Click here to print this page

Planning Retirement Online

Gardener's Diary            June



Rosemary Martin







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..





Fiftieth edition - June 2005   

As I write this in the third week of May, it is still very changeable with occasional night frosts in parts of the UK..  Hopefully this will settle, allowing the summer bedding plants to be planted out at the start of this month.

I recently read in my paper about a cat that brushed against some lilies in a vase, licked the pollen off her fur and later died from poisoning. The RSPCA are running a campaign about this and as it is something not many of you might be aware of, I decided to mention it here. It is perhaps worth mentioning too, that there are many plants poisonous to animals.


I have a cyclamen houseplant that I bought last November, which has flowered continuously ever since and still has about 100 new buds to come into flower. I`m sure it should have been dormant long ago.  That was ?2.99 from Tesco I consider was well spent..


Do you have a special plant that survives against all odds?



Jobs for the month - June


Time to put out your hanging baskets or tubs and plant out your bedding plants in the garden.. Keep them watered until established.





Amazon Book - Bulbs for all seasons

It is very tempting to cut down the daffodil and tulip leaves as they get unsightly, but it is not advisable to do this as it weakens the bulbs for future years. Even tying them down with string is unnatural for them. You can lift and divide snowdrops if they have become too crowded and the Anemone Blanda that have self-seeded can be moved, if you have the patience.

Lift tulip bulbs that have finished flowering and leave them somewhere sunny to ripen.







If you only have a small lawn and didn`t bother with a `weed and feed` treatment, take care that the weeds don`t get a foothold, especially dandelions. Dig them out using an old long-bladed kitchen knife , making sure you get all the roots. Remove any creeping weeds too, before they smother your lawn. Treat yourself to a good lawn edger with long handles and give your lawn a treat. Even a tatty lawn will look good with neat edges. It is such a therapeutic task too!





Usually this time of year we have empty greenhouses, once the bedding plants have been removed and mine is no exception. I am growing tomatoes outside this year, dotted around the flower borders, so I have room in the greenhouse for some peppers and chilli plants.





Amazon books - HedgesHedges


Continue shaping large leaved hedges such as laurel, but not with shears or electric hedge trimmers, which will only cut through and spoil the leaves. Use secateurs for the small stems and tree loppers for the bigger branches.





Flowers for cutting


Delphiniums and Lupins are among my favourite flowers to cut for indoors.. Make sure all the taller plants are staked and protected against strong winds. Dead head regularly to stop plants going to seed and ensure a longer flowering period.



Herbaceous plants


Amazon book - Illustrated Encyclopedia of perennials



Stake plants as they get taller and feed them weekly.  Keep the borders weed free and mulched and watch out for aphids on your plants. Dead head regularly.

It is still possible to lift and divide some perennials providing you cut them short and keep them well watered in a dry spell.







Vegetables and salad


If you fancy growing some runner beans but are short of space, make some wigwams from 8` bamboo canes in your flower borders, or even grow them in tubs. You will find runner bean plants in some garden centres. Dot lettuce plants and tomatoes around the borders too!



Ponds and water features


The poor spring weather has put a lot of people off doing their pond maintenance, according to our local aquatic centre. If you are reluctant to get wet or cold it won`t hurt to leave your pond another year. But do check the water quality is OK for your fish, if you have them. Thin the aquatic plants out and keep the pond clear of blanket weed.

Many aquatic centres will test the water from your pond if you take a sample to them, which is a good service if you have fish in your pond.





Amazon Book - Attracting Wildlife to your garden


 Take a walk through a nearby wood or forest and listen to the birds!  I heard a cuckoo the other day in the forest: its call echoed around a huge area. Woodpeckers too were busy tapping on the trees. In our garden we have squirrels, which should really be discouraged, but they are so sweet.

Don`t be tempted to put out food that is anything other than peanuts for the birds, because you will attract rats to your garden and they will quickly colonise.




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. A current email address is necessary as my replies to you are sometimes 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

BBC Gardeners' World Live

: :  

15 - 19 June 2005

Charity Gala Preview of the
Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

: :

4 July 2005

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

: :  

5 - 10 July 2005

RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park

: :  

20 - 24 July 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)

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


Back to laterlife today

Site map and site search


Advertise on

LaterLife Travel Insurance in Association with Avanti