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Gardener's Diary           November


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 fourth edition - November 2005   


Amazon book - Winter-Flowering Shrubs  The weather has closed in now and the days are short, which is a good opportunity for a spot of armchair gardening to choose next years seeds from gardening catalogues.. 


On a fine day try to get out in the garden because our winters are so long and there are always jobs to do such as planting late tulips, sweeping up leaves and clearing borders of late flowers that have finished..  Or even just tidying the greenhouse or shed!


The papers are full of doom and gloom about the harsh winter we might expect this year, and given that there is a 65% chance of them being correct, I am stocking up with some outside essentials such as rock salt to keep the paths free of ice, batteries for the torches, and candles for indoors if the power goes off.. We have an emergency calor gas stove to cook on, extra tinned and dried food in the cupboards and the freezers are well stocked with essentials. We have also got our trusty generator, which will run our heating and a couple of lights..


It might be prudent for everyone to take some precautions in case of severe weather. We were caught out once and spent a whole week with no power, water, heat, or cooking facilities- it was sheer misery!   


decking the halls: The folklore and traditions of christmas plants







Christmas gifts for someone special who lives far away are difficult to find, but if they are keen gardeners I have a Christmas flowering plant sent directly to them from Thompson & Morgan`s online Christmas catalogue.. 


While there are still many plants in flower, I am reluctant to go outside and cut them down. The garden remains a riot of colour, with perfect delphiniums in full bloom, vivid begonias and chrysanthemums, along with a host of other out-of-season flowers.

  Things will get tucked up for winter, just a little later than normal.  

  • As you pull out the bedding plants that are finished, re-plant with wallflowers, Sweet William, polyanthus and pansies.

  • Sweep up leaves as they fall. Once left to gather in piles, they will form a slippery mass which will be so dangerous for unsuspecting older bones. We don`t bounce like we did when we were younger and can easily break an ankle, or worse a hip..

  • If you have a graphics programme on your computer, and a scanner, consider making Christmas cards from favourite photos, and don`t forget to start setting aside dried flowers, grasses and twigs ready for making your own Christmas decorations. They will spray beautifully and keep for ages if previously dried...  

  • Put all the garden furniture away securely in your shed. Check the padlock too, because burglars like to do their christmas shopping about now, and garden sheds are considered fair game.

  • Finally, do some troubleshooting with a quick check on the trees, boundary walls and fences, roof tiles etc., just to ensure they will all endure any possible strong winds. Don`t forget to turn the water supply to your hosepipe off..

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..








There are some lovely things to buy as usual in the latest Thompson & Morgan catalogue and I am busy choosing some seeds for next year: not too many as I have taken to buying the pots of germinated seedlings which are all ready for pricking out and seems a lot less work than growing seed from scratch!

In the 'non-gardening' months, take the opportunity to visit a National Trust house and garden ..  Wonderful scenery and superb places to visit, any time of the year..



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:-


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 



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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