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Gardener's Diary           September


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 second edition - September 2005   

Autumn once more!

The recent rain, after quite a dry summer, has quickly 'greened up' the lawns round and about and it is amazing to see how resilient the summer bedding plants are, for one minute they are totally bedraggled and sodden, the next flowering their heads off again. 

This month I shall remind you about harvesting and storing seeds so you can have a glorious floral display in your garden and save money in future years at the same time.

Make the most of the last few weeks of summer by visiting some late flower shows, having a barbecue, or just plain lazing in the garden, for all too soon the days will be shorter and summer will be just a memory..  Me, I am following the dogs` example and watching the butterflies flying haphazardly around the garden. 


Jobs for the month - September


A mellow month hopefully, and the time when those of us who have fruit and vegetable gardens can reap the rewards of our labour....





Amazon book - Book of houseplantsReduction in the watering and feeding rates should now begin gradually until the winter minimum is reached. Give the leaves of houseplants a misting with tepid water to clean them, and use a special houseplant leafshine for plants such as rubber plants and swiss cheese plants. Check that your houseplants are in tip top condition to see them through the winter months and ensure they will be in a comfortable situation away from hot radiators or draughts, yet with enough natural daylight.





Miniature Spring bulbs  

Bulbs are starting to come into the garden centres at this time of year, and September is the main month for planting them, with the exception of tulips which wait until October. If you are not planting bulbs straight away, store them in a dry, dark place with plenty of ventilation, using paper bags not polythene.. I`ve quite taken to the packets of miniature mixed bulbs that can be bought in supermarkets, see photo here:





Now is the time of year to raise the blade of your mower and rake the lawn to remove excess debris, and runners of creeping weeds. Apply an autumn fertiliser which you will find in your local DIY store. Read instructions carefully if you have animals or children.



Amazon book - Conservatory and greenhouse gardeningGreenhouse


This month I usually fill the greenhouse with cuttings of plants such as shrubby salvias, artemisia, sage, hebes, pelargoniums and anything else I may lose through frost over winter. I keep the greenhouse doors open, and shade the cuttings from the sun until the weather turns damper and cooler, then transfer them into the conservatory before the first frosts, to be overwintered.





Complete the annual cutting of older hedges.. Towards the end of September is a good time to plant evergreen hedging shrubs and conifers but the site may be prepared now with lots of fresh compost added.




Fruit and vegetables


Prepare the ground for autumn fruit bush planting and make sure to harvest any produce in the vegetable garden before the birds and rabbits get it. 





Flowers for cutting


Keep cutting flowers for the house and at the same time dead-head any faded blooms. Chrysanthemums are delightful this month as are dahlias which together with some greenery will give you a good floral display for indoors.



Herbaceous plants


Take time to dead-head any flowers that have faded, and cut down any plants that are finished for the year. At the end of this month any bedding plants left in the borders should be removed to the compost heap and replaced with biennials such as wallflowers, sweet William and stocks. 




Ponds and water features


Clear your pond of any decaying vegetation and cover the pool with netting to prevent falling leaves from going into the water. Reduce the quantity of fish food you give your pond fish. You will see that as the weather cools and the days shorten they will want to feed less and less. By the end of October they will have stopped feeding altogether for the duration of the winter. Depending on the weather, water features can be left going until the end of October.





Give bird feeders a good clean, by knocking out any congealed peanuts, and washing in a mild disinfectant. From now until the spring months make sure you always have a constant supply of bird food available to attract a wide variety of birds to your garden. They will also come to rely on you for food so do keep them topped up in all weather..




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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