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Planning Retirement Online

Laterlife Gardening Review

by Rosemary Martin


Each month I shall be reviewing a particular aspect of gardening, including new plants and products and where to buy them.  Gardening is a vast subject and as far as possible the subjects covered will be seasonal.

Please e-mail me (Rosemary) with your garden problems, comments, or ideas for this section of  laterlife.


Don't forget to have a look at the Gardener's Diary too which covers those month by month jobs in the garden. Take a look at the July Diary.


July - 2001 

This month I have looked in depth at types of greenhouses, summerhouses, ponds and decking... 




Within the protected environment of a greenhouse you will be able to raise and  grow plants and vegetables at any time of the year. There are several designs available -  traditional lean-to types, full span greenhouses, modular types, or the inexpensive poly-tunnels. You will also need to decide whether to have wood or aluminium construction. Before you go shopping at the "greenhouse website" that I have found for you (address below,) consider what use your greenhouse will get. There`s no point in buying a 12`x 10` model if you only grow tomatoes and have a postage stamp size lawn. I only use my greenhouse for about six weeks of the year,  therefore I have a  6` x 6` octagonal cedar wood summerhouse type,  which I have painted blue... Browse at the excellent choice of wooden and aluminium greenhouses at  Prices vary greatly so do shop around before you purchase. You could of course have a look through your local paper and get a second hand aluminium greenhouse......



What better  than a secluded summer house that`s stocked with  magazines and comfy chairs, tucked away at the bottom of a long garden, where you can go and hide for a while from the chores of the day.  If it`s not for you, perhaps your grandchildren would love to be spoiled with a summerhouse. I seem to remember they are great places for make believe and story telling..  Have a look at: for a great choice of summerhouses for grown-ups and playhouses for children. Prices start at 129 for playhouses and 549  for summerhouses. I have their full catalogue if you wish to e-mail me,  Rosemary for help...




No garden is complete without water, and nothing quite so restful as sitting by a pond.  Consider where to site your pond, then choose the size and style. There is a choice of rigid moulded ponds, butyl pond liners or concrete lining. Plan if you want to have moving water, either a waterfall or fountain, in which case you will need to have an electric pump. For all aspects of building a pond, including safety, I have found the following comprehensive websites, but as with greenhouses you should shop around for bargains. Gardening magazines have sections at the back that advertise ponds etc. Safapond pond safety or      





Timber decks are the latest fashion accessory for your garden, and an alternative to a patio, offering a natural looking outdoor living space for dining, entertaining or just relaxing. Decking materials are available from most garden centres, DIY stores and builders merchants, and it is, according to the experts, easy to make a deck... I would opt for a professional carpenter to do the job. Consideration needs to be given to the aspect of the proposed decking, whether it is to be linked to your house or free-standing, and if it will be enhanced with railings. Be aware that you will get what you pay for, and the cheap unseasoned but highly preserved decking may last only as long as it`s first coat of chemical preservative, whereas more expensive cedar decking will not only last three times longer but is easier to maintain with just the occasional coat of oil - and it ages more attractively...The following website will supply all your decking needs and information: 



Have a look at previous editions of Gardener`s Diary



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