Gardening diary of Dorothy Whiddett relating to her garden at 18 Pytchley Crescent, Upper Norwood, London

Scope and Content

The diary covers the dates 1 Jan-1 Apr between the years 1966 and 1998. Two sides of one page contain all entries made on one calendar day over the 33 year period, although entries were not made every year. There are about 16 entries per date, and there is no consistent pattern of years during which Dorothy Whiddett added to the journals

Information recorded in the diary includes:

Brief report of the weather, sometimes including temperatures: ‘Sunny early, very wet later. Min 2o. Max 8o’ (30 Jan 1984)

Plants (including named varieties) in flower in and out of the greenhouse: ‘Also out are mahonia ‘Sweet charity’ and Iris reticulata’ (29 Jan 1983)

Tasks carried out: ‘Joe finished pond. Planted water lilies in baskets’ (26 Mar 1982); ‘Cleared top left bed. Moved Nellie Moser – planted wisteria, sweet pea seedlings – Canterbury bells. Joe sheared off bloomed heathers. We think we will make that bed all heathers’ (27 Mar 1976); ‘Potted up schizanthus and lithospermum ‘Grace Ward’ (14 Feb 1973); ‘Planted up potato barrel’ (31 Mar 1986)

Pests and diseases: ‘Nearly all seedling pelargoniums and variegated helichrysum have gone – botrytis? Ordinary helichrysum seems tougher’ (18 Jan 1984)

Gardening notes: ‘Good TV talk on pruning clematis’ followed by named varieties and pruning instructions (20 Feb 1966); also numerous notes under the title ‘Notes from Percy Thrower’, 1966

Personal entries: ‘Jennifer’s birthday. Lunch at Wisley. Very good’ (12 Feb 1983); ‘Went to Oxford Botanic Gardens again’ (14 Feb 1971)

At rear of the volume are sections entitled ‘Special growing hints’, ‘Seed sowing’, 1966-1971, ‘Things to do’, ‘Ideas for plant associations’, ‘Suggested bulb orders’, ‘Shrubs to plant’, and ’Coloured or flowering plants for winter’

Enclosed in the volume are ‘overspill’ pages bearing entries for which there was no room on the pages, covering the years 1994-1999. These have been left in situ in the volume

Originally enclosed in the volume, and stored separately for preservation purposes, are a receipt for garden plants, and leaflets, notes and press cutting relating to plants and their care, 1970s-1990s