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 Apr-1 Jul between the years 1966 and 2000. Two sides of one page contain all entries made on one calendar day over the 34 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: ‘Temperature outside Max 64 o. Min 28 o. Temperature greenhouse Max 84 o. Min 45 o’ (7 Apr 1968); ‘Humid – terrific thunderstorms. Plants for fete not improved by storm’ (6 Jul 1983)

Plants (including named varieties) in flower in and out of the greenhouse: ‘Greenhouse full up with plants almost ready to go out’ (10 May 1986); ‘Lilies are lovely. First sweet peas out’ (21 Jun 1988)

Tasks carried out: ‘Cut back begonia ‘Dusky Maid’ and took cuttings’ (3 Apr 1969); ‘Still no rain so dragged water from washing machine round garden’ (6 May 1976); ‘Planted doronicum ‘Bunch of Gold’, achillea ‘Chrysocoma’, Physoslegia ‘Rosea’, all bought in Devon’ (16 May 1969)

Pests and diseases: ‘Joe sprayed garden with Benlate’ (13 Jun 1984); ‘Birds have started on lemon drops in Riviera trough. Put down slug pellets in case it is slugs’ (12 Jun 1986); ‘Lilies a bit tall. A. staked them and attacked green fly’ (7 May 1993); ‘Streps do not like French door open! Leaves flop. Treated them with washing up liquid – green fly’ (9 Jun 1996)

Personal entries: ‘Bill started work. Awful to see someone else in garden but must have help’ (1 Apr 1985); ‘Got to bottom of garden – first time since last Sept’ (14 Jun 1996)

At rear of the volume are entries for 2-7 Jul 1983-1998 and for 18 Apr, no year given

Enclosed in the volume are ‘overspill’ pages bearing entries for which there was no room on the pages, covering the years 1995-2000. These have been left in situ in the volume