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

Scope and Content

The diary covers the dates 15 Oct-31 Dec between the years 1967 and 2000. 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 12 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 51o, min 34o. Temperature glasshouse max 58o, min 42o’ (26 Nov 1967); ‘Worst hurricane in living memory!’ (16 Oct 1987)

Plants (including named varieties) in flower in and out of the greenhouse: ‘Hamamelis in bloom. Daffodils showing in the front garden’ (29 Dec 1967); ‘Mahonia ‘Charity’ in bloom’ (24 Dec 1983); ‘Winter jasmine in bloom’ (5 Nov 1987); ‘Sweet Charity’ in full bloom – very tall. I wish I knew how to prune it’ (26 Nov 1988)

Tasks carried out: ‘Joe cleared the ponds. Fish in front pond very active’ (2 Dec 1967); ‘The Begonia guttata cutting looks very good. Large plant could do with re-potting’ (6 Dec 1967); ‘Automatic watering system fitted’ (21 Oct 1983)

Pests and diseases: ‘Rhoicissus plant looks very dead. F. Cascade has got whitefly – treated it’ (6 Dec 1985)

Personal entries: ‘Jenny gave me an amaryllis ‘Best Seller’. I’m thrilled about it’ (20 Dec 1985); ‘Surprise! Surprise! Some little mushrooms have appeared!’ (20 Nov 1986); ‘Wisley for lunch – awful to see trees’ (25 Nov 1987); ‘Wish I could get to the green house’ (14 Dec 1990)

At rear of the volume are manuscript notes relating to chrysanthemums, gourds and campanula

Pasted into the volume at various points are receipts for plants, 1997-1998, and press cuttings relating to gardening, undated

Originally enclosed in the volume, and stored separately for preservation purposes, are a receipt for a greenhouse kit, 1983, a Chelsea Flower Show pass, 1983, soil testing key, undated, press cutting relating to gardening, 1983, manuscript list of plants, undated, and photocopied manuscript notes relating to care of two plants, undated