Sunday, 22 October 2017

Warm Garden Blue Flowers

Series 28 Episode 33 saw ABC Gardening Australia's Jerry Coleby-Williams take a walk through Kate Wall's Brisbane garden where she successfully grows sun loving plants in partial/shady conditions. Quite a clever gardener and she even had Jerry on the end of a shovel.... 

Because Kate has a wonderful understanding of climatic conditions very similar to Coffs Harbour her experience is well worth tapping into for some excellent ideas for our own gardens. Ithis GardenDrum article she discusses the use of blue flowers, the importance of shade, position etc AND gives quite a long list of blue flowering plants.

Kate suggests that by using blue shaded plants it has a cooling effect (along with green of course) and also the importance of which colour blue to use (and) where - shade or full sun.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Flanders Poppy

Flower of the Month - October 2017

This photo was taken by CHGC Member Geoff at Pozieres, France, the site of one of the greatest battles ever fought by Australian soldiers. Over seven weeks in mid-1916, at the Battle of the Somme, and very near to where these poppies were growing, the Australian Imperial Force suffered 23,000 casualties, 6,700 of whom died.
image Sue Young
KINGDOM: Plantae

ORDER: Ranunculales

FAMILY:  Papaveraceae

GENUS:  Papaver

A favourite heirloom flower and one of the most widely recognised flowers for its significance in honouring fallen soldiers on Remembrance Day. It's always one of the first spring flowers to bloom on the battlefields of France, and it's commonly said to symbolise the blood of lost soldiers.

image Sue Young

A few years ago seeds were distributed far and wide by Maria Bell. If you are lucky, maybe your poppies are coming up year after year. Mine are!  Yippee

Images from Sue Young are current year's flowers.    

image Sue Young

Some further reading on why this flower was chosen for distribution among members of CHGC.

Also another link when Papaver rhoeas was flower of the month. Images from this post were supplied by then members Bob & Gaye.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Lady's Mantle

Lady's Mantle flower

Lady's Mantle Alchemilla mollis, is a perennial herb native to Europe, north-west Asia, Greenland and north-eastern North America; it is also found in the Himalayas. It can be found growing in damp grassland, open woodland and on rock ledges.

The Arabic word Alkemelych (alchemy) was thought to be one origin of its Latin name (because of its medicinal uses). An alternative explanation is related to the leaves of the herb, which came to the attention of those seeking the mystical properties of plants; their ability to hold teardrop-shaped droplets of dew in their folds gave the plants its Latin name of Alchemilla, meaning magical one. it's common name refers to the resemblance of the leaves to a lady's cloak (mantle) - a medieval observation. One folktale tells that placing a leaf of the herb under your pillow will induce a 'sweet slumber'. Traditionally, the plant has been used for obesity, and is now thought to aid in weight loss.

Some uses for Lady's Mantle

  • The young leaves can be chopped up and added to salads or vegetables.
  • Infused dried leaves are used as an astringent and facial steam for acne. Make a cold infusion to use for a compress on puffy eyes.
  • Due to its tannic properties, it will produce a bright green dye for wool.
  • Medicinally the plant is held in high esteem. It is known for its use in treating menstrual problems and for strengthening and healing after childbirth. Its pain relief qualities come from the action of the salicylic acid contained within the plant. Use dried leaves to prepare a mouthwash, or a poultice for healing wounds.
  • To be avoided during pregnancy or when breast-feeding.

Cultural Notes

  • Fully hardy herb that grows almost anywhere except in waterlogged soil; does well in sun or partial shade.
  • Can be grown from seed or division. Cut back hard after flowering to encourage new growth.
  • Excellent edging and ground cover plant.
  • Self-seeds freely and can become invasive.

Swedish Landscapes - Spring

CHGC Member Jovanna, has a daughter living in Sweden and she has taken a series of photographs throughout the year and has offered to share these with us here in Coffs Harbour. This presentation is titled 'Spring'

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Glycyphana stolata - A Good Guy

Commonly known as the Brown Flower Beetle, Glycyphana stolata is a good guy. I was deadheading my roses this morning and came across this critter on a Seduction rose, so snipped off the flower, shoved it into a plastic bag so identification could be done later. Gave this investigative duty to hubby who (like everything else he does) dug diligently away on-line until he came up trumps!

Glycyphana stolata are from the Order of Coleoptera, Family of Scarabaeidae and are indigenous to southern Queensland and northern New South Wales. They usually go for light coloured or scented flowers both native and exotic. The adults feed on flowers but usually only the nectar and larva feed on dead material. They are not considered a pest especially in small numbers but are important native critters for pollination.

They spead by flying, assisted by the wind from plant to plant and are most active in spring and early summer. When disturbed, they tend to play dead (which I thought this little bloke was until I discerned a little twitch of one leg!).


Something in our gardens that are now at their showiest best are Clivias. Bernard Chapman is a consulting horticulturist and manages many large heritage gardens on Sydney's North Shore. He has written an article about them in the latest GardenDrum blog post.

Unlike Bernard, I don't really have a favourite child (although it has to be said that perhaps there are some that I get on better with, but undoubtedly love them all equally!). 

image CHGC member Simon's

However, Clivias are always a delight to see in any garden, the above image was taken at Toowoomba and as I'm not a very good photographer it actually looked much better than this. It seemed to just glow..... so beautiful. 

Clivias are such tolerant plants - they will divide very easily (if you can prise them from their pots - usually the pots have to be smashed if they have a narrower opening) and are also easy to grow from seed - given enough time. They will take a few years to actually flower this way but fun, nonetheless.

To read more about Clivias just visit this GardenDrum article. You will see how to grow them successfully, propagate them and common pests and diseases. There are some good images too - better than mine!

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Dindymus versicolor - Harlequin Bug

image Jungle Dragon

Recently CHGC member Sue came to an outing armed with images of this rather pretty critter and wanted to know what it was. It's a bad guy, commonly known as Harlequin Bug, Dindymus versicolor can really wreck havoc on succulent new growth - in Sue's case, her broadbeans. 

image Nature Share
Sometimes these insects are known as Pull me/Push you Bugs.

Their range is throughout Eastern Australia. The adult is a black and red bug, about 1/2cm long. This bug sucks sap from young plants and their excrement (frass) disfigures fruit. They are also found on fences, wood piles and tree trunks and often overwinter in such places.

Damage from these critters can cause wilt and often leads to the death of the plant, and fruit is also damaged. 

Sue found that a simple spray of pyrethrum did the trick for her 'they dropped like flies' she said. 

If you would like further reading about this critter it can be found on this blog Gippsland Gardener, an excellent article and includes Gardening Australia's Peter Cundell's tip on their control.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

How to Grow Turmeric

image GardenDrum

Turmeric is native to the monsoon forests of south east Asia. It is a perennial herb which grows to about 1 metre tall with underground rhizomes. It produces tall, quite beautiful, white flower spikes - CHGC members have on occasion brought some to meetings for the competition table. 

Marianne Cannon from GardenDrum writes on how to grow Turmeric and discusses its uses and benefits. See this link on how to grow turmeric.

As Turmeric requires high rainfall it does quite well on the Coffs Coast and the flower makes an awesome cut flower which lasts well.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Floral Art

The NSW Floral Art Association are hosting floral art Demonstrations, Workshops and Competitions from Thursday 2nd Nov - Sat 4th Nov at Gladstone. 

Renowned floral artist, Judith Little will be giving demonstrations and workshops. Judith has been involved in Floral Art for many years, she is a member of the Queensland Floral Art Society and is currently their Judges Convenor. Judith is also a member of the Royal Horticultural Society of NSW and the NSW Floral Art Association. Judith has studied under Mark Pampling for four years at TAFE in Queensland and is a qualified RHS and NSW Floral Art Judge. She has competed successfully Nationally and Internationally in competitions.

This might be a fantastic opportunity to meet members of the NSW Floral Art Association and learn more about the group as well as see some stunning creations and perhaps even compete yourself! This event is a must for anyone who is at all interested in floral art.

Registration & Class entries no later than Friday 27th October would be appreciated.

Please send Registration & Class entries to:
Ray Bradley,   (T)   02 4861 4090   (E)

Mary 0419 466 751
Anne Deveridge 6566 5233   
Anne Kennedy 6565 0153

Members and visitors are invited to attend
on Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th November 2017
  at Gladstone Hall, 5, Kinchela St, Gladstone NSW

“Floral Magic on the Mighty Macleay”

THURSDAY 2nd November
2pm - 6pm       Staging of classes 1-6
5.30pm            NSWFAA Judges meeting
6pm                 Welcome BBQ at Memorial Park – walking distance – opposite the Hall next to the 
                         Macleay River              

FRIDAY 3rd November
7am – 8.30am  Staging of classes 1-2-3-4-5-6 (all classes 70cm bench width and height unlimited))
                        (except class 4 – floor space allowed 1 metre – height unlimited)
Judging will commence at 8.45am

Class 1            Bridging the Gap
Class 2            Free Form – AFAA Design Style Page 50 **see notes Rule 18 below**
Class 3            Rustique
***Class 4      Minimal Materials for Maximum Effect.
Floor space allowed 1 metre - height unlimited.  May be exhibited by 1 or 2 people. Please supply own staging. This class is limited to the first 6 entries.

Class 5            Culinary Capers        
Class 6            What a Load of Rubbish

 9.30 - 10.00    Morning Tea  
10.00 - 10.15   Opening and Welcome by NSWFAA President
10.15 - 12.15   Workshop with Judith Little
12.30 – 1.00    Judges comments/analysis of exhibits
  1.00 -  2.00    Lunch  
  2.15 -  3.15    Fun Impose – with members and friends. To be staged and judged by popular vote on
  3.30 - 4.30     NSWFAA General Meeting
                        If time permits - Staging Classes 7-11    
  Exhibits may be removed at 3.30pm, or remain on display for Saturday.  Exhibitors are requested to check with the Committee before removing their exhibits.
  5.30pm          Garden visit to Anne Deveridge’s garden at 41 Cooper St, South West Rocks -                                      followed by a
  6.30pm          Friendship Buffet - Please BYO drinks – food will be supplied.      

SATURDAY 4th November
7.00 – 8.30 Staging of classes 7 –11 (all classes 70cm bench width - height unlimited - excepting class 8)
Judging will commence at 8.45am

Class 7                Fascinating Forms
Class 8                Elongated – bench width 80cm- height unlimited 
Class 9                Weaving Ways        

Class 10              Treasure/s of the Earth
Class 11              Beach Combing

10.00               Opening and Welcome by NSWFAA President
10.15 - 11.45   Demonstration by Judith Little
12.15 - 12.45   Competition hints/Class Interpretations/Q&A

Followed by Judges comments/analysis of exhibits

1.00 - 2.30       Lunch
2.30                 Close

Registration & Class entries no later than Friday 27th October would be appreciated.
Please send Registration & Class entries to:
Ray Bradley,   (T)   02 4861 4090   (E)
Enquiries: Mary 0419 466 751 Anne Deveridge 6566 5233   Anne Kennedy 6565 0153

Bench space: Width 70cm Height unlimited except Class4 and Class 8    
All classes have grey material on the bench.   Exhibits may be brought in ready for staging.
All exhibits judged from both front and sides.
Friday registration for Workshop NSWFAA Members - $20  Non Members - $25.
List of workshop materials will be sent on registration.
Daily Morn/Afternoon teas and Lunch $15.00 per day. 
Saturday Morning Demonstration, Morning Tea & lunch - Members - $20 Non Members - $25
Visitors viewing exhibits only – gold coin donation
Friendship Dinner $10 to be paid at Anne’s Garden

1.      An exhibit is made of plant material, with or without accessories, within a space specified in the Show Schedule.
2.      The use of artificial plant material is forbidden.
3.      Fresh plant material must be in water or in water-retaining material unless such material remains turgid throughout the event.
4.      Painted and/or artificially colored plant material may be used.
5.      Plant material must predominate over all other components of the exhibit.
6.      Judges decision is final and no correspondence with be entered into.
7.      Exhibits must be the individual competitor’s own work.
8.      Drapes, bases and accessories may be used.
9.      All class entries to be received by Friday 27th October 2017 to:
Ray Bradley,   (T)   02 4861 4090   (E)
All acceptances will be acknowledged by email/post, with further details where applicable.
10.  Competitors are requested to ensure that no water damages the floor and that worksheets are used on the floor at all times during staging.
11.  Competitors must place own debris in plastic bags and remove the same to designated disposal areas.
12.  NO AEROSOL/SPRAY painting permitted in the venue or environs.
13.  A design must not be changed in any way after it is judged.
14.  NSWFAA does not accept liability for any loss or damage.
15.  Competitors may use own bases and backing in stated staging areas but no attachment to any part of the room.
16.  Exhibits will be marked “Not According to Schedule” if they are out of the Class allotted space.
17.  Judging will be in accordance with the AFAA Manual.
18.  **Free Form AFAA Design Style Page 50 under moderns. A Free Style type of design of continuously flowing lines, actual or implied, with no straight or angular lines in flowers or outline and no stoppage points to arrest the eye movement.  It is of radial construction, of non-geometric shape.  Manipulated material may be used to create an interesting modern outline.  Pointed materials, such as roses, tulips, calla lilies and others with malleable stems are suitable to flow in rhythm with the outline.
19.  The Show Committee reserves the right to take entries past the date stated.
20.  No photographs may be transmitted to electronic media prior to judging.

21.  Competitors should make themselves aware of locally listed Noxious Weeds, Weeds of National significance, National Environmental Alert List Weeds and Water Weeds. Details including Noxious Weeds in the Kempsey Shire can be found at this site.