Saturday, 17 November 2018

2018 AGM Results

Meeting Competition Table, Vegetables and Fruit
Well done to the outgoing committee and role members who have excellently paved the way for the incoming people to crack on in 2019 and thanks to those who will continue as they have in 2018.

Congratulations go to the following:


President: Jane Durler
Vice President: Sue Young
Treasurer/Public Officer: Tom Ely
Secretary: Maria Bell and Anne-Maree Ely will be the Minute Secretary

Committees deemed necessary to conduct the business of the Club:

Program Committee: 
Outings - Margaret Franks & Carol Harris.
Speakers - Kevin Sheedy

Spring Garden Committee: Pat Roser, Maria Bell, Anne-Maree Ely, Tom Ely and Jane Durler (there will be a need for further people to join in the team closer to the competition)

Other Voluntary Club Roles:

Website & Facebook Coordinator: Maria Bell
Newsletter Editor: Sue Young
Publicity & Media Officer: vacant (this person will be drawn from the Spring Garden Committee)
Coffs Show Flower & Garden Section Chief Steward: Margaret Franks
Catering Committee: Margaret Crawley (Co-ordinator), Anne-Maree Ely, Janny Hoy, Jeannine Young
Raffle & Attendance Book: Peter Kimber
Trade Table Organiser: Jim Baldy
Guest & New Member Welcomer: Barbara Porteous & Maureen Stokes
Airport:  Peter Kimber
Bunnings BBQ Organiser: Simon Young
Competition Table Judges: Margaret Franks, Ruth Reynolds, Simon Young with the help of a CHGC member Guest Judge each month
Competition Table Setup: Janny Hoy, Ruth Reynolds, Jeannine Young

The full Annual Report can be seen here and to see a message from our Patrons see here. 

Trip to Chelsea Flower Show 2019

CHGC Patron Julie Worland is accompanying a tour next year which includes the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Jane had a flyer at the November meeting for members to see more about the tour, however there may be members who missed this meeting, so that information is repeated here. 

The tour departs 12 May 2019 from Coffs Harbour - to see full details see flyer here.

If you want more information there is to be an information night about the tour on Wednesday 21 November 2018, hosted by Trafalgar, with canapes and refreshments from 6pm at the Depot Cafe, Coffs Central Shopping Centre.

RSVP essential to: 
Travel Associates Coffs Harbour, Shop SR38, Coffs Central, Harbour Drive.
Phone: 02 5615 9900

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Australian Plants Society

image Australian Plant Society
Earlier this spring we had as our guest speaker Alison Moore from Coffs Harbour Australian Plants Society.

Alison mentioned that the Australian Plants Society website is a cracker with a wealth of information including an extensive Plant Database, and a Conservation Officer, Dan Clarke who is only too happy to answer any questions from not only members of the plant society but anyone wanting information. Dan is a practicing botanical consultant with a strong passion for conserving the natural areas in NSW, so is the best person for this role. 

There is also a quick link to the latest news throughout the society - members love to share their stories, insights and experiences with others and this is the area on the website for them to do just that. 

A 'What's in Bloom' link is fabulous with some outstanding images from a Hunter region member.

There are also areas explaining 'who, what & membership' too. The newsletters are also linked so there's plenty to read if you are interested in Australian Native Flora. 

An outstanding website and one well worth a visit - see the link here. There is a permanent link to this website on the side panel on our home page. Just scroll down to see other websites worth looking at.

Monday, 12 November 2018


Flower of the month - November 2018

image Easy to Grow Bulbs website
KINGDOM:  Plantae

FAMILY:  Alstroemeriaceae

GENUS:  Alstroemeria

SPECIES:  Many many many

Also known as the Peruvian Lily but unlike Paddington Bear, this flower is not from deepest, darkest Peru.

Alstroemeria are tuberous perennials originating from South America, mainly Brazil and Argentina. They are a great addition to borders combining well with other plants and making excellent cut flowers. 

Alstroemeria are free flowering, producing attractive flowers in a wide range of colours.

Thanks Sue

Further cultural notes can be seen at Gardening Australia.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Cork at the National Arboretum

image National Arboretum Canberra
November marks the 101st anniversary of this plantation at the National Arboretum Canberra. 

There is an excellent article about this forest and the history of cork in Australia and it can be found here.

To see a planting list and map please click here.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Firefly - Lampyridae

This post was originally published on 16 April 2015. President Jane did a presentation at the October meeting on fireflies so the information on fireflies has been reposted for anyone who may be interested in learning more about them.

It wasn't until this summer that I saw Fireflies on the Coffs Coast for the first time. This prompted a quick bit of research to learn more about them.

One source said they are very like we humans in that the males are quite 'flashy'...... 

Fireflies are indeed not flies, but beetles and are found in the wetter regions of Australia, favouring rainforests and mangroves. 

The blinking light, which comes from segments on the underside of the tip of the abdomen is created by a chemical process. This is triggered when the beetle opens small apertures to allow air in. The chemicals react to the presence of oxygen with a blaze of light, but are soon exhausted. They quickly recharge however, in time for the next burst, thereby creating the flashing effect.

According to Thala Beach Nature Reserve's website the males aren't that much different from human males - 'in many respects fireflies and humans share a fundamental trait – the males are the main flashers, who cruise at night in search of a female'.

Males are the main flashers, emitting a series of controlled flashes just after dusk as part of the mating sequence. Females also flash however, their flash is in response to a male's flashing. With enormous eyes and a visor to keep his attention focused, he is on the lookout for an answering blink which indicates a suitably impressed, but flightless female. Firefly larvae and pupae are also slightly luminous. During the larvae stage, fireflies will hibernate over winter, burrowing underground or hiding under the bark of trees. The larvae will then emerge in spring to feast.

Interestingly, the flash produced by fireflies is a 'cold light', having no ultraviolet or infrared frequencies. This chemically sourced light, which can be yellow, green or pale-red, projects wavelengths from 510 to 670 nanometres.

Adults cannot feed as they don't have any mouth parts (like some other beetles), but their larvae prey on other insects' larvae, cutworms, slugs and small land snails.  They paralyse their supper using secretions produced by a pair of acinose glands at the anterior end of the alimentary canal and injected through the perforate mandibles - this means that the prey is digested extraorally and the liquified tissues are imbibed.

Their short lives add a certain urgency to their flashy courting behaviour.

Sunday, 14 October 2018


Flower of the Month - October 2018

Valerie Swane
KINGDOM:  Plantae

FAMILY:  Rosaceae


GENUS:  Many many many

A rose is a woody perennial flowering plant of the genus Rosa, in the family Rosaceae, or the flower it bears. There are over three hundred species and thousands of cultivars. They form a group of plants that can be erect shrubs, climbing or trailing with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles.

Did you know: There are over 4000 songs dedicated to roses.

Thanks Wikipedia! (and Vice President Sue)

Further blog reading can be seen at - Flower of the Month Nov 2014

Also a post about pruning roses including timing pruning for a special event.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Taranaki Region Gardens

Coffs Garden Club has it on good authority that if you are travelling in the New Plymouth/Taranaki Region of New Zealand these gardens are a 'must see'.

Established in 1951, Pukeiti Garden is a garden of international significance which specialises in rhododendrons and is situated on the lower slopes of Mt Egmont in 320 hectares of rain forest, managed by the Taranaki Regional Council.

TÅ«pare is a former family home in the Arts & Crafts/Tudor style, surrounded by a 3.6 hectare park in New Plymouth - it is owned and run by the Taranaki Regional Council and is located above the Waiwhakaiho River.

Hollard Gardens, the achievement of a lifetime's work by the late Bernie and Rose Hollard. This garden features many elements that make up a wonderful garden. It is also managed by the Taranaki Regional Council.

Nearby Ngamamaku Garden is a must for rose lovers with three formal rose gardens. There are also many Clivias throughout including a number of hybrids developed at Ngamamaku.

Also nearby Te Kainga Marire which is an inner city native garden which has a collection of New Zealand native plants including alpines and ferns (Te Kainga Marire is Maori for the peaceful encampment). This garden, like Pukeiti Rhododendron Garden has the rating of New Zealand Gardens Trust Garden of National Significance. Te Kainga Marire was a clay wasteland when purchased in 1972 and was opened to the public in 1990. 

This regional sure looks the goods for garden lovers and just look at the backdrop of Mt Taranaki.

Thank you Margaret and Peter for inspiring this post and for the use of some images including the above awesome image.

Monday, 8 October 2018

Kerbside Appeal Gardens

image P. Bowler
Update 9 October: a thousand apologies I missed a garden off the list of gardens to view in this category - and it was the CHAMPION garden - 9 Timbertops Drive, Coffs Harbour. I am so sorry Gaye and Bob that I made this dreadful error.

The Spring Garden Competition had a wonderful inclusion this year - Best Kerbside Appeal Garden. This category proved to be a really popular addition and there were some wonderful kerbside gardens entered. So much so, the Committee thought it a good idea to list all the garden addresses. If you'd like to take a drive and see some beautiful kerbside appeal gardens the following list will be of assistance.

These gardens are not in any particular order - they are grouped in areas as we do for the Judging - Coffs, South and North.

Coffs Kerbside Appeal Gardens:

  • 7 Prince James Avenue, Coffs Harbour
  • 6 Rippon Close, Coffs Harbour
  • 9 Beryl Street, Coffs Harbour
  • 15/7 Gundagai Place, Coffs Harbour (there are more lovely gardens in this complex with easy, flat access)
  • 5 Sunnyside Close, Coffs Harbour
  • 14 Vera Drive, Coffs Harbour
  • 9 Timbertops Drive, Coffs Harbour

South Kerbside Appeal Gardens:

  • 10/17 Walco Drive, Sawtell
  • 18 Sleeman Ave, North Boambee Valley
  • 154 Marian Grove, Toormina
  • 152 Marian Grove, Toormina
  • 18 Sieben Road, Boambee East

North Kerbside Appeal Gardens:

  • 14 Bent Street, Nana Glen
  • 1/49 Dammerel Crescent, Emerald Beach
  • 12 Campbell Street, Safety Beach
  • 15/17 Turon Parade, Woolgoolga
  • 39 Arrawarra Road, Arrawarra

The decision to enter a particular category in the Spring Garden Competition is the sole decision of the garden maintainer, not Coffs Harbour Garden Club.

Monday, 1 October 2018

Native Bees

There are around 20,000 species of bees - only one of which is the common honeybee. They come in a myriad of colours, only a few species making honey and contrary to common belief, most bees don't dance and stinging does not necessary mean instant death - some never sting at all, including native Australian bees.

Most people love the honeybee - not only for it's delicious honey and other bee products but its incredible powers of pollination - this has been thus for millennia. They come in many sizes - two Aussie bees are notably at the end of the spectrum in size for native bees. One possibly being the world's smallest (less than 2mm long) Euryglossina (Quasihesma) and Australia's largest native bee, the 24mm yellow and black carpenter bee. Just to give some prospective here, there is a monster from Indonesia which is almost 4cm in size (Megachile/Chalicodoma pluto) TWICE the size of our first mentioned little Aussie fella.

Australia has approximately 1,600 species of native bees and they form the platform for major pollination of Australian native flora across the country. There are primary producers in Australia who are starting to use native bees for their crop pollination. Notably, (Tetragonula) which are being successfully used for pollination of crops such as macadamias, mangoes, watermelons and lychees in Queensland - they are especially valued for their pollination mainly due to their social behaviour of foraging close to their hives (within a 500m radius) and they are also a wonderful asset to greenhouse pollination because of their 'close to hive' pollination habit. Although it has to be said that honeybees are still primarily used as pollinators for other crops in Australia. 

There are some amazing bee behaviours, for instance the blue banded bee (pictured above) (Amegilla) is capable of a very special type of pollination, called 'buzz pollination', (as can carpenter bees too). For some plants, the pollen is trapped inside a tiny capsule in the centre of the flower. The blue banded bee can curl her body around the flower and rapidly vibrate her flight muscles, thus causing the pollen to shoot out of the capsules. As she collects some pollen for her nest, she transfers some of the pollen to other flowers, successfully pollinating the flowers - amazing! By the way the introduced Apis mellifera are not able to buzz pollinate flowers.