Tuesday, 16 January 2018

How to Find The Meeting Dates for 2018

The meeting dates and other 'happenings' of the Coffs Garden Club can be seen on the right hand side panel of our CHGC website under the heading 'WHAT'S COMING UP'.

Information about what is coming up can be seen on this side panel  

If you are viewing the website on your iphone or tablet remember to scroll down to the bottom and click 'view web version', so you can see the side panel. 

Monday, 15 January 2018

Membership Fees

CHCG Treasurer Anne-Maree and Tom will be accepting membership fees ($15) at this Saturday's (20th Jan) meeting. Our membership fees are due at the AGM which is held November of each year. You can order a CHGC name badge ($8) also if you need one - I have the happy knack of misplacing mine!

CHGC President Jane

President Jane is looking forward to hosting this special kick-off to the 2018 meeting calendar at her home - 21 Lyndhurst Close, Moonee Beach.

Usual starting time of 1:30pm - please note there will be no competition table or trading table at this meeting.

Jane has mentioned that her family have quite a few chairs on hand but just to be on the safe side, slip one into your boot in case there is a shortage.


Flower of the Month - January 2018

French Marigold, image BH&G
KINGDOM:  Plantae

KINGDOM:  Plantae
FAMILY:  Asteraceae
GENUS:  Tagetes
SPECIES:  Many and varied

According to Wikipedia, the name Tagetes is from Roman mythology and related to a deity who came up out of the earth when it was being ploughed. Just like these plants that come up each year from last year's seeds.

The marigold is very significant in Nepalese culture, where marigold garlands are used in almost every household. It is sold in the markets for daily worship and rituals. It is used extensively in garlands and decoration for weddings, festivals, and religious events.

(Pictured left) are tall African marigolds and petite French marigolds (pictured at top) are always pretty.

Image: BH&G

image M Bell

Marigolds are common and quite wonderful as companion plants - especially for food crops, as seen here growing happily beside beans, lettuce and corn.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Foaming Trees

We've recently experienced an extended period of dry weather followed by heavy rain over the past few days. Yesterday there were several trees in our yard which were foaming, which led to the question why? 

Some research has shown that the bark and leaves contain glycosylated alkaloids (or isoprenoids called saponins) which foam when wet. These alkaloids naturally build up during extended dry periods. They don't actually emerge from within the tree, but simply dissolve and wash off the leaves and bark during rain. When the water drips down towards the base of the tree, this primitive 'soap' then foams (due to the altered surface tension) as air is introduced. 

Tree foam happens in all types of trees and locations worldwide.

This foaming also occurs in other areas such as rocks (rock foam) and in rivers and oceans, where phosphates combine with water and air to produce foam.

Strangely enough many terrestrial orchids live at the base of local trees precisely because of the 'wetting agent' properties of the saponins that are released from the bark of trees in heavy rain.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Queens Baton Relay

Coffs Harbour Garden Club successfully nominated long standing member Peter Kimber to participate in the Baton Relay in Coffs Harbour. 

If you would like further details about the Queen's Baton Relay please visit the following links:

Route of the relay

View batonbearers

Coffs Harbour relay detail

Pete will take up the baton at approximately 5 - 5:15pm on Thursday 1 February and take it along Harbour Drive for around 250 metres.

The best place to nab a spot in support of Pete would be around 258 Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour.

16 January:
More on this post - Peter has been training really, really hard - so much so he has lost a whopping 15kg!

If you intend supporting Peter could you take some snaps so they can be posted here please.


Flower of the Month December 2017 - Gardenia

From the desk of CHGC Vice President Sue

KINGDOM: Plantae

FAMILY:  Rubiaceae

GENUS:  Gardenia

Gardenias are beautiful flowering shrubs in the coffee family, Rubiaceae, native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Asia, Madagascar and Pacific Islands. They flower from mid spring to mid summer and the joy of gardenias is a toss-up between the soft velvety petals and the magnificant scent. I think the scent wins me over every time.

According to the internet, the petals are edible and taste a little like they smell. I tried them..... and survived. I think the older yellow petals would be a surprising addition to a summer salad - give it a go.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Xmas Party

Coffs Garden Club's Christmas Party will kick off today at noon at the Greenhouse Tavern (on the corner of the Pacific Highway and Bray St).

Santa will be in attendance, so if you want to receive a little present ($5 value) please bring along a gift (lady for lady, gent for gent).

It will be wonderful to have the opportunity to have a social outing with membership - there never seems to be the time for a decent natter at meetings! The Competition Table accumulative point place-getters will be announced and recognised for their brilliant diligence in carting along entries to meetings, along with a random prize draw from all the members who have placed items on the competition table during 2018. There'll also be a raffle with lots of wonderful prizes too. 

Proceeds from the afternoon tea and trading table at our monthly meetings provide the funds for the subsidized cost of this end-of-year function. Well done to all who have worked so hard during the year on both these CHGC activities.

So put your 'PARTY' on and have a terrific time!

Monday, 11 December 2017

How About This for a Tomato Plant?

How's this for a tomato plant? 'The Robs' must have been paying attention to Tino from Gardening Australia to grow this 2.4 metre beauty (and it's still growing).

Perhaps we can convince them to save some of the seeds to share with other Coffs Harbour Garden Club members.

A pretty cottage garden in the Walcha area. This area has a huge reputation for good gardens. It DOES get very cold with heavy frosts during the winter so there are some glorious deciduous trees and shrubs to be seen. A great place to visit.

A close of the 'Gardener Doll' looking a picture among the flowers.

'The Robs' do a lot of travelling and these Giant Grass Trees were seen between Emmaville and Ashford in the Northern Tablelands of NSW.

Thank you for sharing your photos.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Green Space as Opposed to a Much Needed Expansion - which one for you?

Yes, there is a concerning dilemma happening in Sydney....... The Domain and Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens are described by Catherine Stewart as 'lungs' for the city. If plans come to pass the Art Gallery of NSW will be set for a 28,468 square metre expansion, encroaching on Domain land.

Catherine is certainly no shrinking violet when it comes to expressing an opinion and she is undoubtedly in a lather about this issue. If you would like to see and read more please visit GardenDrum here.

Sunday, 3 December 2017


This little herb is not only an aromatic flavourful herb, it's so easy to grow!

It's hard to imagine, but there are over 400 different varieties of thyme. They are mostly ornamental with fewer being culinary thyme. The most popular for culinary purposes are French (or common thyme), lemon thyme and caraway thyme (although I haven't grown the latter). 

To germinate, thyme seeds take from 14 to 28 days so have patience! They prefer dry soil, lots of sunshine and little water and attention - so perfect for someone like me who enjoys a plant that is a 'set and forget until needed' type of plant! Personally I enjoy them for their weed exclusion too they do their spreading habit with very little other vegetation having the opportunity to take hold.

Thyme can be propagated from cuttings - clip a 10cm cutting from the very tip of a stem, apply rooting hormone on the exposed portion of the stem (or dip in organic honey) and plant in a light propagating mix. Roots should emerge within six or so weeks. Transfer to a small pot, let the root ball form and then transfer to a large pot or directly to the garden bed.

Layering propagating is quite easy too. Take a long thyme stem and carefully secure it along the soil with wire or a U-shaped stake, leaving around 10cm of the tip free. Make sure the pinned portion is in direct contact with the soil. Roots will start to form along the stem within a month. Cut away the newly rooted plant from the main plant and plant either in a pot or garden.