Thursday, 9 May 2019


Flower of the month - May 2019

image M. Reid 
KINGDOM:  Plantae

ORDER:  Ericales

FAMILY:  Theaceae

GENUS:  Camellia


Camellias are evergreen shrubs mostly with dark green slightly waxy leaves which from Autumn through Winter and then into Spring - depending on species and variety.

There are over 180 other species of camellia - and include the tea camellia - C. sinensis (all the world's tea - black and green - comes from plantations of Camellia sinensis). 

C. crapnelliana

Within the Camellia 'family' there are many species. The most well known ones include japonica, sasanqua, reticulata but the most unusual Camellia species is, Camellia crapnelliana. It has seed pods almost as big as a coconut and such a great name!

Don't forget your camellias for the competition table Saturday 18 May.

The Camellia was the flower of the month in June 2016 and in that post there are some 'Growing Problems and Solutions' included which might be interesting if your Camellia is looking a bit crook! Also there is a link to an article written by one of my all time favourite horticultural journos, Angus Stewart.

CHGC visited an Azalea and Camellia nursery in the Bellinger Valley (which has since closed unfortunately) where we saw the most amazing varieties - there are some images found at this post of that outing.

Sunday, 5 May 2019

2019 Spring Garden Competition

The 2019 Spring Garden Competition will be launched on Saturday 27 July 2019

On this date the details for all the categories (Residential, Schools, Industrial/Commercial & Community Sections) will be made public. With the support of Coffs Harbour City Council there will also be Waterwise Garden categories. If you would like more information on what the judging criteria for Waterwise gardens please visit Council's website.

The Growing Competition for Schools is already underway with communication with regional Schools. This year seeds are for 'Perfect Pollinators' to encourage beneficial insects and birds to your school vegetable patch. This school growing competition is held in conjunction with the mainstream Spring Garden Competition however, it has different judging dates - the 'Perfect Pollinators' will be judged from 2nd to 5th September 2019. 

Expressions of your school's interest will have to be received by Tuesday 9 May 2019 to the Competition Administrator, Pat Roser so mailout of the seeds is done in plenty of time to have them up and growing this term.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Reminder of Outing

A reminder for the outing tomorrow, 2 May 2019. 

We meet at Teresa & Paul's garden for a BYO morning tea and enjoy their vast garden - 159 Middle Boambee Rd, Boambee.

The next garden is right next door (as pictured above), Denise & Ken's garden, this is also a large garden, take note of the terrific gabion wall that Ken constructed.

Both these gardens are stunning and a must see! Please take care parking on Middle Boambee Road as it can be very busy.

Lunch is at the cafe at what used to be Garden Mania - please contact Margaret Franks if you would like to come along and have not put your name down yet.  Contact, 6656 0941, or 0421 366 013 

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Growing Zucchini

image GardenDrum

CHGC member Simon shared his knowledge on growing zucchini successfully.

Growing Zucchini on the Coffs Coast from blogpwrpnt

Thanks Simon, great work.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Easter Daisy

Flower of the Month - April 2019 

KINGDOM: Plantae
ORDER: Asterales
FAMILY: Asteraceae
GENUS: Symphyotrichum
SPECIES: S. novi-belgii

Easter Daisy 'Jenny'

They are herbaceous perennials with upright, much-branched stems on which masses of small daisies are produced in late summer and autumn. The flowers range in colour from white through pale lilac blue, mauve, purple and pink to deep reddish plum.

In England these plants were called Michaelmas Daisies because they bloomed at the same time as St Michael's Day was celebrated, 29 September. They could never be called that in Australia as they flower in our Southern Hemisphere Autumn, so instead they are Easter Daisies for us!

Easter Daisy 'Fellowship'

We probably think of them as Asters, but as recently as the 1990s the Family of Asters was split and the Easter Daisy, whilst remaining in the Aster Family was reclassified into the Genus, Symphyotrichum which are recognized as the asters which are native to North America.

That which we call an Easter Daisy, by any other name would smell as ...... Now, what does it smell like?

ABC Gardening Australia Series 28 Episode 07 - Easter Special has a segment on the Easter Daisy, presenter Jane Edmanson's profile can be seen here.

Sunday, 7 April 2019

Getting Coffs Show Ready

Preparing Roses for the Show

Joyce Abounding - a beautiful Australian bred Miniflora

Judging of the flowers at the Coffs Harbour Show is 12 May 2017. If you wish to have a flush on your floribundas, minifloras and mini roses, this weekend (25/26 March) is when your bushes are pruned to have show ready blooms. The above rose types generally require 75-80 days to have a flower flush after pruning.  

Aotearoa (Maori for New Zealand) and means 'Land of the Long White Cloud' is a beautiful, richly fragrant Hybrid tea rose.
However, if you have hybrid tea and shrub roses to prepare for the show these need to be pruned 60 days prior - the 12th March.

These are 'general rule of thumb' number of days before a wanted flush, so it might be worth pruning some bushes a bit before these dates and some a little later so you might 'jag' some that are just right!

Preparing Pots for the Show

Snake plant

Have a good look at your pot plants and see if there are any that you might like to exhibit. Some points when showing pots:

  • All plants should be free from pests and diseases. So keep an 'eye' on your pots to make sure pests don't take a liking to your pots.
  • Foliage plants are judged on the quality and appearance of leaves and stems, so it might be best to keep up the maintenance on your pots, removing spent stems/damaged leaves early rather than just before the show when you run the risk of leaving a nasty raw looking wound.
  • With your flowering plants these might be a bit tricky to get 'show ready' in full bloom but it might be worthwhile to keep up the liquid fertiliser to keep the plant healthy, ready to burst out with wonderful blooms.
  • Your pot plant should be symmetrical in the pot, so remember to keep rotating to keep the plant growth even.
  • Have a good close look at your container.  Is it in proportion with the plant? If it is 'top heavy' it might be a good idea to repot your plant into a bigger one. In the image above the pot really complements the plant beautifully however, it is a little too tall in comparison with the overall height of the plant. Your container should complement the plant without drawing attention away from it (unless the schedule states a decorative pot with plant).
When competing in the Coffs Harbour Show (or any show for that matter) it is imperative that you read the schedule very thoroughly. There are very good guidelines written in the schedule and takes just a few minutes to familiarise yourself with what is required for any given class or section.

Good luck with your preparation!

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Korora & Sapphire Beach 28 March 2019

This outing saw us in only two suburbs of Coffs Harbour - Korora and Sapphire Beach.

Aquaponics and then a beautiful cottage garden at Korora, those threatening clouds didn't eventuate into anything major, so we had perfect weather for our garden viewing.

We even slipped in an extra garden down the road from the cottage garden. AND for just a very few members they even saw another stunning back garden in the same street, so five gardens in all for the day - what a treat.

On to Sapphire Beach where we saw CHGC member Anne's lovely garden. People were especially interested in the Tuberose which had pride of place. 

 Beachstone Cafe must have been very, very pleased to see us today as there was certainly a huge line up of people attending the lunch.
Thanks once again to Marg F. for organising such interesting destinations for our outing today. 

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

28 March 2019 Club Outing

Nautical Drive, Korora Garden
Once again we'll be joining with Woopi Garden Club for the March outing.

If you could meet at the first garden @ 10am with a BYO morning tea that'd be fantastic.

Garden One:  16 Norman Hill Drive, Korora
Garden Two:  1 Nautical Dve, Korora - this link to google maps is before development
Garden Three:  4 Canomie St, Sapphire Beach

Lunch is at:  Beachstone Cafe Sapphire Beach to view their menus please see here.

If you intend going to lunch, could you please RSVP to Marg (details are in an email I sent out this arvo - or her deets can be found in the latest CHGC newsletter from Sue).

Hope to see lots of folk there - once again thanks goes to Marg for organising the outing.

Thursday, 14 March 2019


Flower of the Month - March 2019

KINGDOM:  Plantae

CLASS:   Magnoliopsida

ORDER:  Malvales

FAMILY:  Malvaceae (Mallow)

GENUS:  Hibiscus L.

Jerry from Gardening Australia says there is a hibiscus for every garden. With its colourful flowers and often pretty foliage, the species choice is huge; here are a few: 

Hibiscus syriacus: Rose of Sharon - has white, mauve, blue, red, pink or lavender blooms, all with a crimson eye.

Hibiscus tiliaceus: Mangrove or cotton hibiscus has yellow or white single flowers; a purple-leafed form is available. Tolerates salt spray. Forms a tree, shrub or windbreak. Evergreen (or tiliaceus rubra with red leaves).

Hibiscus schizopetalus: Elegant, pendulous pink, red or white flowers have keeply dissected petals. Japanese lantern is a bird-attracting shrub for the garden or containers.

Hibiscus tiliaceus - image Wikipedia
The Australian native hibiscus (Hibiscus tiliaceus) is a tree rather than a shrub and more commonly called, sea hibiscus, beach hibiscus, coastal hibiscus, coastal cottonwood, native hibiscus, native rosella, cottonwood hibiscus. There are many growing around the Coffs Coast. The bronze foliaged variety is the tiliaceus rubra.

Bring along your favourite for the competition table this Saturday.

For more information on native Hibiscus' see this Gardening with Angus  page.

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Corindi - Ranges, Blueberries, Seascapes, Plants & Companionship

Our Garden Clubs of Australia motto of 'Friendship through gardens' really lived up to itself today with the combined Woolgoolga and Coffs Harbour Garden Clubs' outing to Corindi. 

Corindi (which is pronounced Cor-in-dye' according to long time residents) was also known as Pipeclay Beach until its name change in 1954. Corindi means 'grey' in local indigenous language referring to the pipeclay on the beach. Today Corindi is better known for blueberry farming with immense farms to the west and north west. At this February 2019 outing we had the pleasure of travelling through some of these pristine farms - some of us more so than others as we got LOST....... Did you know they are now growing blueberry bushes in pots? That was one observation today on our intrepid journey in Upper Corindi.

The first destination was off Red Range Road, Upper Corindi and was a vast acreage garden with the most amazingly beautiful outlook.

In the image on the top left is a Boab tree and yes, with all that lovely foliage growing atop. This garden is maintained by some very neat folk - just take a look how the stakes are stored. Pineapples abounded edging the paths throughout the orchard.

The second garden visited in the village of Corindi was a normal sized town block. This gardener was just so generous and wanted any of the members to take cuttings of anything in her garden. Her love of her 'space' was evident in her enthusiasm and willingness to share.

Lunch was quite a very tasty and most welcomed break in our garden journey, such interesting food and enjoyed by the members.

After lunch we went off to Corindi Public School where the kids are doing some fantastic work in their kitchen garden. Each week they take it turns to spend time both in the kitchen cooking and in the garden. They use produce that the school has grown in their raised gardens beds for their cookery lesson. 

Our outings coordinator Marg did the honours of reading out the briefing before we could move throughout the School and grounds. 

Thanks goes of course to the wonderful gardeners who opened their gates to allow the two clubs to visit and also the Corindi Public School for allowing us to see what the kids are up to in their garden. Margaret Franks as usual did so well to find such interesting destinations for our outing, thanks Marg.