Saturday, 28 December 2013

Happy New Year

This coming year for the Coffs Harbour Garden Club is an exciting one - we are hosting the 2014 GCA Mid North Coast Zone Day in August, and the 25th Anniversary of the Spring Garden Competition in September. There are some wonderful outings planned and of course, our meetings will still host some of our local experts who are willing to give us some informative talks.

Our community involvement will continue with the maintenance of the air-side gardens at the Coffs Airport along with other projects new to the Club.

We wish you all a very happy New Year and look forward to your participation.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

The Aphid

A member of the superfamily Aphidoidea

Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects 2-4mm long. They often cluster on fresh young shoots and flower buds or even underneath older leaves. Aphids come in a range of colours - from light olive green and pinkish to dark green and black. In more temperate climates and especially in protected environments and suitable hosts are available, continuous reproduction by females alone is possible. Females give birth to live female young at the rate of 4-6 per day! A female will give birth to more than 100 live young over her lifetime of one to four weeks. These young can mature into adults in 4-7 days in summer and immediately begin producing live offspring. The ideal temperature for aphids is about 22 degrees C - no development generally occurs below 5 degrees of above 33 degrees C. Their colonies multiply rapidly and large infestations can develop in a matter of days.

The aphid can also transmit virus diseases which can often have more impact on the crop than the actual feeding itself. The sticky honeydew excreted onto the plant by aphids provides an excellent environment for sooty mould and viruses like broad bean wilt. 
There are natural predators such as ladybird beetles, parasitic wasps, hoverfly larvae and lacewings. The wasp lays eggs inside the aphid giving it a hard light brown shell-like appearance. The ladybird larvae which looks like tiny bird droppings are actually voracious eaters of aphids. Both of these natural predators will dramatically reduce Aphid numbers quickly however they usually lag behind the build up of aphids and some damage can occur before effective control is achieved.

Control:  A natural way is to try spraying cold water on the leaves, sometimes all aphids need is a cool blast to dislodge. The use of commercially available biological controls or by spraying with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil may be the way for you. For the totally 'green' solution you can purchase beneficial insects, such as lady beetles and parasitic wasps which will feed on the aphids.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Myles Roser Awarded the Ann Williams Clark Medallion

Myles Roser & Geoff Bell

Our nomination to Garden Clubs of Australia for the Ann Williams Clark Medallion to be awarded to Myles Roser was successful and we are justifiably proud for him to be a recipient in this prestigious award. Myles was awarded theMedallion by Club President Geoff Bell at the Christmas function held at Opal Cove on 2 December 2013.

Myles in his acceptance speech, said that Rhona Brooks, Coffs Garden Club President in the early 1990's noticed the Roser's beautiful garden and encouraged Myles and Pat to become members of the Club. This was the commencement of their journey with the CHGC. Myles also added that there have been many notable events and activities during his 20 year involvement and he has enjoyed all aspects of being a club member. It is testament to this attitude that the CHGC nominated such a worthy recipient for this award. 

Well done Myles!

The following is the Club's submission to GCA:

The Garden Clubs of Australia Outstanding Service by a Member of an Affiliated  Club – Ann Williams Clark Medallion

Myles Roser is the quiet 'behind the scenes' man in the Coffs Harbour Garden Club and in the 20 years that he has been a member he has been totally involved in the life and activities of the Club. If something has to be done, then Myles is your man.

Service and Involvement
Over the years Myles has stepped in to fill the roles of absent members and was the Catering Officer for some years. He is a Club representative on the Coffs Harbour Show Pavilion Committee, where the Garden Club is responsible for staging and organising the Plants, Flowers and Vegetable Section in the Show Pavilion. He is also one of the co-ordinators organising the displays of Craft, Horticulture, Agriculture, Cooking and Schools exhibits and attends regular meetings and working bees of the Pavilion Committee to prepare, plan and maintain equipment and fixtures used in the Show each year.

An All Round Helper and Inspiration
He is an indispensable helper at each meeting, as he is one of the first to arrive and set up the meeting room organising the tables and chairs, setting up the library and the Trading Table, filling the urn and making sure the tables are set up for Afternoon Tea. He directs visitors to the Attendance Book and the Competition Table and welcomes them to the club.  He has at times been responsible for the “Hint of the Month”, and presented the “Gardener’s Diary” for many years.  Myles is an inspiration to our members for his dedication, his active participation in the life of the Club, his sense of humour and his ability to share knowledge and skills. When anyone has a practical gardening question Myles is the first person they ask.

Through his activities at the Show he is continually promoting our Club in the Community and encourages gardeners to join our club.  He was also the chief organiser of our fund raising BBQ’s  each year, purchasing all the supplies and even peeling 20 Kilos of onions each time (!) and is an indefatigable worker at all the other events that the Garden Club participates in every year. He is also famous for his sandwiches, which he supplies on many of our outings and club events.

A Mentor and Teacher
Myles is always cheerful and friendly. He is a good organiser of people and activities and has helped organise club outings over many years. He is a most willing and enthusiastic member, who plays an important role in the Club and is recognised in the wider community for his contribution to the Coffs Harbour Show, where he was on the Committee of the Show Society for many years. He is also a successful exhibitor winning many prizes for his roses and pot plants each year, as well being a regular contributor to our Monthly Competition Bench at our club meetings. (He always enters under his wife’s name as he famously quips each time: ”He is the grower, she is the shower”, but none-the–less we all know that the plants are really Myles’s flowers and plants.)

Always involved in the Annual Garden Competition as a driver for the judge, he encourages other members to accompany him so that they can become familiar with this task and take over in the future. He is always concerned that as many people as possible are given the opportunity to learn and be involved.  Myles opens his garden twice a year to promote the Village where he lives and has invited our Garden Club and Garden Clubs visiting Coffs Harbour to see his garden and loves to give plants and cuttings to anyone who asks, especially plants that he has propagated himself.

When asked if the club wished to nominate anyone for this award, the members were unanimous in their support of Myles for his outstanding contribution to our Club and to our community.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Christmas Function 2013


Co-ordinating colours and happy smiles!

Joan looking festive
Irene and Margaret
Patron Julie Worland from Total Gardens
Jane looking cheeky and very festive

Gwen opening up the quiz

Sunday, 1 December 2013

President's Message - December 2013

It is with immense pleasure that I write my first message as President of Coffs Harbour Garden Club (CHGC). Thank you for having the confidence to elect such a recent member and novice gardener to this office. As mentioned at the AGM, Pat has indeed left huge shoes to fill and I will be the first to admit that there may be some 'speed humps' along the way for me!

Sincere thanks must go to Pat for her wonderful contribution to our club - not just as President, but also in the many other roles she has dedicated herself to.  Pat has been Zone Co-ordinator, Newsletter Editor, Secretary, Chair for the Competition and Program Committees and volunteer for the Coffs air-side garden maintenance among many, many other roles and functions.  I feel confident that Pat will be generous in her guidance as Vice President. It goes without saying that Pat has been ably and solidly backed up by Myles who has been a tremendous support to her.

Thanks also to those who generously put their hands up for the various jobs that need to be done to ensure that our Club runs effectively.  We have a great team in place, and there is clearly lots of enthusiasm and a strong desire to see that the Club continues to be special.

As we move into 2014, I would encourage everyone to be continually looking for new and interesting things that we might introduce to help make our Club an even better organisation to belong to.  Not all these ideas will become reality, but if we stop looking for them, there’s a strong chance we’ll become less relevant to our community over time. We can rightly be proud of the contribution we are making (and have indeed made), within the Coffs community, but we shouldn’t be tempted to simply rest on our laurels.  Please don’t hesitate to let me or anyone on the executive know if you have an idea that you think might work well for us.

Christmas is fast approaching and I would like to wish all of you, and your families, a safe and joyous time.  Best wishes to everyone for a healthy and happy New Year.