Sunday, 21 December 2014

Monolepta Beetle - Monolepta australis

This year I noticed these little blighters on some of our roses, which led to my investigation of them. They seemed to choose the white roses and were not evident on any of the darker colours.

Warm dry weather will encourage the small (around 6mm) native Monolepta Beetle to take up residence in our gardens. As their common name suggests, these little yellow beetles have a red stripe across their shoulders and a red spot on their wings. Also called red-shouldered leaf beetle, this native beetle occurs in northern and eastern Australia with tropical and subtropical climates.

These beetles can appear in enormous swarms, especially during warmer dry months, shredding leaves and stripping flowers. 

These beetles will attack avocado, citrus, mango and strawberry, corn and cucurbits, and natives such as eucalypt, tea-tree and wattle. The larvae are white grubs that feed underground.

The only way to protect your garden from attack is to keep shrubs watered well during dry spells and keep the garden surface mulched to prevent moisture loss through evaporation. This year we didn't mulch the roses so we've learnt a very valuable lesson!

If the plant being attacked is not too large, using a stick knock them into a container of soapy water. Spraying is not really an option because sprays that kill these beetles will also kill beneficial insects visiting plants at the same time. You could try putting a white container with water in it near the infested shrub and some will drown - DO NOT put soap in this as you'll do the bees in.

Natural Enemies:
There are no known predators that are effective against high populations of Monolepta australis.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

President's Message - December 2014

This President's Message is our last for 2014. I’d like to start off by offering best wishes to everyone for a safe and happy Christmas and a great New Year.

The Club’s Christmas party was a lovely event, which we held at Opal Cove where we were again looked after brilliantly well.  I think everyone who attended had a great time, enjoying fine food and fellowship, as well as the visit by our special Santa (thanks Jane).  And thanks to Maria for all her hard work in organising the event.

We have a new team looking after the Club for 2015.  Congratulations and sincere thanks to each and every person who has put their hand up for the coming year.  The new team is:

Patrons Julie and Paul Worland

Executive:  President: Geoff Bell

Vice President: Simon Young

Secretary: Andrea Baker

Treasurer & Public Officer: vacant – Simon to continue until Feb 2015

Committees and Other Roles
    Communications Coordinator:  Maria Bell

    Spring Garden Comp Cttee:  Simon Young, Maria Bell, Bob Tarry, Jane Durler,
        Margaret Crawley, Peter Kimber, Michael Pearson, Ray Chippington

    Program Cttee:  Trish Welsh, Jane Durler, Maureen Stokes

    Catering Cttee:  Margaret Crawley, Jeannine Young, Janny Hoy, Margaret Franks

    Hospitality & Attendance Book:  Marion Braun, Gill Goatcher

    Competition Table Judges:  Ray Chippington, Gavin Reid, Helen Kayser

    Competition Table Stewards:  Michael Reid, Simon Young

    Airport Garden Coordinator:  Peter Kimber

    Gardener’s Diary – Flowers & Foliage: # vacant – please consider doing this

    Gardener’s Diary – Fruit & Vegies: # vacant # - please consider doing this

    Gardener’s Diary—Tropical/Sub-tropical:  Gavin Reid

    Setting up/Packing up Coordinator:  Peter Kimber

    Raffle Seller :  Peter Kimber

    Birthday Cards:  Helen Kayser

    Show Delegate:  Peter Kimber

Our first meeting for 2015 is on Sat 21 Feb at the Botanic Gardens at 1.30pm, but please don’t forget we also have a social picnic at Mylestom on Mon 2 Feb.  I look forward to catching up with everyone then.  In the meantime, enjoy the holidays and happy gardening.

Folks it’s time to share your knowledge (or learn in the process..) If you’d like to do either of these two roles please contact Geoff. #

Thursday, 4 December 2014

2014 Christmas Party

Ho, Ho, Ho from President Geoff

The CHGC Xmas Party was a lot of fun for those who attended with lots of prezzies to open, awards handed out and a good catch up for some who can't make it to all our meetings during the year.

The Garden Clubs of Australia Mid North Coast Zone Co-ordinator, Keryn Rodham, shared with the gathering know what was happening within our Zone.

The Executive - Geoff Bell President, Pat Roser Vice President, Simon Young Treasurer and Maureen Stokes Secretary were thanked for their excellent work during the year.

Pat took out the most successful exhibitor for the 2014 Competition Table. Looks as though this may continue with that bounty of plant nourishment!  

Helen was delighted with her second place in the 2014 Competition Table. 

Third place getter Annette G. was not present to accept her prize.

Treasurer Simon recited the Pam Ayres poem 'I have a little satnav' for those who missed his first rendition at the September meeting.

Some new members attended the function, seen here are Janny & Ken H. looking as if the CHGC really brings a smile to their faces!

Any Christmas Party worth it's salt has an ever jolly Santa - Jane D demonstrated her own slant on what every well presented Santa should be dressed in this year, much to the delight of the membership.
Santa ably assisted by Maria and Corrine

Corrine & John S.

New member Barbara taking 'shots' and Janice intent on what her parcel contained.

CHGC Patrons Julie & Paul Worland took a break from their busy work schedule to attend.

Graham & Marie D, entering into the spirit with their hats on.

Competition Table Chief Judge, Ray C.

Catering Committee Chair, Margaret C - this time not having to 'lift a finger' for the delicious fare.

Santa has them spellbound.

Following are some of the happy throng at this party at Opal Cove. Thank you to all who attended and we look forward to seeing you in 2015.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

2014 Christmas Party

It's Party Time for CHGC!

When:          Tuesday 2 December 2014

Where:         Opal Cove Resort (ample parking available)

Time:            12:00 for 12:30pm

Cost:             $25 (subsidised) per member

Entree:  Antipasto Tasting Plate with continental meats, marinated vegetables, olives, fetta and crostini.

Main: Trio of Christmas Meats: ham, turkey breast & roast pork embellished with stuffing, gravy & cranberry sauce, served with traditional baked vegetables.

Dessert: Plum pudding with warm brandy custard.

 (Iced Water, Tea & Coffee are included – other
beverages are at own cost.)

Don’t forget to bring a gift worth not more than $5 for our jolly Santa to distribute from the sack
(man buys for a man, lady buys for a lady).

There will be terrific raffle prizes, competition table prize giving, ever popular Christmas Quiz 
and a little surprise for everyone!

Hope you can join the happy throng

Treasurer Simon has advised that there are a few 2015 Garden Clubs of Australia Calendars for sale. So you had better jump in quick to pick up your copy! We have to feel proud to have a member's garden as a major featured garden AND to have so many other photos submitted by Laurie presented as well.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Harvest Heros

The CHGC outing for November was to the beautiful Orara Valley looking at vegetable gardens - three diverse gardens where we were fortunate to meet some special 'harvest heros'.  Following is an account of this outing by Margaret F: 

After meeting at the Botanic Garden for morning tea about 13 garden club members ventured west to visit three stunning organic vegie patches.

The first garden belonged to Virginia and we were totally amazed at the amount of fruit and vegies she had growing in her small patch of about 12 raised garden beds.

Virginia is seen here on the left.

To keep all wildlife out, the garden was covered with bird netting wire.
Some of the beds had just one variety while others had multiple types of fruit and veg growing happily together.

Virginia's three young children were very good at picking the crops while her eldest likes to help in the planting. Labels were used in the garden to teach the children to read, while also learning all about the vegies they like to eat.

The next stop was to Lyn's WOW vegie garden. Again lots of variety of vegies were growing with spectacular health in this much larger garden.

Lyn is a chef and this is a Chef's garden where she grows everything she needs to feed her family.

In contrast to Virginia's garden, Lyn did not have any fencing or netting over her gardens and yet everything seemed to be untouched by the wildlife. Lyn had naturally very good soil and used compost, blood and bone and dynamic lifter to feed the plants.

The corn and rhubarb, in particular have spectacular vigour. Lyn also gives her neighbour some produce to make jams, relishes, chutneys etc.

Our last garden to visit today was the Karangi Public School.

This school looks absolutely stunning before you walk through the gate and gets better as you walk around the grounds.
We were given a guided tour by three enthusiastic and knowledgeable students who are very proud of what the students, parents and teachers have achieved at the school.

The 'Australian Garden' with all native flora.
The students alternate working in the garden one week and then cook the produce for other students the next week. They have bush tucker as well as fruit trees, herbs and vegies growing in garden beds scattered around the grounds.

It's no surprise why they always win a number of prizes in the school section of the Spring Garden Competition.

Delicious meals were eaten at the Coramba Pub before heading to Total gardens for a little retail therapy. The lovely cooling rain was a very welcome way to finish the day. Thanks to the outing committee and Maria for organising this fantastic outing.

Some photos of the members who attended this outing:

Gaye T., Robyne & Bob M. & Margaret C.

Sue Y., Laurel T., Bob & Gaye T., Robyne M.

President Geoff doing what all blokes seem to do around a clothes line.......
Gardener Lyn with CHGC members.

Sue Y., Andrea B. & neighbour Kat with her pickles etc.
Gaye & Margaret

Bob T., Margaret F., (author of article) & Keith T.

Thank you so much Margaret F. for writing the account of the day.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Veggies Anyone?

A reminder of the outing this Tuesday 25 November.

It's all about vegie gardens this outing folks! We are meeting at the Botanic Garden at 9:30am for a BYO morning tea and carpool before heading off up Coramba Road to firstly visit the garden pictured above on Eastbank Road. After which we visit a large garden at Nana Glen. Our lunch stop at the Coramba Pub overlooking the peaceful valley should be a terrific spot to refresh before we move on to the Karangi Public School. This school has been a consistent winner in the Spring Garden Competition over recent years in various categories (including their vegie patch). It is just so wonderful to see what good parent support, coupled with enthusiastic staff can achieve to make school grounds not only functional and productive, but beautiful as well. This is a must see and a really, really good way to round up our year of outings for the CHGC.

Lastly, for our day's excursion we have a stop at Total Gardens. For those who would like a coffee or tea 'hit' this can be achieved in fantastic style in the cafe but perhaps for others the chance to 'fill in some gaps' to make ready our gardens for Christmas might be the way to go.

It is hoped that we get lots of members on this outing as it will be a very interesting one and for those who are interested in vegies, this is the one for you!

Friday, 21 November 2014

Passionvine Hopper - Scolypopa australis

This is a native planthopper of eastern Australia. Adult hoppers are about 10mm long with mottled brown triangular wings.

Nymphs (up to 5mm long) are wingless, mottled pinkish-brown, with a tuft of white waxy filaments on the end of their abdomens informally known as fluffy bums. They occur on passionfruit vines, jasmine, kiwifruit, pumpkin, wisteria, citrus, hydrangea and red hot pokers. 

Like all planthoppers they suck plant sap and leave a honeydew secretion which promotes sooty mould.

Control weeds and prune vines to limit egg-laying sites.

Hose off hoppers. Apply an insecticide registered for use in home gardens, such as pyrethrum, carefully following the label. Sooty mould falls off once the honeydew source has gone.

Natural Enemies:
Tiny parasitic wasps sting passionvine hopper eggs. Lacewing larvae attack hopper nymphs.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Open Garden in Birkdale Queensland

Ian & Judy Wintle are opening their garden 22/23 November 2014 at 5 Carlton Crt, Birkdale (NE of Capalaba). Their garden is one acre of beautiful subtropical plantings.

In this article you will read about their journey in gardening and what was their impetus in becoming such avid plant collectors and nurturers. As the Open Gardens Australia is folding in 2015 Ian & Judy have written a really good article on how to open your garden and the steps involved. A very good guide and insight into what opening your garden entails.

How to open your garden | GardenDrum

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Anton Brings Christmas Cheer!

The Guest at the 15 November meeting was Anton who once again had the membership spellbound as he created lovely Christmas floral artistry. There were some that perhaps we could manage but others would need the dab hand of someone very talented.

Anton is a member of the NSW Floral Art Association and they meet monthly for workshops. Anton is very keen and travels usually to Kempsey from Woolgoolga to attend them.

Recently they had a workshop on weaving techniques and this was put to good use in this stunning piece with Strelitzia (Bird of Paradise) with a gorgeous gold pot.

These Christmas baubles had a hole cut into them, spider lily inserted and accented beautifully by copper wire.

Anton's Birch block with a fountain of wires ready to support some stunning pink bougainvillea.

A wonderful cerise bougainvillea bringing this table centre piece to life.

Maureen & Geoff very intent on what Anton was doing.

Who would have thought that three empty wine bottles, some painted sticks, three baubles and some greenery could look so good - just terrific!

The foundation of this arrangement is loofah sliced and glued into place.

Thank you Marie D. and Michael P. for the photos.