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.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Some Member-able Talent

Outstanding Floral Art

This gorgeous creation was done by Marion B. what a stunning arrangement! Marion says she has decided to do all the flowers for their chapel and has been looking up designs on the web and also getting advice from CHGC supporter Freelance Flower's Di Patterson. We can't wait to see what you will bring to the 2015 competition table Marion.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Spring Garden Competition Missed Photos

For whatever reason these photos missed the line up of the Spring Garden Competition photos. Sorry folks!

CHGC Member Marie Davey from Boambee East accepting her award from Total Gardens' Julie Worland
(Julie is one of the CHGC Patrons)

Residential Judge Diana Harden with Reserve Champion Peg Willmott of Woolgoolga and CHGC Member Simon Young

Total Gardens' Paul Worland with Janny Hoy
(Paul is one of the CHGC Patrons)

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Yellowing Leaves?

We grow many plants that have leaves that turn yellow, this is often caused by deficiencies in the soil. Following is a very simplistic explanation to what might be the problem:

Iron deficiency first appears on new young growth and if those leaves grow yellow, there is a very good chance there is an iron deficiency in the soil. This is treated by watering in Iron Chelates around the plant’s drip-line once every spring and once every autumn.

If, however the yellowed leaves are older leaf growth (and the new growth remains green), this might indicate a Magnesium  deficiency. In the Coffs area (because of our heavy summer rain and the water solubility of Magnesium) this deficiency is best treated by diluting Epsom Salts at the rate of one teaspoon per litre of water and spraying over the foliage once a month during summer.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Looking at Moonee Beach

                                                                                                                                                                                      images L. Gardner

The outing to Moonee Beach was well attended by CHGC members. We visited two member gardens,the Bells for lunch and member Sue's for Bromeliads after lunch.

The following photos are from Laurel & Keith's lovely garden.

Jane D's garden which she has worked so hard to make her own. There are the most amazing trees on this block.

The Club has visited Sue's garden before, but it is ever changing and this time it held some wonderful surprises:

The weather was fantastic and the company even better - mingling in Moonee was lots of fun!