Friday, 27 February 2015

Outing to Bonville Broms 27 February 2015

A sea of Bromeliads

Barbara, Noelene & Gavin

Under a leaden sky (rather commonplace here on the Coffs Coast recently) the CHGC members met at the Botanic Garden for their morning tea and car-pooling.

Michael & Simon with the beautiful Tibouchina background. These are just stunning at the Botanic Garden at the moment.
We motored out to Bonvile and really enjoyed the drive. It is a beautiful part of Coffs Harbour and made a stunning drive.

Jan giving some advice
Jan & Jon were very generous in talking about the various broms on our walk through their tunnels.

John talking to another group

Bonville Broms is located near the end of Braford Drive, Bonville and this nursery is open only by appointment send email here or T: 0418 574 030.

Mary was spellboud

John gave a demo on removing 'pups' from the mother plant.

Retail Time!

Some member photos from Simon:

Lunch time!

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

How to prune a flowering gum | GardenDrum

Angus Pruning a Flowering Gum

This is a really good article (with images) on how to prune a flowering gum. We have all seen where these lovely trees get 'top heavy' and in extreme weather conditions topple over.

How to prune a flowering gum | GardenDrum

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Clean Up Australia Day 2015

Clean Up Australia Limited is a not-for-profit environmental conservation organisation founded by Ian Kiernan. 2015 marks the 25th Anniversary of the launch of Clean up Australia Day and CHGC have been there every step of the way. 

Since the start of this initiative Australians have donated more than 27 million hours of their own time to clean up local streets, bushland, parks and waterways. It is estimated that communities across the country have removed about 288,650 tonnes of rubbish from 145,754 registered sites. These statistics are comprised from information collated from the registered volunteers and sites from the campaign. It would be mind boggling to know how much time, rubbish and sites are cleaned up during the rest of the year out of the dedicated campaign weekend! 

CHGC takes pride in it's effort to clean up the historical Coffs Cemetery in Hardacre Street - next to the Botanic Gardens. If you would like to join the happy band of members cleaning up this vital historical part of Coffs please register from 8:45am at the bus stop in front of the cemetery. Club members Jane and Peter will be on hand to handle the paperwork and map out what section you'll be working in. Please wear closed in shoes and hat as the terrain is a bit patchy in parts.

Monday, 23 February 2015

We Have a New Treasurer!

Congratulations to Janice Pearson who was voted into the position of Treasurer CHGC - Welcome!
As our membership fees are now due it is a busy introduction to the role for her. To make it easier and less hectic at meetings Janice would really appreciate it if people were to use envelopes with their name, contact details, what the payment is for, and the $ amount written on the outside. That way she can write out the receipts and distribute them at the next meeting so folk don't have to stand around in line for them.

If any of your details have changed could you please update these with Janice as well. It is very important that we have correct personal details - for email, newsletter and contact purposes.

RSVP For Outing 27 February 2015

If you intend going to the outing this Friday to Bonville Broms and haven't already RSVP'd to Trish could you please do so by end of business today, Monday 23 February. As Jan (from Bonville Broms) is doing the catering for the sausage sizzle we need to let her know just how many sausages are needed.

Please meet at the Botanic Garden at 9:30am for carpooling. BYO morning tea, drinks and chair for the day. The sausage sizzle is $2 each sausage and if you need further information please contact Trish on 0427 123 584 or email Trish.

Cup Moths - Limacodidae

Cup Moths (Lepidoptera: Limacodidae) are found all over Australia. The adult moths are quite nondescript but their larvae are brightly coloured, stout bodied and slug-like and frequently have stinging hairs and spines. When disturbed they raise their stinging spines. If touched these spines can cause severe local irritation and swelling.

The common name Cup Moth is thought to come from the shape of the pupal cocoons constructed by the caterpillars, which are cup-like in appearance after the moth has emerged. The faecal pellets of the caterpillars are also 'cup' shaped.

Depending on the species, they may attack camellia, hop bush, macadamia, gum trees, guava and waratah.  Small larvae feed together and skeletonise leaves; larger larvae chew chunks from leaf edges.

Keep an eye on target plants for larvae.

Natural enemies:
Parasitic wasps, flies, biting midges and birds.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Plant Profile - Rocket (Eruca spp.)

Rocket— (Eruca spp.)

The Italians call it 'arugula' or 'rucola'. The French call it  'roquette'  and it may also be seen as 'Italian cress', 'ruchetta' and 'rugula' - so take your pick!

Over the summer months there is nothing nicer than to go into the vegie  patch and pick fresh salad leaves. Rocket is one of those greens that we enjoy picking. It is nutty, peppery-flavoured and deserves its place in the popularity stakes.

Rocket in our climate can be grown all year round. Although the plant is hardy, during hot weather frequent watering and the provision of some shade will prolong the crop’s productive life. Like all salad leaf plants optimum growing conditions ensure tenderness and delicate flavor. The best crops are therefore grown in moist, free-draining and rich soil.

Sow seeds in stages so you have continuity of crop and thin seedlings initially to 2cm apart and then when plants are a little larger and growing well, thin to a final spacing of 10-15cm. Eat your thinnings, roots and all as a terrific addition to your salad. Regular application of a liquid fertilizer is beneficial as well.

Start harvesting early when leaves are only 7-10cm long as at this stage Rocket has its best flavor and texture. Keep one or two plants for their flowers—the pretty cream flowers with deep purple veins may be used as an edible garnish.   bon app├ętit 

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Gardeners' Tips - February 2015

For a bold structural statement in your garden (also as a great bird attractor) plant a Gymea lily (Doryanthes excels). This is a really good, easy to grow Australian native with huge flower spikes with a cluster of smaller flowers atop which appear during spring and summer. Keep the soil evenly moist to establish and then it’s just a simple matter of applying some native slow release fertiliser twice a year.

With your Mediterranean plants, rosemary, lavenders etc remember that they are best suited to either pots or very free draining soil as they enjoy rain in exactly the opposite time of the year than when we get ours on the Coffs Coast. If you have them in pots they can be easily moved into a drier position during heavy summer rain.

Acalyphas (red-hot cat’s tail), these plants do very well on the Coffs Coast and are very easy to multiply using hardwood cuttings. Now is an excellent time to also take hardwood cuttings of natives like grevillea, correa etc

'Valerie Swane'

Roses: Pivot dates – these are dates around which roses flower at a particular time according to when you prune them. It is usually between 40 days (Kardinal) and 60 days (for Elina) with most other roses about 55 days. So if you want to have roses for the Coffs Show they need to be pruned back from 16 March until 26 March that way you should get some lovely specimens for display and judging.

Prepare: If you intend to plant bare-rooted trees and shrubs in winter now is the time to dig over and mix in compost or well-rotted manure.

Prune: Salvias when they start to look a bit ‘ratty’ – they have done a stellar job over the summer months and need to rewarded with a good prune.

Ants: due to the heavy rain we’ve recently had the ants seem to be heading towards our pots because of the free-draining soil. To control ant infestations in pots, submerge pots in a deep container filled with soapy water. Soak overnight, then lift and drain the container. Flush the excess soap out using clean water. If any ants survive, repeat a week later.

President's Message - February 2015

Well we have another great year ahead for our Club, with plans for guest speakers and outings already well in hand thanks to our hard-working Program Committee of Trish, Jane and Maureen.

 We also have our first major club activity of the year coming up very soon - the annual Clean Up Australia Day effort at the old Coffs Cemetery.  This is an activity that everyone can get into and one that is of real value to our community.  So please get involved if you can – thanks Peter for heading up this activity.

And of course the Airside Garden maintenance program will continue.  Coffs Airport is the busiest regional airport in NSW with around 350,000 passenger movements each year.  Our Club’s contribution is therefore truly important to our community, because we help provide a wonderful impression for all those people coming to our lovely city by air, whether for business or pleasure.  I encourage you all to help out if you can – it only takes an hour a month.  So please come along and help out if you can – contact Peter for more information on 6650 0985.

As most of you would know, one of the things I have been trying to achieve is to encourage the gardening experts among us to help our less experienced gardeners by giving us the benefit of your wonderful knowledge of gardening on the Coffs Coast.  I’m afraid my humble efforts of 2014 didn’t really cut the mustard and so I’m seeking your help to include more “gardening” in our regular meetings.

Of course, Gavin Reid already provides us with an excellent segment on   tropical and sub-tropical plants, which we look forward to at each month’s meeting.  But what I would really like to see is two additional 5-10 minute  segments in our meetings, one focused on providing information on flowers and ornamental plants, and the other on fruit and vegetables.  I’m certain this would add a lot to the knowledge and enjoyment of our members, as well as helping increase the focus on gardening within our club.

Our club is only as strong as what we as members put into it.  So if anyone would like to contribute to the club in this important way, please just let me know and we’ll get the ball rolling.

Finally, congratulations and thanks to Janice Pearson for putting her hand up for the Treasurer’s role.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

A New Australian Bred Rose

Image Paul Hains 

An another Australian bed rose from Paul Hains this one is called 'Governor Marie Bashir' after the popular former Governor of NSW.
This rose will add to the many outstanding Australian bred roses available. A light pink floribunda rose with a mild frangrance, medium to large growth habit, double flower, borne mostly as a solitary bloom form. This rose is a prolific repeat bloomer throughout the season. Height up to 95cm, Width up to 90cm. A very hardy, vigorous and disease resistant rose AND a real plus is that it is almost thornless!

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Notice of Special General Meeting

A Special General Meeting of CHGC has been called for one Agenda Item - the nomination and election of the Treasurer position. 

This short meeting will be conducted before the 21 February monthly meeting in the Display Room, Botanic Gardens Coffs Harbour commencing at 1:30pm.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Using Herbicides Workshop

The recent rain has been very beneficial not only to our gardens but also the dratted weeds! Would you like to go down the path of using herbicides as an effective way to control weeds and like to know more? 

Coffs Harbour Regional Landcare is offering a workshop to small farmers, gardeners and people interested in weed control in our local bushland. The workshop is Federal Government funded through it's 'Caring for our Country' program and will be conducted at the Botanic Garden Display Room on February 10 from 9:30am until 12:30pm.

Coffs Landcare President, Barry Powells is the facillator for this workshop. Barry was the Chief Weeds Officer for the Coffs Harbour City Council for many years so is very experienced in the use of herbicides, equipment, techniques and the safe handling of chemicals.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis and Alyogyne huegelii - Native Hibiscus

Flower of the Month - February 2015

Alyogyne huegelii

Position: full sun to part shade
Size: height to 2.5m
Flowers: Showy lilac coloured hibiscus flowers.
Flower time: Long period during Summer and Autumn.
Conditions: A hardy, easy to grow plant which copes with most soils and conditions. Drought tolerant once established.
Type: Evergreen


Position: full sun
Size: from 1.5m to 3m
Flowers: single, semi-double & double in red, pink, orange, yellow and white.
Flower time: flowering period during Summer & Autumn.
Conditions: well drained and slightly alkaline.
Hardy plant that is a heavy feeder - frequent light applications.
Type: Evergreen

There are not many other plants that scream 'TROPICAL' quite like the Hibiscus. They evoke images of Hawaiian resorts with palm-lined beaches, colourful flowered landscapes and fancy drinks with umbrella and loaded with fruit.

Flowers range in size from 3cm to 15-16cm from muted pastels and greys to really intense vibrant colours on lush green or variegated foliage. There are 43 reported species with over 10,000 cultivars - it would indeed take some dedication to be a collector of Hibiscus!

If you want a stunning show of flowers it is best to place the Hibiscus in full sun and it is worth noting that the flowers form on 'new' growth so the best way to promote this is by pruning. We have found with ours that a prune in August (taking off no more than one third of the growth) and then a follow up in February with a light prune seems to keep them in pretty good shape.

One of the main reasons for Hibiscus poor performance is inconsistent moisture levels. This can be helped by the application of mulch. To check that there is adequate moisture, pull back the mulch and check with your hand regularly. They do not however, enjoy being waterlogged (a bit difficult here on the Coffs Coast sometimes) so best to prepare your bed well before planting by adding lots of organic material. The best fertilisers are ones with an NPK of 12:5:15 with trace elements, applying a little, often.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Member Photos

Helen has sent some cracking photos from her own garden - just stunning! 

How about this cheeky little fella?
Just stunning Strelitzia

And this Ginger is not too bad either!
 Thank you for sending your pics, Helen.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Welcome to 2015 Picnic CANCELLED

Due to the rain, the proposed picnic to Mylestom has been cancelled. Please contact Trish if you have any further enquiries 0427 123 584.