Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Club Activity - March Outing to Emerald Beach & Woolgoolga

A simply stunning day for an outing after all the extreme weather conditions the Coffs Coast has 'enjoyed' recently.

Members appreciated the wonderful surrounds of this stunning garden in Woolgoolga, a real beauty showcasing thoughtful subtropical plantings.

This combination of plants illustrating what can be achieved using foliage with highlighting popping colour.

A magnificent vista with clever use of understory space beneath these mature trees, offering both protection and visual depth to this garden.

Many thanks to the garden owners and maintainers AND to the Program Committee who organised this wonderful outing.

Thanks also to members Jane D. and Michael P. for their photos.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Outing Instructions 25 March 2015

Instructions from the Program Committee 

Emerald Beach Tropical Palms
           10 Beacon Crescent, Emerald Beach

                      At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Fiddaman Rd
                      At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on Fiddaman Rd
                      Turn right onto Lights Street
Turn right onto Beacon Cres
Destination will be on the right

Jagera Wholesale Vireye (Neil Puddey’s)
74 Woolgoolga Creek Rd, Woolgoolga

Take the Woolgoolga exit off Pacific Hwy
Stay on Solitary Islands Way
After Crabbe St, turn left onto Pullen
Destination will be on the right
Please park in the street. Where there are mobility problems there are about four car spaces up the drive. After other garden clubs have shown disrespect Neil is a bit nervous of his plants so please be your usual courteous selves and only walk and touch plants where authorised. Neil will show us around and there will be plants for sale for anyone wishing to purchase.

Lunch At the Moonee Tavern
A $10 special of the day of Schnitzel or Steak served with salad, chips and sauces with beer
Plus the normal menu.

Those that would like to car pool please meet at Botanic Gardens at 9:30am where you can enjoy your morning tea before heading off.

Hat, Sunblock, Sturdy shoes & Water

Any enquiries Trish 0427 123 584 or Jane 0411 160 784

Beehive Ginger - Zingiber spectablis

Flower of the Month - April 2015

Beehive ginger (Zingiber spectablis) are a species of ornamental ginger cultivated primarily for their distinctive appearance. Most people are familiar with edible ginger (Zingiber officinale) but it is only one of hundreds of the Zingiberaceae family. These colourful and exotically stunning flowers instantly add a dash of the tropics to any room or garden. Beehive gingers grow well in pots and are brilliant in any Coffs Harbour garden.

These plants can grow almost to 2 metres high with leaves up to 30cm long. These gingers get their common name from the fact that the bracts, which are modified leaves, grow in the shape of a beehive.

Native to Southeast Asia, beehive gingers, like all ginger plants, thrive in warm, humid climates. They do need space though and indirect sunlight as too much strong sun can scorch the leaves. Although having said that, the red are more vibrant with more sun. Gingers really enjoy a consistently moist soil.

From member Gavin our sub-tropical plant guru:

Beehives are flowering at this time, the  deciduous ones in particular like Cocoa Delight and the Jewel Pagoda Ginger. They are great for a cut flower and last a long time. They look like a cone and grow up out from the ground. They come in lots of colours from white to brown, yellow, orange and red. Little orchid like flowers grow out of the cones. The cones come in many shapes and sizes.’                                                        Thanks Gavin

Meeting a March on Total Gardens

Our March meeting was an informal affair held at Total Gardens. There was a good rollup considering that the weather was on the turn. 
Julie Worland, all painted and ready to go!

Our hostess, Julie Worland (seen above) and her team, made us particularly welcome, and had everything extremely well organised for our visit. 

Julie arranged for visiting Sales Agronomist  Leo McLean to present on his range of sustainable organic composts and fertilisers. 

All of which are currently available at Total Gardens on a three for two basis for all CHGC members.

Graham Ross & Julie Worland

Julie also spoke about their improvement in professional peer rating that Total Gardens had recently achieved making it one of the leading garden centres in NSW. 

She is extremely proud of this achievement. It reflects well on some very hard work by her dedicated team, and demonstrates the value of having strong ties within the Coffs community. 

Christine from Totally Coffee provided us with a sumptuous afternoon tea. 

Julie  extended the Autumn Sale promotion to include 25% every item in the nursery. Needless to say, cash and credit cards were flying in all directions! 

A huge thanks to Julie and her Team for making the day such a success.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Gardeners' Diary - March 2015

Plant: Some suggested bulbs that do well on the Coffs Coast—Amaryllis (Hippeastrum hybrid cultivars), Blood lily (Haemanthus coccineus), Scarborough lily (Cyrtanthus elatus syn. Vallota speciosa), Spider lily (Hymenocallis spp.) and Swamp lily (Crinum pedunculatum).

Lift, divide and replant clumping perennials such as clivia, agapanthus and ginger during the warm, autumn temperatures.

This time of year is really good if you wish to transplant a shrub. Dig the largest root ball you can and replant to the same level. Apply liquid seaweed.

Propagate: Take cuttings of your favourite shrubs this month. Water plants thoroughly the day before
taking any cuttings. Use semi-hardwood (new season growth that has partially hardened up) or hardwood (older growth not yet fully hardened), generally they shouldn’t be too ‘bendy’. Choose stems that have no visible signs of pests or diseases and cut 10-20cm long pieces. Each cutting needs to have at least one node below the surface and one above. The base should be trimmed just below a node and the top trimmed just above a node.  Dip into honey or hormone powder and place into potting mix that has 20-30% sand or perlite added. This improves drainage and reduces the risk of rotting. 

Prune: Remove spent hydrangea flowers, you can place them in a very strong solution of food colouring and water for a week before drying to get unusual colours. Roses can be coloured this way too, its great fun!

Tidy up banksia bushes by removing the spent flowers. Tip prune all other natives once flowers are spent to keep the plants compact.

Deadhead dahlia and roses to get the most out of them before they finish for the season.

Cut back lomandras to ground level to get rid of unsightly spent flower stems and leaves. Very large clumps can be lifted and divided to rejuvenate them.

Prepare:  It is not too late to prepare your ground if you intend to plant bare-rooted trees and shrubs by digging over and mixing in compost or well rotted manure (or both!).

Feed: After the heavy rain events over recent months fertilisers have been severely leached out of our gardens. Top up fertilisers, especially to camellias (which are coming into flower) and any flowering shrubs, eg hibiscus or gardenia.

Check:  for caterpillars, they are chomping through all the lovely lush growth on our flowers and shrubs—best to squish them!

President's Message - March 2015

How bad have the garden pests and diseases been this year?

It seems that a big dry followed by a big wet provides just about perfect conditions for an all-out attack on our gardens by sundry critters, fungi, assorted bacteria and strange viruses.  Hopefully, you’ve all been able to deal effectively with the onslaught.  Here’s hoping we get a bit of break from the adverse weather so we can all get back into our gardens, preparing for our Autumn and Winter plantings and generally getting our gardens ready to make a big splash in the Spring.

Julie Worland’s talk at the March meeting no doubt helped a lot with all this by giving you some great hints and lots of up-to-date information.  It was great that Julie organised Leo McLean to talk at this meeting too. Julie also spoke about the improvement in professional peer rating that Total Gardens has  recently achieved making it one of the leading garden centres in NSW. She is extremely proud of this achievement. It reflects well on some very hard work by her dedicated team, and demonstrates the value of having strong ties within the Coffs community. Julie and Paul, and the whole team at Total    Gardens, are truly wonderful supporters of our Club, and our experience as members and gardeners would not be the same without them.  Thanks Julie, Paul and the TG Team. Thanks also to Vice President Simon for chairing this meeting in my stead.

Congratulations to Margaret Franks on becoming a North Coast garden judge.  Margaret put her hand up for this a while back and has gone through a rigorous assessment process to achieve her accreditation.  I know Margaret will do Coffs Harbour and our Club proud as she judges North Coast gardens in times to come.

Margaret is also taking on the coordination of the flower and garden competitions at the Coffs Harbour Show, with Peter Kimber continuing to look after the Pavilion as a whole.  Sincere thanks to you both for your efforts.

I know Margaret would welcome any assistance people could provide benching entries and acting as stewards during judging, and of course, she is looking forward to seeing lots of entries from members. Peter is also looking for help in the setting up and breaking down of the Pavilion.

So please think about volunteering your support for this important Club event.

Venue Change for 21 March Meeting

image L. Gardner

The CHGC March meeting is being held at Total Gardens, Nelson Street, Coffs Harbour commencing at 1:30pm.  Afternoon tea is available from the Cafe at members' own cost.

Julie Worland is the Guest Speaker and she will be letting us know what's hot and what's not in the nursery business at this time. Julie is an ever popular guest and she is sure to once again delight members.

Also note that there is no Competition Table at this meeting.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Beyond Blue Fundraising Event at Total Gardens

There is to be a Beyond Blue Fundraising Event this weekend 7/8 March at Total Gardens, please click here for the link about the event.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Coffs Historical Cemetery Looking Her Elegant Best

Coffs Harbour Historial Cemetery, Hardacre Street, Coffs

Another successful Clean Up Australia Campaign at the Historical Coffs Cemetery by members of the CHGC. Thank you to all who participated in this community event. 

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Paper Wasps

Native paper wasps are smaller than European Wasps, and lack their vivid yellow markings. They tend to only be aggressive when defending their nests (personally found this out when trimming recently) and are otherwise beneficial insects to have around the garden. 

There are as many as 21 different paper wasps. Paper wasps have a small head, with medium sized eyes and medium length antennae. The body is slender with a very narrow waist.  There are two pairs of brown-tinted wings, with the first pair larger. The abdomen has some yellow/orange bands, but is mainly black.You will recognise them by their long, narrow bodies and their conical, gray, paper nests. Unlike bees, wasps are not hairy.

The adult paper wasps catch caterpillars to feed the larvae, but the adults themselves feed on nectar. 

The nest of the paper wasp is a series of cells shaped like an inverted cone made from saliva mixed with wood fragments. When it dries the mixture is quite paper-like and gives these wasps their name.