Sunday, 22 November 2015

Gardeners' Diary - November 2015

If you are looking for that wonderful frothy white to fill in any gaps in your garden this little one is for you. Plant alyssum and it will reward with it's subtle fragrance. 

Also plant this month aster, cockscomb, ageratum, balsam, celosia, coleus, gomphrena, vinca, impatiens, marigold, salvia, sunflower, torenia and zinnia.

Bougainvilleas and Hibiscuses need fertilizing every six to eight weeks with commercially specific bougainvillea and hibiscus food.

With new fruit development on out citrus trees it is time to use either citrus food or old poultry manure over moistened soil around the drip line of the tree. Make sure you have opened up the inside of the tree (to a vase shape) to allow maximum air and light to the middle of your tree. 

Keep up the regime of spraying with white oil as a preventative measure against leaf curl. 

Consistent watering is best for citrus, so while we still have dry weather it might be an idea to give them a good drink.

Passionfruit are gross feeders so an application of blood and bone (4 parts) mixed with potash (1 part) at six to eight week intervals maintains foliage colour, plant and fruit production.

AGM Results

image G Bell

The CHGC AGM was held on Sat 21 Nov 2015 and these are the results from that meeting:

Patrons: Julie & Paul Worland
President:  Geoff Bell
Vice President:  TBA
Secretary: Michael Reid
Treasurer:  Vacant

Committees and Other Roles:

Communications Coordinator: Maria Bell
Spring Garden Comp Committee: Maria & Geoff Bell, Margaret Crawley, Peter Kimber & Sue Young
Program Committee: Jane Durler, Pat Roser, Sue Young & Margaret Franks
Catering Team: Janny Hoy, Margaret Crawley, Jeannine Young & Mary Booth
Competition Table Judges: Ray Chippington, Gavin Reid & Margaret Franks
Competition Table Stewards: Maria Bell & Bob Tarry
Airport Garden Coordinator: Peter Kimber
Gardener's Dirary - Flowers & Foliage:  Jane Durler
                               Fruit & Vegetables:  Vacant
                               Tropical/Subtropical: Gavin Reid
Setting up/Pack up team: Maria & Geoff Bell & Peter Kimber
Raffle Seller & Attendance Book: Peter Kimber
Guest & New Member Welcome: Maria Bell
Show Delegates: Peter Kimber & Margaret Crawley
CHGC Show, Flower & Garden Chief Steward: Margaret Franks

President's Message - November 2015

What a busy, but enjoyable year the Club has had. Thank you very much to everyone who has worked so hard in their various roles to make our garden club work. It is difficult to keep our Club 'fresh' and have things that are relevant to gardens and gardening happening throughout the year. People on the committees do a sterling job doing just that - I would like to express a personal thankyou to all who have contributed over the year.

I wish the incoming Executive, committee members and others who help with the day-to-day running of the club all the very best for 2016 and hope you enjoy the roles that you have volunteered for.

Gardening is a great pastime, not least because absolutely everyone can do it. That is certainly reflected in the diversity of gardening interests within our club - and there is always someone in the club who will know the answer if you have a query, or will be able to find someone who does.

This was definitely on show earlier in the month when Bob & Gaye Tarry organised and hosted an orchid workshop at their home. Club members were treated to some great information and training by Ed Pearce from the Coffs Harbour Orchid Society who facilitated the workshop. Bob & Gaye also provided attendees with a lovely lunch. Thanks very much to the Tarry's and Ed.

In the spirit of 'Friendship through gardens', three member's gardens were open for a visit from Killabakh Garden Club. Killabakh is a small community 16kms north of Wingham and the garden club has about 70 members. The day itself was a little damp however, the visitors really appreciated the Tozers, Tarrys and Durlers opening their gardens for the visit. You did CHGC proud and we thank you, well done for your work in preparing your gardens for the opening.

I hope to see you all at the Club Christmas party, which happens at Opal Cove on Mon 7 December. There'll be some great food, great company, prizes to be won and Santa will be making a call during the festivities. 

Details on how to RSVP can be found in our November newsletter.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Scale Insects

Scale, along with mealybugs and aphids are of the same order - Homoptera. Collectively, there are thousands of scale insects. The cottony cushion scale, Icerya purchasi (pictured above) is just one.

Scales can be difficult to control, especially with sprays as most have a natural talent for self-preservation. First of all, most permanently attach themselves to the plant or tree which plays host to them. Secondly, most are equipped with a protective covering, usually composed of waxy secretions forming either a shell of sorts or dense mat of waxy filaments or fuzz.  These characteristics contribute to them being very troublesome and difficult to control.

Many different plants, shrubs and trees can be affected with scale. Mass plantings really play into the hands (so to speak) of scale as they can quickly spread from one plant to another and therefore affect all the plants in, for instance a hedge. Scale take up residence on stems and leaves - everywhere and anywhere really. If you are serious about controlling them it does take some determined effort - by spraying very heavily, making sure that every scale is well wetted down. There are several commercially available scale controls available. The parasitoids are fairly selective so you must have proper identification. However, if you've identified the little blighters, have chosen the correct bio-control agent and been quite diligent in application and frequency of application, there might be a chance that you have won the war on scale!

If anyone has a sure-fire way of waging this war - please share your tips and tricks by adding a comment to the bottom of this post.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Killabakh Garden Club Visits a Wet Coffs

Melbourne Cup Day here in Coffs was a little damp - great for our gardens to freshen things up a bit however not the most ideal day for wandering around gardens. This day saw three CHGC member gardens host a visit from the Killabakh Garden Club (see link for their website). The Killabakh GC folk were travelling north to visit the Jacaranda Festival and wanted to visit some gardens along their journey.

Jim Tozer, George Hoad, President Killabakh GC & Robyn Tozer
The travelling party did have a little glitch in that there was a bus breakdown however, they still had time to visit the Tarry, Tozer & Durler gardens........ with the rain getting heavier as they progressed!

Gaye Tarry, George Hoad & Bob Tarry

Not to be deterred, the members from Killabakh (which is north west of Coopernook) put up their brollies and enjoyed their visit to the three gardens.

The last garden visited was the Durler garden which is a vast semi-rural block north of Coffs at Moonee Beach, where the rain had got a little more intense. 

These happy travellers saw a wonderful cross section of gardens of the Coffs Coast and President George Hoad thanked each gardener(s) for opening their gardens for the visit.

George Hoad is the President of Garden Clubs of Australia and it was great to see him again and look forward to catching up with him and other North Coast Garden Club members at the Zone Day, South West Rocks in August 2016.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

For the Fallen Poem

Laurence Binyon (1869- 1943) composed his best-known poem while sitting on a cliff top looking out to sea from the north Cornish coastline (first published in The Times newspaper on 21 September 1914). The poem was written a few weeks after the outbreak of the First World War. During these first weeks of the war the British Expeditionary Force had suffered casualties at Mons, Le Cateau and Marne. 

Laurence said in 1939 that the four lines of the fourth stanza came to him first. These words have become especially familiar and famous, having been adopted to commemorate fallen Servicemen and Women.

Laurence Binyon was too old to enlist in the military forces but he went to work for the Red Cross as a medical orderly in 1916. He lost several close friends and his brother-in-law in the great war.

 For the Fallen 

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,

England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal

Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,

Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;

They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,

Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,

Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Orchid Workshop - Nov 2015

The orchid workshop was conducted at the home of members Gaye and Bob. To quote Bob -

great day
great company
great presentation
great food'

I guess that says it all, wouldn't you say?

Facilitator Ed giving his very best advice to the avid membership who attended this workshop.

Bob was very pleased with the response of members to this workshop and his 'outdoor room' was the ideal location for it.

Some members brought along some orchids that were a 'bit sick' so they could get some excellent advice on how best to rectify the problem(s).

CHGC wish to extend their thanks to Ed Pearce (from the Coffs Harbour Orchid Society) who facilitated this workshop. The whole day was a resounding success and a huge thank you has to go out to Gaye and Bob who made their home available for the workshop AND they also provided a lovely lunch for all attendees. 

We are indeed very fortunate to have such wonderful members who are willing to organise such an interesting event on behalf of the CHGC.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Grafton Photos

View Photos from Grafton Outing Here

Thank you to the members who have forwarded on some of their images from the recent Jacaranda Festival and Open Gardens at Grafton.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Jacaranda Festival, Grafton Outing 2 Nov 2015

The big bus was not quite full but it was brimming with 'friendship through gardens' and enthusiasm for what turned out to be a terrific outing to the Jacaranda Festival in Grafton. 

The 81st Grafton Jacaranda Festival, running from 30 October to 8 November 2015 is HUGE. There is just so much happening in this town of less than 20,000 people it is a real credit to the organisers of this event. There are 17 official events and 22 Affiliate Events over the nine days of the Festival. There is literally something for everyone during the Festival, far too many to list. For a full run down click here.

A little history about the Jacarandas of Grafton

Mr H.A. Volkers must have had a true love of Jacarandas (or excess seed supply as he was a seed merchant) when he was contracted to plant street trees for the Grafton Council in July 1879.

Mr Volkers was totally instrumental in the supplying and planting of hundreds of Jacaranda trees during the 1880's along the streets of Grafton, the first 60 street trees were planted in Pound Street between Mary and Villiers Streets.

In 1858, sixty-nine inhabitants petitioned for a municipality which was granted and gazetted on 20 Jul 1859 and later Grafton was proclaimed a city in 1885. It would have to be said that the municipal representatives were indeed very progressive in making their new city look very special with the extensive street plantings.

About Jacarandas:

Jacaranda (sp Jacaranda Mimosifolia) may live up to 200 years and originates from South America, predominately from Brazil. Jacarandas may reach a height of around 10-15m, with a spread of around the same. They are deciduous, not because of cold winters, but rather because of the monsoonal wet and dry seasons. They briefly drop their leaves at the end of the dry season (winter), flower, and then leaf up again when the summer rains come. 

They are best not pruned as they send up vertical regrowth shoots which are not at all that attractive, sometimes this can been seen in street trees which have been pruned to make room for overhead powerlines. 

These gorgeous trees make the most stunning feature tree but be warned, do not plant near a swimming pool! You will be forever scooping up the mess from this tree - be it leaves, blossum or seed pods!

The Open Gardens:

As we were travelling by bus we really did have a bird's eye overall view of the city of Grafton atop the challenging bridge (with the two corners in it).

The attention to detail of this Festival was wonderful - each Open Garden was easily identified with the jacaranda blue Bali flag and prominent signage. 

The Open Gardens were not all about just jacarandas, they were totally about beautiful places that people created to express their love of gardening.

How about this gardener's use of popping colour? This garden was perfectly presented with extensive plantings of annuals among an interesting mix of permanent plants. 

We visited the golf club where the gardens are maintained by volunteers with incredible art works displayed throughout crafted by a member of the club; a tourist village with a beautiful ambiance; three private gardens - all different and wonderful to visit; and the Memorial Park a fitting commemorative park which has mature shade trees and manicured gardens and hedges with the stunning backdrop of the Clarence River. 

The view above was from our lunch destination at the South Grafton Women's Bowling Club where the ladies put on a traditional 'country spread' for us which was just lovely.

A trip to Grafton would just not be complete unless there was a stop at Benefields Rose Nursery to have that last little retail opportunity!

Thank you to the Program Committee for organising such a brilliant outing for members (we even welcomed some new members at this outing, what a beaut introduction to CHGC) and we look forward to many more interesting destinations in 2016.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Flanders Poppy

Flower of the Month - November

From the Papaveraceae family, these poppies are instantly recognizable with their simple papery petals in a wonderful vibrant red.

It was Homer, the ninth-century BC Greek poet, who first associated the drooping poppy bud with the form of a dying soldier, and today this poppy is worn as a mark of respect especially on Remembrance Day 11 November.

Seed packets were distributed to CHGC members earlier this year and we look forward to seeing some lovely examples on the Competition Table in November. Some folk have already had them flowering for some time (see photo left Bob & Gaye's beauty) however, for others it hasn't gone at all well and won't have anything to show because wood ducks have eaten them!

Pick the poppies as soon as you see the red of the petals showing, even whilst they are partly in bud, as this will ensure they will last a long time in a tall vase and will encourage more flowers to grow.

If we are lucky these flowers may reseed themselves to give a show again next year!

Another image (right) from Bob and Gaye, thanks for sharing.