Friday, 30 September 2016

Tree of Heaven

Ailanthus altissima

This plant originates in China and Taiwan and is known as Chouchun (which literally means foul smelling tree). It is a medium-sized deciduous tree (15-30m) found in temperate climates and can grow up to 15m in just 25 years. They rarely live longer than 50 years but they have an amazing ability to sucker freely so it can clone itself many times over. Because they are attached to the mother tree they are partially supported by it, therefore less vulnerable than seedlings.


The leaves are large, pinnately compound, alternate 30-90cm long with 19-41 leaflets in pairs. The central leaf axis is light to reddish-gree with a swollen base. The leaflets are ovate-lanceolate with entire margins, occasionally not directly opposite to each other. The leaflets are 5-18cm long and 2.5-5cm wide with long tapered ends. They are dark green above with light green veins and paler below.

The flowers are small in large panicles up to 50cm long at the end of new shoots. The flowers are yellowish green to reddish with five petals and sepals. Male and female flowers grow on different trees. Male trees produce 3 to 4 times as many flowers as the female trees and emit a foul-smelling odour (which is why it gets the name Chouchun) while flowering to attract pollinating insects.

Dispersal is by seed and prolific suckering from shallow roots. The seeds are 5mm in diameter, enclosed in a papery wings (samara) that are 2.5cm long and 1cm broad. The samara are quite large and twisted at the tips, making them spin as they fall.

This tree has a long history in traditional Chinese medicine - it is claimed to fix anything from mental illness to baldness! The roots, leaves and bark are all used in Chinese medicine still today, mainly as an astringent (as a compound that shrinks or constricts body tissue.

It has become an invasive species due to its excellent ability to both colonise disturbed areas quickly and also its ability to suppress competition with allelopathic chemicals (biochemicals that influence the germination, growth, survival and reproduction of other organisms). If cut down or burnt it re-sprouts vigorously so it is best to pull small seedlings and stem inject larger plants with 100% glyphosate. This weed is a Class 4 weed, which means the growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread and the plant must not be sold, propagated or knowingly distributed.



Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Mirid Bugs



Mirid Bugs (Miridae) good or bad bugs?

Now THAT is the question! Mirid bugs can be both - sap suckers or plant feeders, but many are predatory or zoophytophagous.







Mirids have a unique characteristic and this is a special setae (trichobothria) on the middle and hind femora...... yeah we know that, right?






There are other features that isolate these bugs from others:

-  They lack small, simple eyes;
-  Presence of a hind section of the thickened anterior part of 
   the front wing, set off from it by a crease (called cuneus);
-  Two closed cells in the fore wing membrane;
-  Antennae mostly long and thin; and
-  Legs are slender and delicate.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

President's Message - September 2016

President Geoff & Margaret Franks, Schools Vegie Garden Judge
The rain that’s falling as I write this has been really soft and nice for our gardens, although I guess it wasn’t helpful to those people wanting to take a look at the prize winners from the Spring Garden Competition.  Anyway, I’m sure this bit of welcome moisture will go a long way to setting up your gardens very nicely as we move quickly towards the warmer months.   
The September Club meeting means that our Garden Competition has been run and completed for another year and I would like to congratulate everyone who entered, whether you were successful or not. 

Lots of people have contributed mightily to the success of the competition, and I would like to say, on behalf of all Club members, a massive thank you to each and every one of you.

And a big thanks also to our sponsors, who are absolutely critical to the success of the competition, and ultimately to our Club.  And what a great group of sponsors we have.  Would you all please take the time to familiarise yourselves with who they are, and if you come across them, please let them know that we appreciate their support and, of course where it’s appropriate, support them with your business in return.

I mentioned at the last couple of monthly meetings that we need people to continue putting their hand up to help run our Club. 

Please remember that every club depends on its members being active and involved, because without that, there really isn’t a club at all.  Our Club has a long and successful history in Coffs Harbour, but it is self-evident that no-one from our current membership was around when the club was initially formed.  That means successive generations have kept the club alive for some 65 years now, ultimately for our benefit as its current members.  I think that benefit comes with a responsibility on all of us to ensure the current and future gardeners of Coffs Harbour will continue to have the opportunity to join a vibrant, broadly-based community gardening organisation where friendships can be made and gardening expertise shared among like-minded people.

Our AGM is fast approaching, so whether you’ve been around for a while, or are new to the Club, please consider taking on a job for next year, either on the Executive or perhaps one of the committees.  If anyone would like information on any role within the Club, please give me a call on 6656 2429 and I’ll fill you in on what’s involved. 


Friday, 16 September 2016

Open Gardens 17 & 18 September


The results are in from the Spring Garden Competition. These residential gardens are open this weekend 10am-4pm for the general public to visit. Just look out for the banners in front of the properties. 

For photos of each property, scroll down to the next post.


Champion Garden 74 Bailey Avenue, Coffs Harbour


Reserve Champion Garden - 19 Caba Close, Boambee


Judge's Encouragement Award - 6 Keevers Close, Coramba


Waterwise A Garden up to 1000m2 - 12 Campbell Street, Safety Beach


Waterwise B Garden over 1001m2 - 88 Korora Basin Road, Korora


Home Garden, owner/occupier of strata/community title dwelling 

1st - 1/21 Cornish Street, Coffs Harbour

2nd - 15/17 Walco Drive, Sawtell

Highly Commended - 56 Glenlyon Drive, North Boambee


Home Garden, block up to 600 square metres

1st - 5 Sunnyside Close, Coffs Harbour

2nd - 12 Flintwood Place, Coffs Harbour


Home Garden, block from 601 square metres to 1000 square metres

1st - 74 Bailey Avenue, Coffs Harbour

2nd - 3 Seachange Crescent, Moonee Beach


Home Garden, block from 1001 square metres to 4000 square metres

1st - 19 Caba Close, Boambee

2nd - 13 Haviland Street, Woolgoolga


Home Garden, over 4001 square metres

1st - 88 Korora Basin Road, Korora

2nd - 202 Heritage Drive, Moonee Beach


Home Garden, maintained by entrant over 75 years of age

1st - 90/17 Walco Drive, Sawtell

2nd - 13 Haviland Street, Woolgoolga

Highly Commended - 9 Gillibri Crescent, Sawtell


Home Garden on rented property

1st - 27A Pullen Street, Woolgoolga

2nd - 12 Eungella Street, Toormina


Home Garden, caravan or mobile/relocatable home

1st - 101/8 Pines Estate, Woolgoolga


Whole Garden of complex operating under a Body Corporate structure

1st - Grasslands Close, Diggers Beach

2nd - 7 Gundagai Place, Coffs Harbour


Patio, Courtyard or Balcony Garden

1st - 15/17 Walco Drive, Sawtell

2nd - 88 Glenlyon Drive, North Boambee


Garden maintained by a Disabled Person

Highly Commended - 1 Nautical Close, Korora

Highly Commended - 131A Johnsons Road, Sandy Beach


Most Attractive Front Garden

1st - 7 Fisher Road, Sapphire Beach

2nd - 12 Eungella Street, Toormina


Vegetable Garden, Small up to 4 square metres

1st - 21 Lyndhurst Close, Moonee Beach


Vegetable Garden, Large over 4 square metres

1st - 62 Lake Russell Drive, Emerald Beach

2nd - 38 Island Drive, Sapphire Beach


New Home/New Garden built and occupied in the past two years

1st - 88 Korora Basin Road, Korora

2nd - 3 Seachange Crescent, Moonee Beach


Best Garden Feature

1st - 74 Bailey Avenue, Coffs Harbour - Pool Area

2nd - 99 Korora Basin Road, Korora - Royal Mantle Grevillea


Congratulations also to the Coffs Harbour Schools who entered the Spring Garden Competitions. These schools ARE NOT open to the public this weekend.

Whole School Garden
1st - Coffs Harbour Christian Community School (Senior Campus)
2nd - Coramba Public School

Best Native Garden on School Property
1st - Kororo Public School
2nd - Coramba Public School

Best Vegetable Garden on School Property
1st - Narranga Public School
2nd - St Augustine's Primary School

Snowpee Teepee Seed Growing Competition
1st - Coffs Harbour Public School
2nd - Sandy Beach Public School
Equal 3rd - Toormina High School Support Unit
                 Narranga Public School

Each year for the Spring Garden Competition the President of Coffs Garden Club judges the roundabouts within the Greater Coffs Harbour Council Area. The most attractive roundabout winner this year is:

Sawtell Road/Hogbin Drive - Gardener is Claire Burrell

The Industrial, Commercial and Community Categories also ARE NOT open to the public.

Garden of Industrial/Commercial Premises:
1st - Coffs Harbour Regional Museum
2nd - Coffs Harbour Regional Airport Airside garden 

Whole garden of hospitals, churches, clubs and commercially operated retirement estates and nursing homes:
1st - Sawtell Catholic Care of the Aged
2nd - The Lakes Village
Highly Commended - Coffs Harbour Masonic Village

Coffs Harbour Garden Club wishes to extend their thanks to ALL the gardeners who entered in the 2016 Spring Garden Competition, you have certainly done your bit to help beautify the Coffs Coast. IT IS a lot of work to prepare your garden for the competition, however it will bring much joy to both yourselves and those who see your wonderful garden  - WELL DONE to you all!



Winning Gardens in the 2016 Spring Garden Competition

Champion Garden at 74 Bailey Avenue, Coffs Harbour

Reserve Champion Garden at 19 Caba Close, Boambee

Judge's Encouragement Award at 6 Keevers Close, Coramba

Waterwise A Garden up to 1000 square metres at 12 Campbell Cl, Safety Beach
Waterwise B Garden over 1000 square metres at 88 Korora Basin Rd, Korora


Waterwise C Garden - Industrial/Commercial/Community Categories - 
Sawtell Catholic Care of the Aged

1st Home Garden, owner/occupier of strata/community title dwelling
1/21 Cornish Street, Coffs Harbour

2nd Place Home Garden, owner/occupier of strata/community title dwelling -
15/17 Walco Drive, Sawtell

Highly Commended Home Garden, owner/occupier of strata/community title dwelling - 56 Glenlyon Drive, North Boambee

1st Home Garden, block up to 600 square metres - 5 Sunnyside Cl, Coffs Harbour

2nd Home Garden, block up to 600 square metres - 12 Flintwood Pl, Coffs Harbour

1st Home Garden block from 601 - 1000 square metres - 74 Bailey Ave, Coffs Harbour

2nd Home Garden block from 601 - 1000 square metres - 
3 Seachange Cres, Moonee Beach

1st Home Garden block size from 1001 to 4000 square metres -
19 Caba Close, Boambee

2nd Home Garden block size from 1001 to 4000 square metres -
13 Haviland St, Woolgoolga

1st Home Garden block size over 4001 square metres - 88 Korora Basin Road, Korora

2nd Home Garden block size over 4001 square metres - 202 Heritage Drive, Moonee Beach

1st Home Garden, maintained by entrant over 75 years of age - 90/17 Walco Drive, Sawtell

2nd Home Garden, maintained by entrant over 75 years of age - 13 Haviland St, Woolgoolga

Highly Commended Home Garden, maintained by entrant over 75 years of age - 9 Gillibri Cres, Sawtell

1st Home Garden on rented property - 27A Pullen St, Woolgoolga

2nd Home Garden on rented property - 12 Eungella St, Toormina

1st Home Garden caravan or mobile/relocatable home - 101/8 Pines Estate, Woolgoolga

1st Whole garden of complex operating under a Body Corporate structure - 
Grasslands Close, Diggers Beach

2nd Whole garden of complex operating under a Body Corporate structure - 
7 Gundagai Place, Coffs Harbour

1st Patio, courtyard or balcony garden - 15/17 Walco Drive, Sawtell

2nd Patio, courtyard or balcony garden - 88 Glenlyon Drive, North Boambee

Highly Commended Garden maintained by a disabled person -
1 Nautical Close, Korora

Highly Commended Garden maintained by a disabled person -
131A Johnsons Road, Sandy Beach

1st Most Attractive Front Garden - 7 Fisher Rd, Sapphire Beach

2nd Most Attractive Front Garden - 12 Eungella St, Toormina

1st Vegetable Garden, small up to 4 square metres - 21 Lyndhurst Cl, Moonee Beach

1st Vegetable Garden, large over 4 square metres - 62 Lake Russell Drive, Emerald Beach

2nd Vegetable Garden, large over 4 square metres - 38 Island Drive, Sapphire Beach

1st New Home/New Garden built and occupied in the past two years - 
88 Korora Basin Road, Korora

2nd New Home/New Garden built and occupied in the past two years -
3 Seachange Cres, Moonee Beach

1st Best Garden Feature - 74 Bailey Avenue, Coffs Harbour

2nd Best Garden Feature - 88 Korora Basin Road, Korora

1st Garden of Industrial/Commercial Premises - Coffs Harbour Regional Museum

2nd Garden of Industrial/Commercial Premises - Coffs Harbour Regional Airport, Airside Garden

1st Whole garden of hospitals, churches, clubs and commercially operated retirement estates and nursing homes -
Sawtell Catholic Care of the Aged

2nd Whole garden of hospitals, churches, clubs and commercially operated retirement estates and nursing homes -
The Lakes Village

Highly Commended Whole garden of hospitals, churches, clubs and commercially operated retirement estates and nursing homes -
Coffs Harbour Masonic Village

1st Whole School Garden - Christian Community School (Senior Campus)

2nd Whole School Garden - Coramba Public School

1st Best native garden on school property - Kororo Public School

2nd Best native garden on school property - Coramba Public School

1st Best vegetable garden on school property - Narranga Public School

2nd Best vegetable garden on school property


1st Snowpea Teepee Growing Competition - Coffs Harbour Public School



2nd Snowpea Teepee Growing Competition - Sandy Beach Public School

Equal 3rd Snowpea Teepee Growing Competition - Toormina High School Support Unit


Equal 3rd Snowpee Teepee Growing Competition - Narranga Public School