Monday, 20 June 2016

President's Message - June 2016

The Spring Garden Competition is fast approaching and I thought it might be useful to look at some of the things that will help people do well in the Competition. Maria has published these hints and others on the website, so make sure you visit it regularly for all kinds of great information on gardening as well as Club activities.

The first thing to remember for the competition is that the judge will be looking only at what they see in your garden at the time they visit, not what might be there next month or even next week, nor what looked good last week. So try to ensure your garden is at its absolute best on judging day. It’s also important to know that the judge has only limited time to look at each garden, so it helps to make a good first impression.

So what sort of things can you do to give your garden the best chance of success?

1. Overall garden appeal is really important. People should want to be in your garden, and that includes the judge. Here’s a few things that can help:

  • Resist the urge to put in an “instant” or just planted garden – it’s really obvious.
  • Ensure any paving and pathways are clean and safe with no overhanging branches or weeds.
  • Mulch beds well with material that doesn’t look as though it was put down the day before judging.
  • Keep your shrubs and hedges neatly clipped. Dead-head your flowers where appropriate, and any remove any dead leaves from shrubs.
  • Try to have things like garbage bins and old, unkempt garden furniture away and out of sight. Preferably don’t have washing on the line on judging day. Put away hoses and gardening equipment. And secure your pets, particularly dogs.
  • The judge will also look at the condition of your garden. Plants should look healthy. There should be no disease or insect infestation to be seen, and your garden should not have any signs of nutrient imbalance, e.g. yellowing of leaves etc.

2. If you have a lawn it should be healthy, weed free and nicely edged. Any other key features you have in your garden should also look their best. And your vegie garden (if you have one) needs to be seen as a working garden, ie, it is quite acceptable to have resting beds, and succession plantings are always looked upon favourably.

3. Garden design is another important aspect of judging and includes things such as layout, use of colour, line, form and texture, and of course, plant use. Try to have a clear theme for your garden and stick to it. Where possible, have garden “rooms” that help make best use of your available space.

Last but not least, please remember that judges are trained to objectively assess different kinds of gardens, so don’t be afraid to have a go with your garden in this year's competition.

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