Sunday, 17 June 2018


If you would like to learn more about Begonias please see this presentation from President Jane.

The following images were taken by a friend who recently visited The Butchart Gardens in Canada. 

image S. Reid 

image S. Reid

image S. Reid

Monday, 11 June 2018


Flower of the Month - June 2018

KINGDOM: Plantae

FAMILY:  Lamiaceae

GENUS:  Salvia

SPECIES:  Hundreds

There are over 700 species within the genus Salvia. Salvia officinalis is common sage that we love so much with chicken and salvia splendens is that red Bunnings annual salvia that self seeds so well you only ever have to buy it once.

The perennial salvias which come every colour possible and grow so well in Coffs have an added benefit - they attract some interesting bees.

Bring along your favourite for the competition table on Saturday.

Salvia was the Flower of the Month in January 2016 and there is further information on this genus:

Comprising about 900 species of annuals, perennials and soft-wooded evergreen shrubs, this genus is the largest in the mint family. They can be found naturally in temperate and sub-tropical regions throughout the world (with the exception of Australasia) and grow in a wide range of habitats, from coastal to alpine.

A number of Salvia species are used for culinary (see left S.elegans which is usually grown for its pineapple-scented leaves)  and medicinal purposes and the genus name is derived from the Latin salvare, meaning to heal or save. Although it might be best to stay away from S.divinorumwhich is a psychoactive plant which can induce visions and other altered and spiritual experiences!

Most species are hairy to some degree and have foliage that is aromatic when crushed or rubbed. 

The flowers are tubular with the petals split into 2 lips, which may be straight or flaring. 

The flowers vary greatly in size, and the colour range is amazing as it moves through shades of blue to purple, and pink to red, as well as white and some yellows.

Most Salvia are best grown in full sun and they require a well-drained position. Generally, the shrubby plants dislike heavy wet soils however they seem to cope with Coffs Coast conditions. Propagation is dead easy from soft-wood cuttings taken throughout the growing season. 

Since this post was written the January 2016 issue of Gardening Australia has been published and there is a beaut article titled 'Celebration of Salvias'.  I couldn't obtain a link for this article but have a linked an ABC factsheet on growing Salvias here. 

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Zone Day 2018

Zone Day 2018

This event was introduced to the North Coast zone of Garden Clubs of Australia by the then Zone Co-ordinator, Keryn Rodham in 2014. This friendship day event has been held every second year since. The 2018 event is being hosted by Nambucca Valley Garden Club. Details are:

When: 28 July 2018
Where: RSL Club, Nelson Street, Nambucca
Time: 9:30am
Cost: $35pp

There will be lots happening during day, including a welcome morning tea for the clubs of this zone, wonderful guest speakers, raffles, trading table, plant display and of course a sumptuous lunch - I've also heard there is going to be entertainment too!
RSVP to the Nambucca Valley Garden Club is required BEFORE 20 July which means that the next CHGC meeting (16 June) is when we need to indicate if we are attending to Secretary Barbara.

Payment at the 21 July meeting of CHGC please.

Friendship through gardens

Friday, 1 June 2018

Azalea Petal Blight

Azalea Petal Blight is caused by fungus and is a problem common in warm humid areas like the Coffs Coast.

It ruins azalea spring flower displays. The petals develop spots, brown on white flowers and cream on coloured flowers. Soon the petals turn completely brown, collapse and die with the flowers remaining on the stems harbouring the fungus.

If you wish to have a good display of spring flowers on your azaleas it's time to do a little work now. As with many fungi it is difficult to deal with and no sure way to completely eradicate it however it is best treated with cultural and preventative steps to help control it.

It is very important to remove and destroy all the infected flowers as the fungal spores remain with the collapsed flowers until the following year when favourable conditions will enable it to flourish once again, thus continuing the cycle.

There are some steps to take which will help - one of these is NOT to water azaleas overhead. As their roots are shallow it is best to do deep watering on the ground during dry times.

There is also a preventative fungicide called Zaleton that will help control the fungus. Spraying has to commence as soon as the buds emerge and continue to do so every two weeks until the flowers have finished. You will be astounded just how good your bushes will look if you are diligent in this spraying program.

With all chemicals care has to be taken in their use and this chemical is no exception, it does have toxic side effects, so please read the safety information and wear protective gear when applying.