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February Newsletter

Winners of the January show bench                                                                               Judge: Dawn Gough

SectionFirstSecondThird
1 Flower of the month (1 Stem Hydrangea)Bronwyn EastNoleen MilesHeather Coustley
2 One Rose Ralph SlaughterHeather CoustleyCarol Burns
3 One stem of other flower (not a Rose)Heather CoustleyGary ButlerAileen White
4 Stem of foliage (no buds or flowers)Ralph SlaughterRalph SlaughterRalph Slaughter
5 Flowering Shrub (in flower) 1 stemNoleen Miles  
6 Floral Art (in water)Heather CoustleyHilary Height 
7 Arrangement of the month (Australia Day)= Hilary Height = Heather Coustley  
8 Flowers of tubers, corms, bulbs, RhizomesCarol BurnsHeather CoustleyShelley Patterson
9 Container of flowersCarol BurnsHeather CoustleyHeather Coustley
10 Flowering shrubHeather Coustley  
11 Potted plant (incl. Cacti or succulent)Heather CoustleyRalph SlaughterBronwyn East
12 Above ground vegetableCarol BurnsHenry CottonCarol Burns
13 Below ground vegetableCarol BurnsCarol BurnsCarol Burns
14 Herbs (flowering, non-flowering, mixed)Carol BurnsKerry Elliott 
15 Fruits, NutsCarol BurnsNoleen MilesCarol Burns
16 NoviceShelley PattersonGlenda Pridmore 
17 BEST EXHIBIT Carol BurnsOriental Lilium

AGM:  March is our Annual meeting when positions on the Committee become vacant and elections are held for positions on the new 2024 Garden Club Committee.   Please consider volunteering for one of the positions.  New faces and ideas are always welcome.  Annual membership fees will also become payable.

A message from our President:

Dear Friends,

I believe that at the end of every day you should be able to say to yourself that you learnt something new and in the past few days I have learnt a lot of very new and interesting bits and pieces.

Jim and I set our alarm for 6.00am every day and we lie in bed and listen to the ABC Gippsland news and then AM followed by the rural news and then the local news. Sometimes I sleep through it, but on Friday 2nd February I was wide awake when I heard reporter Nick Grimm state.

“Public submissions close today for the federal parliamentary inquiry into supermarket pricing but already some are arguing for more innovative approaches to the problem of ensuring that everyone has access to cheap and nutritious food. Sustainability advocates argue we should be taking a closer look at establishing a network of community gardens in metropolitan areas, where those struggling with the high cost of living can grow and harvest their own fruit and vegetables.”

Interesting? Let’s hope it goes somewhere and is heard and action is taken.

The next day I finished the auto biography of Oliva Newton John, an amazing person, not just a beautiful voice. One of the many environmental missions that she undertook was the saving of ancient trees in Australia when she joined forces with environmentalist Jon Dee of Planet Ark to bring attention to the plight of the forests in our beautiful country. She planted over 10,000 trees on her property in Northern NSW and she states that when she wanders among the trees it’s a spiritual experience. Her book is called “Don’t stop Believin”. How profound!

Both facts are part of the reason for our symposium. Let’s keep spreading the word that gardening is good for you in many ways.

I am looking forward to hearing from Rob Robinson at our next meeting on how to grow the best passionfruit, one of the healthiest fruits we can eat. Sadly, I must admit that my vine, although it has quite a lot of passionfruit it, isn’t looking too healthy. We will also have the opportunity to view Irene’s photographs of gardens in Tasmania which unfortunately we couldn’t view at our last meeting due to a technical hitch.

You will find attached to your email the plan for this year’s activities, it is looking like another very interesting and informative year with a lot of fun. Please note that on 11th April we will be going on our first excursion for the year to Cape Paterson to visit Gardenacious and The Cape Community Farm, both very interesting places. The cost will be $25.00, and we have a bus that will cater for 54 people. It would be wonderful to fill it the entire bus.

I hope to see you at the meeting on Monday 26th

Happy Gardening, Joy

Things to do in the garden in March:

With warmth still in the ground, March is a good month for planting. Newly planted seedlings and shrubs produce new growth quickly, while new shrubs and trees begin their establishment phase by producing new roots right through the winter. Hopefully they will be deep down before the hot days of summer arrive.

Flower garden. Plant Sweet Pea seeds. Plant seeds of Viola, Pansy, Calendula and Primula. Seedlings of Pansy and Viola planted now will begin to flower early and then flower right through winter. Violas such as Micky, Honey Bee and Blue Porcelain will flower right through until the end of November, especially if grown in pots.  Select and start planting spring flowering bulbs. Apply Kahuna to Camellias to improve the intensity of colour of flowers as they appear mid-winter. Start to divide perennials as soon as possible after rain.

Vegetable Garden. Prepare good garden beds before planting winter vegetables such as Cauliflower, Cabbage and Broccoli. Planted in March, harvesting will begin in June. Dig plenty of organic compost and manure, together with Seamungus, into the soil and then apply a good dressing of lime, as most soils in the area are slightly acid and brassicas like a neutral Ph. Harvest and store seeds for planting next spring.

Home Orchard. Give all Citrus trees a dressing of a good Tree & Citrus fertiliser, such as ‘Giganic’, to swell the size of the fruit and improve sweetness. If the weather is dry, water the fertiliser in thoroughly and remove all weeds from the base of the trees. Plant new or replacement trees – Lemons, Oranges, Grapefruit and Mandarins. All do well in this local area. Consider planting the two plum trees that cross pollinate, Satsuma and Mariposa. While Satsuma is ideal for preserving, Mariposa plums are large and juicy.

Lawns.  March and April are the best months to sow new Lawns, with seed usually germinating in less than a week. Remember to use a Lawn Starter fertiliser when sowing the seed. It is also the best time to repair patches in old lawns.

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands — one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” — Audrey Hepburn

Volunteers wanted:  Warragul Show – Friday & Saturday (See Aileen White), Morning tea duty for upcoming meetings (see Kerry Elliott) and Bunnings BBQ’s (see Joy)

Carrots: 

Written history and molecular genetic studies indicate the carrots we know today originated in Central Asia in Persia (around Iran/Afghanistan). Queen Anne’s Lace, a common weed is closely related to the carrot. By the 13th century carrots had been introduced to north west Europe, India, Japan and China and came in a diverse range of colours – red, black, white, yellow and purple.  It was the Dutch who bred them to become the common orange carrots we now know.  Hemlock, is a deadly plant that resembles Queen Anne’s Lace and many deaths have occurred when it has been mistakenly consumed.

Dates for your diary:

  • Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd March:  Warragul Show. Volunteers needed please
  • Monday 4th March.  ‘The Restorative Power of Nature and Gardens’ at the West Gippsland Arts Centre with Dr Sue Stuart-Smith, the keynote speaker, supported by Steven Wells and Tanya Bearup.  This event has been a long time in the planning with many hours of hard work by some of our members and we encourage all members to support this symposium.  10am – 2pm.  Tickets are available via our website or WGAC.  Don’t forget there is a people’s choice competition for a floral arrangement with the first and second prizes presented to our support speakers.  Keep in mind that the container also goes with the presentation so don’t use your best Ming Dynasty vase!
  • Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th March: Ferny Creek Plant Collectors Expo. 10am – 4pm.  Rare plants, garden equipment (not available in hardware stores), machinery, wood turning, floral artists & book sales.
  • Thursday, 11th April.  Club trip to Gardenacious at Cape Paterson and Cape Community farm on Cost for the bus is $25 per person.  More details will be in next month’s newsletter.

Quote: ‘My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece’ — Claude Monet

Just to confuse us:

Botanically, bananas are berries that grow on a herb, Rhubarb is a vegetable & Artichoke is a flower.

Also, botanically, the reproductive part of a plant which contains seeds are known as fruits which makes eggplants, olives, avocados, cucumber, pumpkin, capsicum and zucchini all fruit!

March Meeting:  Monday 25th March at 9:30am  Doors open 9am for setting up.  Entries for show bench to be placed for judging prior to 9.30am

Morning tea duty:  Val Dak, Carol Burns, Shelley Patterson

Flower of the month: One Rose

Arrangement of the month: Arrangement with fruit, flowers or vegetables

Guest speaker: Because it is our AGM we will have a Q&A session, so bring along your garden problems and hopefully they will be solved.

Please support our Club sponsors:  Don’t forget to check their updates on our Club website.

  • Rowes nursery, ture of peet moss and top soil. The potatoes keep the stems moist and help develop the root systems. It’s a perfectly simple way to multiply your rose garden without spending lots of $$$.Landsborough Road, Warragul.  They have a large range of plants for sale (many grown in-house to save you money) and offer free garden advice. Ask about receiving their regular email newsletters.
  • Drouin Mitre 10, Princes Way, Drouin. (On the Melbourne side of Drouin) Check their hardware, gardening products and plants.
  • Drouin Nursery. Princes Way, Drouin.Extensive variety of plants including advanced trees.  Open 6 days a week (closed Tuesdays) Phone 0417 041507
  • Down to Earth Garden Centre, Cnr. Longwarry & Weerong Rd, Drouin. Landscaping supplies, mulch, soil, rock, pond supplies, garden hardware. Phone 5625 5166
  • Here We Grow, 2/30 Masterson Street, Warragul.  Everything for hydroponics.  Open 6 days (closed Sundays) Phone 5604 7847

January 2024

Winners of the November show bench                                                                               Judge: Kathy Johns

SectionFirstSecondThird
 1 Flower of the month (Cont. of Roses)Heather CoustleyHeather CoustleyRalph Slaughter
 2 One Rose Heather CoustleyCarol BurnsHeather Coustley
 3 One stem of other flower (not a Rose)Carol BurnsHeather CoustleyHeather Coustley
 4 Stem of foliage (no buds or flowers)Heather CoustleyRalph SlaughterRalph Slaughter
 5 Flowering Shrub (in flower) 1 stem
 6 Floral Art (in water)Heather CoustleyHeather CoustleyAnnette Willmott
7 Arrangement of the month (Christmas)Annette Willmott= Annette Willmott = Annette WillmottAnnette Willmott
 8 Flowers of tubers, corms, bulbs, RhizomesAileen WhiteRalph Slaughter
 9 Container of flowersHeather CoustleyRalph SlaughterAnnette Willmott
10 Flowering shrubHeather CoustleyHeather Coustley
11 Potted plant (incl. Cacti or succulent)Aileen WhiteHeather CoustleyRalph Slaughter
12 Above ground vegetableJoy Vikas= Ralph Slaughter = Ralph SlaughterJan Newgreen
13 Below ground vegetableCarol BurnsRalph SlaughterRalph Slaughter
14 Herbs (flowering, non-flowering, mixed)Carol Burns
15 Fruits, NutsCarol BurnsCarol BurnsRalph Slaughter
16 Novice
17 BEST EXHIBIT Heather Coustley 

January’s meeting: 

Guest speaker: Irene Rolfe – Spring gardens of Tasmania

Morning tea duty:  Joy Vikas, Anne Peters, Kate Richardson  (bought biscuits is sufficient)

Flower of the month: One stem of Hydrangea.  Arrangement theme: Australia Day

Winners of the 2023 Competitions:  Points awarded on the 2024 monthly show bench were collated and the aggregate winners announced at our Christmas function.  Congratulations to all the winners.

Section A: One stem of flower won by Ralph Slaughter.  Section B: Floral Art won by Annette Willmott.  Section C: Container of flowers won by Heather Coustley.  Section D: Garden produce won by Carol Burns.

Overall winner was Ralph Slaughter who was presented with the Annual Perpetual Lester Mason Trophy.

Ralph was also rewarded for all his work for our club, over the years he has been a member, with a certificate of life membership to the Garden Club.  Congratulations Ralph!

A message from our President:

Dear Friends,

Is your garden now like the fairytale Jack and the Bean Stalk? My beans are growing out of the covered garden area and escaping far into the beyond and my tomatoes are not far behind thanks to the rain and the heat that we are currently experiencing. Unfortunately, I don’t think that they will hold up to me trying to climb them to find the golden goose that lays a golden egg, and I really don’t want to meet up with an angry giant either. We know that a lot of people are struggling now, and wouldn’t it be nice if such a thing as “the golden goose” existed.

On Sunday 7th January we didn’t need to find the golden goose to help us raise money for the symposium thanks to the help of 20 wonderful members who helped with the Bunnings BBQ where we raised over $1300.00, despite the down pour of rain in the afternoon. A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone as this would not have been possible without their wonderful help. It was a lot of fun, and not hard and therefore we hope that we will be able to have another BBQ later in the year and with the funds raised subsidise the bus trips that you have voted for after completing the survey in November at our last meeting.

I am currently now working on a plan for our meetings and trips for this year and it is looking like another fabulous, interesting, and informative year ahead. Our first meeting will be one of your choices, ie club members sharing their photographs of gardens they have visited on holidays and Irene is currently choosing some of her lovely photographs from her recent stay in Tasmania. Irene enjoys photography as much as she does her garden and I look forward to seeing her presentation at our meeting on Monday 22nd January. Perhaps this will whet our appetites for travel to the beautiful “Apple Isle”.

I hope to see you at this month’s meeting and in the meantime keep well and happy gardening and as the Irish blessing says, “May all your weeds be four leaf clovers”.

Cheers, Joy

Things to do in the garden in February:

Flower Garden

Plant seeds of Winter flowering annuals such as Pansy, Violas, Phlox, Alyssum, Primula etc so that they become established while the soil is still warm. Complete the division of Irises and tidy up plants, removing dead leaves. Do not put mulch around Irises and spray leaves with Liquid Copper if they show signs of fungus die-back. Buy spring bulbs as they appear in the stores & catalogues.

Cut back roses 55-65 days before Easter, providing another dose of ‘Sudden Impact for Roses’ and a good watering so that they look great at Easter. Keep up the spraying for Aphids, Black Spot, and Downy Mildew.

Vegetable Garden

Plant seeds of Winter vegetables such as Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chinese Cabbage, Leeks and Lettuce. Spring onions, Parsnips, Beetroot and Shallots can also be planted. Trim lower leaves from Tomatoes to allow quicker ripening and pinch out the tops of the plants before they get too high. Feed late crops of beans and sweetcorn with a liquid fertiliser.

Home Orchard

Net trees to protect fruit from birds. Carry out summer pruning of stone fruit. Watch for infestations of ‘Pear Slug’ and treat with a pyrethroid such as Mavrick. Remove any weeds around Citrus trees. Cut out old raspberry canes and tie up new ones that will provide next year’s fruit.

Lawns

Keep the mower blades high during the hot days of Summer. Provide water where necessary and a dressing of ‘Sudden Impact for Lawns’ fertiliser to keep the grass green and growing. Start to prepare ground for new lawns to be sown in March and April.

Seed Banks:  As insurance against some terrible disaster on earth, seed banks have been created around the world.  Over 1500 of them exist in a variety of countries.  The largest, Svalbard Global Seed Vault, is on a remote island in Norway and has the capacity to store seeds from 4.5 million varieties of crops from almost every country in the world.  With each seed packet containing around 500 seeds that equates to more than 2.5 billion seeds. They currently hold more than 1.1 million seed varieties so there is still room for more.  The island of Spitsbergen where this vault is located is about 1,300 kms north of the Arctic Circle.

The Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry in St Petersburg, Russia created the first seed bank back in 1894.

The Millennium Seed Bank, hidden underground in rural Sussex, in England holds the world’s biggest collection of seeds from wild plants.  They have 2.4 billion seeds from over 39,000 different species.

Australia has at least one conservation seed bank in each state, with Victoria’s being at the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Upcoming Events:

Creative Harvest: Saturday 27th & Sunday 28th January.  See www.creativeharvest.org.au for more information and detail on purchasing tickets.

Bass Coast Edible Gardens:  Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th February, 10am – 4pm.  Visit around 15 delightful edible gardens, learn and be inspired to grow your own food. $5 per garden or $25 for all gardens.  Purchase tickets at basscoastediblegardens.com

Warragul Show:  Friday 1st Mar- gates open 5pm. Saturday 2nd Mar – 9am-3pm. Sunday 3rd 8.30am (Equestrian only).  Volunteers are needed to help on the Thursday and Friday morning.  See Aileen.

Symposium-The Well Gardened Mind: Monday 4 March 2024 at West Gippsland Arts Centre, Warragul.  Internationally known psychiatrist, psychotherapist and author, Dr. Sue Stuart-Smith will be one of the speakers.  Her best-selling book “The Well Gardened Mind” is available to borrow at the Warragul Library.  In addition to Dr Stuart-Smith there will be two other medical experts speaking at the symposium.

Ferny Creek Horticultural Society:  Plant Collectors’ Expo: Sat 10th & Sun 10th March.  10am-4pm $10 entry, free parking.  Autumn show: Sat 27th April 12 noon- 4pm & Sun 28th April 10am – 4pm 

Further details www.fcha.org.au 

Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show:  Wednesday 20th – Sunday 24th March 2024.

Quote: “Gardening provides years to your life and life to your years”-Unknown.

Fertilizer orders:  The closing date for autumn orders has been brought forward to Friday, 2nd February.

February Meeting: Monday 26th February at 9:30am

Doors open 9am for setting up.  Entries for show bench to be placed for judging prior to 9.30am

Morning tea duty:  Jan Newgreen, Isobel Murdoch, June Dineen

Flower of the month: One stem of Dahlia

Arrangement of the month: Valentines Day

Guest speaker: Robert Robinson – Growing passionfruit.

Please support our Club sponsors:  Don’t forget to check their updates on our Club website.

  • Rowes nursery, ture of peet moss and top soil. The potatoes keep the stems moist and help develop the root systems. It’s a perfectly simple way to multiply your rose garden without spending lots of $$$.Landsborough Road, Warragul.  They have a large range of plants for sale (many grown in-house to save you money) and offer free garden advice. Ask about receiving their regular email newsletters.
  • Drouin Mitre 10, Princes Way, Drouin. (On the Melbourne side of Drouin) Check their hardware, gardening products and plants.
  • Drouin Nursery. Princes Way, Drouin. Extensive variety of plants including advanced trees.  Open 6 days a week (closed Tuesdays) Phone 0417 041507
  • Down to Earth Garden Centre, Cnr. Longwarry & Weerong Rd, Drouin. Landscaping supplies, mulch, soil, rock, pond supplies, garden hardware. Phone 5625 5166
  • Here We Grow, 2/30 Masterson Street, Warragul.  Everything for hydroponics.  Open 6 days (closed Sundays) Phone 5604 7847

Printing courtesy of Wayne Farnham MP & staff, 1/80 Smith Street, Warragul. 3820. Phone 5623 1960

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Next Meeting Monday 26th February 2024. Tickets for the Well-Gardened Mind Symposium are now available, click here to book now!

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