Newsletter 17 July 2020

From Rhonda

Hi everyone

So lovely to see you all and an excellent turnout one cold winter’s night. Although it is the middle of winter we are blessed with a benign climate here in Kapiti so we continued with our members display.

Congratulations to all our lucky number winners. Mitre Ten have plenty to tempt them. Cheryl’s talk was wonderfully entertaining. She is one of our most popular speakers and we will make sure we have her back again.

Our next speaker is Naturopath Lucy Page who will tell us about home herbal medicine. We also have tea for you to try.

Our usual competitions will continue so bring your best and brightest. Plant of the month for August is a flower from any bulb or corm, and Judi and Silvey have an orchid in flower for this month’s raffle, kindly donated by Merle Stevenson.

My own garden treasure this month is my Luculia…pink and perfumed…perfect! (Pictured here).

My lovely surprise is a tiny Irish Bell in flower. It was a seedling given to me by Fay Chedzoy that took a while to adapt!

We are planning a group trip to Levin with three stops including a garden statuary visit, a nursery and a food stop. We will be sharing cars. There are more details down in Marilyn’s update. We are planning a bee-friendly evening in October and would love you all pot a bee-friendly plant to sell later on to if you can.

We are also planning to offer to work on a community garden later in the year and one of the plants we were going to theme was pelargonium. If you have one in the garden and can pot a cutting or bring a cutting in a bag to the next meeting for us to pot on, that would be much appreciated.

Lastly, a reminder that we run on a tight budget so do pay your subs either online or to Stephen at our meetings.

Julian will also have more fertilizer for sale and is still offering his tool sharpening services. 

Happy gardening

From Judi

Hi everyone.

If you are like me, you will be enjoying extra flowering time of some of the roses but it’s certainly getting close to that pruning time so I will have to be brutal and chop off those endearing plump buds.

Last week the grandchildren helped me scatter some eggshells around my broccoli and. cauli seedlings and so far we haven’t seen any snails. A lady from the Tawa garden club reminded me I had promised her some dahlia tubers so I’ve been dividing those for her and moving some around the garden so they aren’t too close to my roses. The summer just gone, the dahlias just took over.

Well I look forward to having more time after school goes back to really getting stuck into the garden for my annual winter clean up. Lots to do.

Happy gardening everyone.

From Julian

We are more than half-way through July and I am sure the days last a few minutes longer than they did a month ago; so it is time we got seriously stuck into our winter pruning. My roses (all five of them!) were done a month ago when I revamped the front garden, which leaves me with ten hydrangeas to prune.

These are quite straightforward: just cut off as low as you can about half of the oldest gnarliest stems, and also remove any very thin weak-looking ones. That will leave you with nice strong young stems, most of which will have flowered last summer, don’t worry if you only have three or four. We are usually told to cut these back to two fat buds but half the time they only make one fat bud – so one or two, it makes little difference. Some of the stems will end in a new bud; I cut these back the same as the old flowered ones to “reset” the whole bush. And that’s it, job done; unlike roses there is no need to spray, but a light sprinkle of general fertiliser – you will find some on our sales table ( I have just bought a new supply) if you don’t have any at home – and a layer of mulch on top, and they will be saying thank you all summer long.

Remember we have a garden tool cleaning and sharpening service: secateurs, knives, loppers, hedge-shears, saws; it costs $5 each, just bring them along to the monthly meeting.

And last but not least: if you feel that pruning plants, especially roses, is best left in the too-hard basket, well, you’re not alone, but we are a garden club so ask around at the meetings, there are plenty of experts on hand.

From Marilyn

Wonderful to catch up with you all at the meeting. Looking around, it seemed as though there was a lot of that going on and everyone was delighted to see familiar faces.

I have had the pleasure of the company of my sister-in-law for a couple of weeks. She timed her visit so that she could come to our meeting as she is a keen gardener as well. Although the weather was not the best for her stay we did manage a fine day before she went home. Her keen eye spotted a bulb or two struggling through the weeds in a pot and immediately set to put that to rights. Two bags of potting mix and about 12 pots later, all my pots were tidied and little treasures unearthed. These little hyacinths were in flower but totally hidden. Now all I have to do is wait for the others to flower so that I can identify them all.

Rhonda has mentioned the upcoming trip. The proposed date is Wednesday 16th September so plenty of time to

put it in your calendar. We will leave from the hall at 10.00am and will be carpooling. We are heading up to Yard Art Levin ( where Gary will give us a guided tour and  then leave us to browse through the display centre. From there we will go to Shannon to Bertsbrooke Nurseries which has a wonderful garden to stroll through as well as a nursery for purchases, and then find ourselves a cafe for lunch.  A list will be there at the next meeting for anyone interested to add their name to.

Afternoon Floral Group

The shared lunch to restart the meetings for the Afternoon Floral Group was a real smorgasbord of tasty treats. So many goodies to choose from and great to see so many there. Although there was no competition for the designs, there was a workshop for ‘Beach Gatherings’. This will be the competition for August. The workshop for August will be a practice for ‘BOUNCE INTO SPRING for Horticultural Society Flower Show on 17th. October! Diana’s advice is to use any type\style of container, using Spring Flowers, plenty of colour if possible, birds-nests! branches from blossom tees, vines, lilies, daffs, anything that you consider Springy! Any size. Treat material by soaking thoroughly e.g. overnight, wash leaves gently and good strong mechanics.

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