newsletter for april 2021

From Rhonda

Hi everyone

We are still enjoying the last of summer and grateful for the intermittent rain although one nocturnal downfall was too much of a good thing as one of our gutterings was blocked and produced an attractive but overwhelming waterfall by our front door!

It’s still raining feijoas and our darling lemon tree is back into production. The little lime tree too has hundreds of flowers so it will appreciate the horse doo and fruit crystals topping up its pot.

From Judi

Hello everyone. haven’t we had some lovely warm sunny days during Autumn. I’m a beach walker and often head to PramBch from Raumati mainly to stretch the legs and get a good workout but my best place to be is in the quietness of my garden.

Always enjoying another surprise of something flowering or growing that maybe I’d forgotten about, especially when a new Dahlia shows its pretty head and I see lots and lots of bees still on the big Purple Salvia so plenty of nectar around for them.

In the weekend, I finished digging out the rest of my old strawberry plants and, after fertilizing, I sowed Broccoli, Beetroot and smothered a small area with Mesclun salad mix as I eat lots of it. I’m actually trying out Gus Evans brand of compost (mind you it’s $12 a bag) but when I noticed it was nice and fine I decided the salad seeds will do well in it. My own compost isn’t ready yet so hence buying it. Just a reminder – that’s where I bought our Raffle Prize, the very vigorous Passionfruit Plant, which Gus assures me is a winner. So Alex, maybe next year we see you bringing your yummy Passionfruit in and entering the competition table. I might go back and buy one myself as I’ve failed miserably in the past with the Hybrid type from Mitre10. This Wednesday morning, as the sun is starting to shine through at last, most things are very wet from the heavy rains last night so I’ve decided to carry on replacing the spent Petunias with Pansies like I do every year in the big pots by my front door (and I have quite a few pots). Every year, the Pansies are always reliable and put on a great display all the way through to Spring /Summer. Happy Gardening everyone. Cheers Judi

From Diana Unsworth – the Afternoon Floral Group

There was no meeting in April due to Easter, but the Afternoon Floral Group is back to normal for May. The meeting on May 7th has the competition for the Mary Whale trophy which is the ‘Best Use of Leaves’ – the entire arrangement being foliage. The Workshop is a practice for Ikebana, the June competition. The container for this should be low and flat. It can be square or round, pottery or china. For the material, the ideal types are bark, curved sticks, aspidistra leaves, flax, with geranium leaves, large ivy and fig leaves to cover the base. Before you come, clean and soak the material well, then lightly polish leaves with a little cooking oil. You will also need to carefully consider how the arrangement will be held in place – needle holders, oasis, frogs or oasis fix.

From Marilyn

Because this year is our 110th Anniversary, we have some events on the drawing board that we would like to involve the members in. We have an Arbour Day Planting, with letters gone out to all the Paraparaumu Primary schools asking if they would like to participate so we will need some bodies for that, a council planting (either hedging in Domain, garden at Ocean Rd Hall, or planting at some other designated spot) a Mall Display featuring boards with the photos from archives to show the club through the years and a display by the Afternoon Floral Group. This could be more than one day, so again bodies will be required for that so we can have short shifts, and a High Tea in November on a Saturday (yet to be fixed) which will need a bit of planning for. A sheet will go around at the next meeting for anyone interested in being part of these. This is one of those occasions when the committee really does need some help from everyone so we can celebrate in style and capture moments for the next celebration at our 125th year.

For those of you lucky enough to manage to get to our April meeting, I hope you enjoyed the speaker, John Bongiovanni, as much as I did. His topic was his journey into Bonsai and what a journey it was. His display that he set up for us to look at while we were having our cup of tea captivated everyone. It’s amazing what can be done with the time, effort and a bit of vision as to what could be achieved with a particular plant.

Our next meeting is back to its regular time slot of first Friday in the month, May 7th. As Rhonda has already told you, the speaker at our next meeting is Bruce Batten with his update of ‘Cabin Hills’ and Our Flower of the Month will be a camellia. As my white camellia, Pure Silk, is now covered in blossom, I don’t think there will be any problem with finding one for the competition table. And remember, if you have a plant or two going spare, bring it along for the Sales table. What may be excess in your garden could be just what someone else has been looking for and every little bit helps to pay the bills.

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