newsletter for june 2021

From Rhonda

We are experiencing a fairly mild winter so far and in the last week a much needed dousing from the heavens.

Your committee has been busy with the Arbor Day plantings in the schools. We have had seven schools teaming up this year so it is apparent that the historical Arbor plantings are being revived which is wonderful. Arbor Day has a long and interesting history and has appeared in different forms and spellings around the globe, the earliest records from Spain in the 1500’s.

Here and now my garden is again confused. My Kowhai  is in full bloom and my first daffodil is  opening  its petals in the middle of Winter.

The pride of my garden though is my beautiful impending crop of citrus…the mandarins are like orange lanterns lighting our backyard with a colorful glow.

Our next meeting will celebrate the solstice and we have invited Waikanae to join us. We will have our usual sales table and raffles and we are asking members to bring a small plate.  Note that our competition will not be individual blooms but we are asking for table decorations. There will also be a prize for the best dressed…hopefully Bob Cratchett will turn up.

Hope to see you all next month

Rhonda E

From Julian

Yet another garden makeover. It’s amazing how much you can    find to do in the smallest of gardens. Now I’m going for an ‘industrial’ look with rectangular paved areas instead of the curved lawn that we have had for the last 2 years.

It might look a bit stark but we have actually gained a little more space for planting. This year the runner beans will be moved out of the ornamentals and grown along the front fence, and a big sprawling elegia is now restrained by a hexagonal frame. Both of those changes are to make room for more picking flowers, and to allow spreading room for last year’s new shrubs – clethra, pieris, and cistus. That said, the runner bean wigwam looked quite splendid among the roses and red alstroemerias, but the challenge of getting everything into the same small space is leading to some interesting changes.

A request: if anyone has a patch of the gooseneck plant, Lysimachia clethroides, I would love a piece.

A reminder: winter is here and there is pruning and tidying to do; if your tools are getting rusty or blunt remember we have a cleaning and sharpening service, only $5 each.

From Marilyn

 We have the Waikanae Horticultural Society coming to us at the next meeting on July 2nd, which is our mid-winter Christmas celebration. Thanks to all of you at the meeting that indicated you would bring a small plate to go on the supper table. For those of you who were unable to make the last meeting but are coming to the July meeting, if you would like to contribute to the supper table, please feel free to bring a plate as well if you are able.  There will not be a guest speaker at the meeting as it will be a time to chat, although our resident experts will still give us the benefit of some tips for the garden at this time of year. The Pat Browne trophy this month will be for the ‘Best Table Decoration’.  Sales Table and Raffles will be there as usual. As the gardens are now a bit quiet, I am going to put the harvest to good use and create some chutney and jellies for the Sales Table. It also helps me get a bit more space in my freezer, which reached critical levels once all the Autumn fruit and veges were picked and processed.

As Rhonda said, this month we have been lucky enough to visit all the primary schools in Paraparaumu and help them plant a tree, which we have donated to celebrate Arbor Day. Gus Evans provided us with two of the trees and the rest were purchased by the club.

The schools were asked to nominate the type of tree and the majority wanted natives, with a couple of fruit trees going into the mix. It was great to see so much enthusiasm amongst the children and thank you letters and cards have been coming in from them.

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