Newsletter for August 2021

Hi everyone

This month both the Afternoon Floral Group and the Evening Garden Club are opening their meetings  – it’s ‘Bring a Friend’ month as both meetings will be great.

From Rhonda

Like most who have gardens I have enjoyed lockdown  especially when you get sunshine like today.  A lovely break after all the rain.

I have started seedlings off in my kitchen as advised by Julian in his gardening talk and I am happy to say most have germinated.

Because of the weather most of my gardening has been weeding and tidying. The  Camellias are out and a second lot of dafs . Pretty good for the middle of winter.

Those of you who use Facebook will know that our next speaker is Cheryl Powers. She is a regular and popular speaker so we suggest it will be an excellent opportunity to bring a friend. Cheryl is fun and is always interesting and will be demonstrating what’s new in the gardening world.

I have just done a tour of my garden and my current surprises are winter roses and white violets.  My violets have gone wild and produced at  least four colours. My Luciana was a little subdued this year after a close encounter with Frank. Lots of greens in this weather and we supplement our evening meals from the garden.

Stay safe…see you all next meeting

Rhonda E

From Judi

Hello everyone

As I write this, it’s Monday after a  weekend where the weather was reasonably kind for those of us who are keen to get our gardens ready for the spring or summer showings.

But today I’m wrapped up warm and cozy with a hot waterbottle and the heat pump is on also. So here we are back to chilly cold and blustery winds with some intermittent showers. I finally ventured outside to tackle wandering jew which wants to just ‘come out of nowhere ‘ and cause me all sorts of problems because it invades the whole garden and gets in between all my plants so it’s quite a big job.

This time last year I had most of these chores done but of course I’ve been at the hospital with daughter Helen, so quite a lot to catch up on now. Well at least I have some colour in the large pots and mini wheelbarrow by the house to enjoy.

Who enjoyed the Programme on TV1 about Kew Gardens on Sunday about 3pm? I loved how they were getting the Inside Winter Botanical Gardens ready to show the public. Apparently every year they do a different theme. These hot houses are absolutely huge and there were a few thousand orchids brought in for the display, which I have some pics attached for you to see.

What a rich history Kew Gardens has. They employ a huge staff who have their expertise in all sorts of fields. There was also a snippet on the beautiful trees outside. I so enjoyed watching it. I have never been but I would love to. Hmmm one day perhaps it might happen.

Don’t forget to bring along a little something for the sales table. Little plants – cuttings, maybe make some wee posies, Dahlia Tubers(I’ve got plenty I’m bringing), maybe some marmalades or any type of preserve, garden mags, fresh lemons. We really appreciate any contribution. Thank you.

For those of you who wanted Bio Boost, we will have bags of that ready for the next meeting. Every spring I throw several handfuls of it all over the garden and it works really well.

I look forward to seeing you all in September where we can enjoy another night listening to Cheryl from Mitre10, who is an excellent speaker.

Happy Gardening everyone.

Cheers Judi

From Julian

If you haven’t already started, it’s time to sow some seeds; hardy flowers like pinks and carnations, cool climate crops like peas, lettuce and spinach. It is still too cold for beans except broad beans; dwarf beans, runner beans and all the others can wait another month or more. Lack of room in our kitchen meant that my seeds have to germinate outdoors, so they are in a tiny plastic greenhouse ($50 from the Warehouse) on the shady side of the house so they don’t get cooked. If you have room indoors you can get them to germinate quicker by putting your seed trays somewhere a bit warmer; but be sure not to let them dry out or get too hot – a sunny window sill is not good – and as soon as the seedlings appear put them outside in the daylight, even though it means they are not so warm.

We bought a bag of narcissus ‘Tete a Tete’ from Harrison’s last autumn and put them into a pot. Here they are lighting up a shady corner. So sweet.


From Diana

This month’s competition was “Black and White”. As you can see there were quite a few entries this month. The winners of the competition sections were:

Stage 1 – Janet Richards

Stage 2 – Marilyn Morrin

Stage 3 – Yvonne Thomas

Open Class – Zena Knight

Next month, we are lucky to be having a guest speaker. Our guest speaker is Megan Parker who teaches, as well as running her own Floral business at Lindale. She does everything!! to do with Floral Art and will do whatever you wish. Because our Group is on the older side and some live in Retirement Villages, they do not want large structures. She will do simple symmetrical designs, or vertical and even horizontal! – maybe some wrapping of say, a single Flower! This will be an opportunity to “Bring A Friend”, as it will be so interesting. Our competition will be Hand Held Posy with spring flowers. Our workshop will be the practice for October  – Art Deco. For the workshop, bring a pottery container ( plain china in tones of brown, grey or green). For the arrangement, you will need : marigolds of different  colours with leaves, cosmos with leaves, maybe some fern and a doily ( paper or crochet).

From Marilyn

We have a busy couple of months coming up. Thanks to those of you who have made yourselves available for manning the Coastlands display. I will get a roster out to you shortly.

At last month’s meeting, the competition tables were loaded with colourful blooms as the spring bulbs came into their own. The winners for the four sections were:

●             Pat Browne Trophy for Flowering Spring Bulb was Bev Thomas with a stunning double bi-colour daffodil.

●             The Best Bloom was magnificent – a deep burgundy magnolia from Pauline Steel’s garden.

●             The Most Unusual Flower was Julian Chadwick’s flannel flower.

●             Best Fruit or Vegetable was shared by Julian Chadwick with a pot of parsley and me with my spring onions.

Next month’s Flower of the Month is a Perfumed Flower. This should see a full table of entries as this really is the best time of year for these flowers.

Included with this newsletter is a copy of this year’s Annual Flower Show Schedule. There have been a few changes and if you have any questions, bring them along to the next meeting and we will do our best to answer them for you. It is also available on the website.

We are always looking for new ways to give you more gardening information and if you have any ideas, let us know. This month we are trying a new slot in the programme. Often when you move into a new garden (or a visit from a bird who has been out in the neighbourhood leaves a seed that you don’t expect) you can’t identify a particular plant or flower. Bring a piece or a picture along and you can display it on the table labelled “What is this?”  Hopefully, some-one at the meeting will be able to help you out.

Cheers, Marilyn


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