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September 2018

With the October Open Gardens weekend fast approaching final preparations are being made to the gardens.  We would like to thank all the garden owners for allowing the garden club to present their gardens & for all the hard work that goes into preparing their gardens at their very best, even in a drought. We took a peek at five of the gardens last month, so let’s check out the other four now…. Driving up to Glenorie to 10 Venetta Road the current owners are restoring this park like garden, with its impressive tree-lined driveway, beds of azaleas, roses, salvias & perennials, this is the first time the garden has been open. Not far away is ”L’hirondelle” at 25 Harrison’s Lane Glenore, this long established park-like garden has many different sections, including a Japanese garden, herbaceous & bulb beds, set amongst magnificent mature trees,  as well as Australian Native areas. Here you can view the garden, while enjoying Morning & Afternoon Tea. Coming back now towards Dural to “Boulevard” at 20 Wylds Rd Middle Dural, children will love the large number of sculptures of native & exotic animals scattered throughout the garden. This garden is home to a great number of Australian native plants.  Do not miss the magnificent shade house & hot house which contain a fascinating collection of unusual plants in pots and baskets. Finally we come to “Willow Glen” at 2 Marrakesh Pl Arcadia, an informal rustic garden with large rock shelves, old native trees and a watercourse that feeds a large dam with water lilies.  Bridges, seats & children’s play area add interest to the garden and of special interest is the fully mesh-enclosed productive garden which is of great interest to food growers. If you need a little more, then don’t miss The School of Bonsai’s extensive display & demonstration of techniques used to create and maintain bonsai at 26 Sagars Rd Kenthurst (next door to Garden No 1) entry is free. So mark the 19th, 20th & 21st October into your calendar, make a weekend of it or if you’re short for time, you can get round to all the gardens in a day if you are quick! Tickets are available on the day outside the Galston Club 21 Galston Rd Galston or at any of the garden entrances. Ticket prices are $5 per garden or $20 for entry to all gardens over the 3 day weekend. Gardens are open from 9.30-4.30.

Our September guest speaker was Elizabeth Swane who has been raised in the horticultural & nursery industry.  From an early age Elizabeth knew she loved plants & set about learning all aspects of the industry.  Elizabeth has been a prolific contributor to magazines, becoming a free-lance writer 20 years ago as well as a radio commentator on the ABC answering all your gardening questions.  It was always her dream to run a magazine and since 2012 Elizabeth has been working for Central West Lifestyle Magazine a quarterly magazine focussing on country gardens & properties in NSW. She loves the fact that she gets paid to visit people’s gardens, to meet the garden owners & see so many beautiful gardens some planned & some that just evolved.  Elizabeth spoke of the special challenges they face with the environment, the planting that is practical as well as beautiful & the restoration & preservation of these properties.  There are lots of perennial shrubs planted that we don’t see as often now on the coast, yet work well in the country garden. Elizabeth encouraged us to forget about the faults we see in our gardens and to stand back & see the glorious beauty as well as reminding us that if the gardener thinks it’s good, it is!

We hope to see you at our next club meeting & to join us for another happy gardening year. Garden Club meets on the 2nd Weds of the month at the Galston Community Centre 37 Arcadia Rd., Galston 8.00pm, new members are warmly welcomed.

 

August 2018

On a crisp & chilly day a number of club members rugged up & readied themselves for a guided walk through the St Ives Native Flower Nursery & surrounding bushland.  We started with a bracing hot cup of tea or coffee and homemade slice, and then we were off.  At first we couldn’t “see” the flowers that were all around us, only the bush, but as our guide pointed out the small & large flowering natives we soon became more aware of the variety of plants that were in flower.  Natives, we were informed, are great winter flowering plants & everyone took the opportunity to purchase some in the nursery afterward.

Many of us have a very natural wariness when bees come buzzing around us, however what do you do when they are swarming in your backyard, on your car, in your letterbox or on a pot plant?  You contact Norm Webb, our guest speaker for August an amateur apiarist with over 80 hives.  Norm & many bee keepers are more than happy to come & remove a swarm & rehome them into hives.  Norm explained the many reasons bees swarm & why, to us, they select some very inappropriate places, as far as we are concerned! They are looking to replicate a natural environment in which to make a hive & in the bush that would be a tree hollow, so it is natural they will look for somewhere there is an opening. The two things you do not do is spray them with insecticide (kills them) or a hose (drowns them), instead contact a local Bee Keeping Club who will safely remove the bees.  Our bee numbers are reducing & without bees it is not just honey that we will lose it is our entire food supply.  Bees play one of the most important roles in pollinating plants so that they will produce fruit, flowers & vegetables.

Preparations are well under way now for the October Open Gardens weekend with brochures being distributed by members.  So come along now & take a peek at five of the  nine gardens that will be open rain, hail or shine on 19th, 20th & 21st October. Starting at “Dural Gardens” 24 Sagars Rd Dural, this formal style garden features beautiful garden beds with 100’s of roses and an Avenue of Chanticleer pears, come across now to “Palarang” in 7 Hunt Ave Dural, where this country style garden also features 100’s of bush & climbing roses, pergola, rose arbour & other garden structures. Not every garden is on acres & at “Burnt Rails” in 28 Glen St is an excellent example of what can be fitted into a small shaded garden, including small water features. Then pop around to the ever favourite “Elegans” at 21 Fishburns Rd Galston, a collector’s garden based on coloured foliage effects as well as four ponds that incorporates many bridges & arches, a wonderful place to wander & lose yourself in the tranquillity & beauty of flowering camellias & many other specimen plants. Then you come to “Brackenridge” at 11 Ballandra Pl Dural this steep block has magnificent rock outcrops, this older garden is being lovingly restored by the new owners & we’re looking forward to seeing how this garden reveals itself in coming years.  There are still four more gardens that we will explore in the next issue, so hopefully we have whetted your appetite & look forward to seeing you on the weekend, tickets are available on the day outside the Galston Club 21 Galston Rd Galston. Ticket prices are $5 per garden or $20 for entry to all gardens over the 3 day weekend. Gardens are open from 9.30-4.30.

We hope to see you at our next club meeting & to join us for another happy gardening year. Garden Club meets on the 2nd Weds of the month at the Galston Community Centre 37 Arcadia Rd., Galston 8.00pm, new members are warmly welcomed. For other information, visit our website: www.galstongardenclub.com.au

June 2018

Brrr…what a cold June night it was for our meeting last month, members came rugged up in beanies, coats & scarves, the cold was not going to keep them away.  However in no time at all, the warmth of the hall & warm friendly chatter soon had everyone warmed up.  The hall again looked lovely with masses of camellias & salvias now in bloom and brought along for Show & Tell.

Three years ago the Galston Garden Club donated an oak tree to the newly formed Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens.  We received a photo this month showing how well it was doing but best of all it has produced an acorn! So it must be feeling right at home & it was very exciting to members to see their contribution to the Botanic Garden doing so well.

Photo of the Evergreen Oak that we donated to the Southern Highlands Botanic Garden – it has produced an acorn!

Our Guest Speaker this month was Stellina Trestrail , the Agriculture and Primary Industries Coordinator from Northholm Grammar School who spoke on Aquaponics. An enthusiastic speaker she told us how she came about incorporating Aquaponics into the school agricultural syllabus.  Aquaponics is very similar to hydroponics; however the nutrients are supplied by fish. Basically, using two large containers with fish in the bottom one & plants in the top one, the water with the fish waste is pumped up, filtrated & flows through the bed above filtered again to return to the fish tank as fresh water. The plants above are planted in a growing medium of any one of the following, smooth road gravel, scoria or clay pellets.  The fish/plant relationship works very well, the water is totally recycled best of all you only need 10% of the water that you would need to grow vegetables in the garden.  Aquaponics is great for the home gardener or balcony gardener, very simple to set up, an easy system to run, you don’t need a lot of skill as well as being excellent for growing herbs & leafy vegetables like kale, lettuce as well as many others. There is a large amount of information on the internet mainly from Murray Hallam from Queensland an expert in the field & only too happy to spread the benefits of Aquaponics. The other benefit of aquaponics is by using fish breeds such as Silver Perch or trout you can breed them to eating size or you can just go decorative & use Koi. Stellina is more than happy to pass on the knowledge she has gained to others also interested in this amazing way of gardening.

We have 9 gardens that we will be presenting for our Open Gardens Weekend in October. So save the date 19th, 20th & 21st October. Come along & have a lovely time which helps us raise much needed funds for the many charities we support.  If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or would like to donate to our mega raffle, please contact Open Gardens Convenor Bill Fleming on 96532394 or email:  wfleming@primusonline.com.au

We hope to see you at our next club meeting & to join us for another happy gardening year. Garden Club meets on the 2nd Weds of the month at the Galston Community Centre 37 Arcadia Rd., Galston 8.00pm, new members are warmly welcomed. For other information, visit our website: www.galstongardenclub.com.au

 

 

May 2018

Well it was a very grey day as a large number of members set out for a ramble last Saturday.  Our first stop was to Stuart Weir’s workshop at Pitt Town Bottoms.  Stuart is a stonemason & garden artist who also works with metal, his metal pears are gorgeous and the sandstone candle holders proved very popular, quite a few purchases were made.  From there we went to the Secret Garden Nursery at the Richmond WS University, where many plants were purchased & we wandered around the markets that were there fundraising for Norwest Disability Services, who also benefit from money raised at out Open Garden Weekend. Despite the showers of rain it was a great turn out & a great day – especially the Devonshire tea – Yum!

There is a definite chill in the air now, and it has started to feel like autumn at last. Although it was quite a cold night for our May meeting it was good to see so many members come along & almost fill the community hall room. Begonias – we see them everywhere in gardens, a little bedding plant that we don’t really think about much, but know they are there & give a great display of colour, but like many plants that have been around for what seems forever, there is more to this humble plant than we could imagine. Ross Bolwell from Bloomin’ Greenery Nursery on Annangrove Rd showed us the many varieties of Begonias that are available, many that have been developed here in Australia.  There seems to be a begonia for every climate and they range in size from the small bedding begonia to the taller varieties as well as trailing ones that do well in pots to even smaller ground covers. Their uses range from being a beautiful feature plant, great fill in plants among trees & shrubs, the “Undulata” varieties make a good hedge, they will take being planted around pools, the sheltered areas around the house & of course in pots. Begonias hate the frost & wet roots,  being a more tropical plant they do well when the temperature Is around a constant 12-30 degrees Celsius & can be planted in full shade to full sun (as long as they are in afternoon shade).

Our Guest Speaker on the 12th June will be Stellina Trestrail , the Agriculture and Primary Industries Coordinator from Northholm Grammar School & she will be speaking on Aquaponics. We hope to see you at our club meeting & to join us for another happy gardening year. Garden Club meets on the 2nd Weds of the month at the Galston Community Centre 37 Arcadia Rd., Galston 8.00pm, new members are warmly welcomed. For other information, visit our website: www.galstongardenclub.com.au

Remember…save the date for our Open Gardens Weekend 19th, 20th & 21st October. If you would like to be a part of this wonderful weekend, by opening your garden, or you know a garden & owner we could approach, please contact our Open Gardens Convenor Bill Fleming on 96532394 or email:  wfleming@primusonline.com.au

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BAMBOO, PLASTIC POTS POLYSTYRENE BOXES WANTED: Elizabeth Evans wants as much bamboo of different sizes & colours for her school to make Insect hotels. Small plastic pots & polystyrene boxes are also required. If you have any please contact  Elizabeth – Ph: 9899 8680

 OPEN GARDENS 2018

The dates for this year are October 19/20/21.  There will be a meeting of the organising committee at 7pm in the front room before the next Garden Club meeting. This is an informal committee and any interested member can attend. We need plants for our stall on the Open Gardens weekend, so if you are dividing or re-potting material in your garden please pot up a few extra plants so that they are well established by October. Any gardening books and magazines can be given to Bill Fleming at any time. Please note that the Buddhist Garden at Galston will NOT be opening this year.

NEWS FROM THE TRADING TABLE: Christine Stockman 

Many plants came in for sale on our Table this month. These included Advanced Azaleas, Gardenia, a Flame Tree, Succulents & a very big Bird’s nest fern & 2 large Buxus.  We had 2 unusual Bromeliads as well as White & Pink Flowering Orchids  & lovely small flowering potted colour.  In bulbs we had Belladonna & Iris. Jan bought in 5 plants of an unusual Violet which were quickly bought. Thanks May again for the African Violet. Other small plants included a Gloxinia Sylvatica which is about the hardiest form of Gloxinia there is, & it has lots of bright orange flowers when in season. As always we had free magazines & plastic pots. Thank you to those who bought in plastic bags for us we have enough for a while now.

SUPPER – Two people are needed each month to help the Supper Coordinator hand out supper and clear up. The coordinator is in charge of stocking the supper box and providing milk and supper. You are welcome to bake instead/also, if it is your turn on. Please phone Secretary on 0418 634 475, if you can help and nominate a month you can help please add your name to the roster. Or you can email her on kimpet@idx.com.au . A roster will be sent around at the Feb meeting.

On the night: 10-15mins before meeting – turn on urns/fridge, set up cups, cut up bun/cake if necessary.  Put out sugar, spoons, teabags, coffee.

5mins before breaking for supper – go into kitchen put out milk & container for used stirrers & teabags, set out food to be served onto trolley & put into meeting room, start serving tea/coffee. At the end pack up supper gear, wipe down surfaces.

If you will not be at the meeting on your rostered time please arrange for another person to take your place & inform the Supper Co-ordinator  Greta Wickham Mob: 0410 601 808.

Club Members – Welfare

This space keeps members informed of those who may need assistance & to update health issues, where we’ve been asked to do so. We respect each member’s privacy & seek a member’s permission before printing any health details.

THE “SIGN ON”/WELCOME TABLE – is just inside the door. All members please sign your name next to printed name which are alphabetized. This is for Insurance purposes and also an important way messages can be passed on to individual members. If you are a visitor, sign the Visitor’s book and clearly print your name and contact details. There will be the “Everything” letterbox on the table for members to post their subs for membership & Magazine, ideas & suggestions. PLEASE provide your own envelope with your name and item/s intended for payment. The Secretary & Membership Secretary will be seated at the welcome table at the beginning and the Membership Secretary Denise Cox at the end of the meeting. If you are running late, please don’t forget to sign on. There may be a note next to your name with a message so please follow up.

NEW MEMBERS INFORMATION:

WELCOME – We are a big club with 70-75 members coming regularly each month(174 on roll). Regular members please note when visitors/new members are announced, so that you can introduce yourself over supper. Visitors should be wearing a sticky name badge. A garden club is more than just coming to listen to speakers and purchasing a bargain plant. You will be rewarded by making new friends and sharing plant tips and ideas. We are also spoilt at this club by having many plant experts such as Judy Horton OAM (our Patron) and Elizabeth Swane. If you have a problem or need some help with garden ideas, feel free to send in your query to the Secretary and it can be answered in the Newsletter or meeting.

NAME BADGES – Being such a large club we encourage all members to please wear your name badge, it is helpful when introducing visitors & for new members, as they get to know club members.

APOLOGIES – Members would you please notify the Secretary if you are unable to attend a meeting. This can be done by ph or Txt: 0418 634 475 or email: kimpet@idx.com.au  or if you know the member who is not able to attend write “apologies” next to their name on the sign on sheet.

CUTTINGS CORNER – There is a table left of stage for you to bring cuttings to share. Ensure you put them in a bucket/container to keep hydrated. Please label with your name and plant name (It is helpful to club members, if you are unsure speak to a club member & they may know the plant/flower)

SINGLE EXHIBITS – These can be put along front table. Would you please attach a label so we can let members know name of flower/plant/fruit (also helpful for the Secretary when writing the report!) You may like to tell others about it eg: it may be a specimen that is flowering on the day of meeting. This is the member’s favourite section. You will be invited to talk about it or President can read out label and show specimen (if you are shy!)

TRADING TABLE – You may have a surplus of produce from your garden that you can bring to the Trading Table at the back of hall. You may have seedlings that you have pulled out when gardening, that you can also bring. If you are able label them that makes it easier for the Trading Table helpers. Include colour of flower if appropriate.  All items sold, raises money for the Galston District Garden Club.

ADVERTISING – Many members enjoy sharing “what’s on”. Please email or phone secretary a day or so before club meeting with clear details, so they can be announced at the meeting. Or send a few days before mailout and it can be mentioned in the Newsletter. (Now going out approx 3rd Fri of month)It is difficult if these items are given to Secretary at the last minute before meeting. ….Please restrict notices to plant/garden related items, thank you!

INSURANCE SUMMARY – “The Club has insurance cover through its affiliation with the Garden Clubs of Australia. This consists of two forms of insurance:

(a)   Personal Accident: cover for members of the Club performing voluntary work. There are limitations as to the financial amount of cover and some age restrictions. ‘Voluntary work’ would include activities at Club meetings such as supper duty, setting up tables and chairs, etc. It would also include activities by members on gate duty or morning teas during the Open Gardens Weekend.

(b)   Public Liability: cover for negligence claims against the Club by members or non-members who sustain personal injury or property damage as a direct result of attending Club activities.

The Club’s insurance cover does not extend to travel insurance for Club trips away. If required, this is the responsibility of members or non-members who go on such trips. This is a brief summary only. If you have any questions, please refer to the Treasurer, Alan Watson.

April 2018

Members at our Cuttings Table

It always amazes me that there is still so much that you can learn about gardening & the variety of interests that are catered for, from the casual gardener to the professional nurseryman. Leanne Johnston, our Guest Speaker this month is an Environmental Scientist with Hornsby Shire Council & her talk on how to make our gardens “Critter Friendly” from tiny insects to large marsupials gave us many ideas that we can incorporate into our garden, large or small.  From the basic that mulching creates habitat for insects by promoting hummus & compost, to grouping grasses in clumps of three’s, each 2 metres apart so that small birds can flee to safety. Then onto the different types of plants that encourages small birds hint….choose natives with small flowers so that the larger birds don’t compete for the nectar! She encouraged us to think about the animals that already exist in your garden & how to encourage & keep them in your garden by providing natural food sources, homes/shelter from predators & the elements as well as water. While your garden may not be big she suggested creating a small patch of native grasses & shrubs in large pots & hanging baskets if necessary, and everybody can hang up a Bee Hotel somewhere! She left us with three good gardening habits that will encourage wildlife into your garden. 1) Minimise chemical use by manual removal & observing your plants, if the plant is not looking good, address the problem early, 2) Plant some local species & 3) Mulch. Leanne recommended the Atlas of Living Australia website www.Ala.org.au  where you can look up your street & find how many species are in your street.

Our Guest Speaker next month will be Ross Bolwell from Bloomin’ Greenery Nursery Annangrove, he be will speaking on Begonias. We hope to see you at one of our club meetings & to join us for another happy gardening year. Garden Club meets on the 2nd Weds of the month at the Galston Community Centre 37 Arcadia Rd., Galston 8.00pm, new members are warmly welcomed. For other information, visit our website: www.galstongardenclub.com.au

Our cuttings table was very popular this month as a large number of plants were made freely available from members gardens for striking. It is always a thrill when a plant takes & eventually you can plant them in your garden.

Our President & Secretary attended the Inaugural UNSH Rose Show evening presentation at the Galston Community Centre on 8th April. What a marvellous display of roses with a large number of entrants, a great encouragement for the committee who had obviously worked very hard to put on the Show.

Remember…save the date for our Open Gardens Weekend 19th, 20th & 21st October. If you would like to be a part of this wonderful weekend, by opening your garden,  please contact our Open Gardens Convenor Bill Fleming on 96532394 or email:  wfleming@primusonline.com.au

 

March 2018

Our Social committee has been very busy organising interesting Guest speakers for our meetings & upcoming outings.  The guest speaker this month was Ken Bradley, the Garden Clubs Australia representative on the committee for the Remembrance Driveway from Canberra to Sydney. The Remembrance Driveway commemorates those wo have served in the ADF from World War II up to & including subsequent wars or operational theatres around the world in defence of our nation.  The hope is that as people see this living memorial garden that runs, from Sydney to Canberra, that’s 320 km of garden, we will remember those who serve & sacrifice for our country. He spoke of the support given by the RMS, sponsors & public support as they maintain, improve & grow the garden.  Each rest stop along the highway is named after a Victoria Cross awardee; there are currently 18 in NSW & 5 in Canberra each with a plaque to read the citation. The committee is currently researching all names on cenotaphs & in our local area of Galston they are trying to find any information about the Wilson family who are on the cenotaph. Please contact Ken Bradley via the RMS web page or www.remeberancedriveway.org.au  if you know of the family or have any information to assist them. Our Guest Speaker for April will be Leanne Johnson an Environmental Scientist speaking on Bush care & Native Plants.

Each month we have a time in the meeting for Show & Tell.  This is an encouraging time as members bring in plants & flowers from their gardens to display & share growing tips or difficulties.   It may be a plant, flowering bulb, a tricky plant to bring to flower or just the excitement of a beautiful rose.  From the unusual to the common the gardener is encouraged and there is much pride in sharing their passion with like-minded & appreciative people.

The Open Gardens committee is making preliminary preparations for this year’s Open Gardens Weekend, so save the dates of 19th, 20th & 21st October.  If you are a garden owner who would like to be a part of the Open Gardens weekend or if you know someone who might be interested in being part of our Open Gardens weekend, the Open Gardens Committee is always on the lookout for new gardens to maintain the variety of differently styled gardens in the district. Please contact Bill Fleming our Open Gardens Convenor on 96532394 or email:  wfleming@primusonline.com.au   if you would like to be a part of this wonderful event.

We hope to see you at one of our club meetings & to join us for another happy gardening year.

Garden Club meets on the 2nd Weds of the month at the Galston Community Centre 37 Arcadia Rd., Galston 8.00pm, new members are warmly welcomed. For other information, visit our website: www.galstongardenclub.com.au

GARDENING CLUB INFORMATION

The club was established in 1983 when a number of interested people met in the Community Centre in Arcadia Road, and continues to flourish. In an area noted for its nurseries and semi rural ambience the club has an important role in the life of the local community.

This role is highlighted each year when the club holds its annual Open Gardens Weekend to raise money for various charitable organisations. Commenced in 1991 this event has raised many thousands of dollars for both local and more broadly based worthy causes.

We are pleased to have as our Patron Mrs Judy Horton, the well known horticulturalist, author and broadcaster.

SOCIAL ACTIVITIES

The club meets at 8pm on the 2nd Wednesday of each month (December and January excepted) in the Galston Community Centre (formerly the Galston School of Arts), 37 Arcadia Road, Galston. Activities organised by the club include:-

– Guest speakers on a wide range of gardening topics

– Trading table where plants can be purchased at very reasonable prices

– Coach tours to various gardens, nurseries, parks and other places of gardening interest.

– Provision of a comprehensive library of gardening related books and DVDs which can be borrowed through the Club Librarian.

– An opportunity to socialise at the conclusion of the meetings when supper is served.