Society Meeting – March 27

Longer days and better weather had a nice effect on the turnout for the March meeting. Over thirty members and guests were welcomed by President Colleen Green as she opened the meeting.

Following announcements about memberships, discounts available to members from area Garden Centres, the availability of tickets for Paul Zammit’s presentation at the County Garden Show and Green Trust Music Festival tickets, and a reminder to vote in the mini-show, Colleen introduced the meeting’s guest speaker – Greg Moore (assisted by CJ Dearlove) from Lockyer’s Country Gardens. Greg’s topic was ‘New Perennials and Annuals’.

Greg provided an action-packed 60 minutes with many, many example plants to explain his points and plenty of audience interaction.

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Greg began with some ‘inside information’ on how a commercial garden centre works. He explained the supply chain that brought plants to Lockyers and which included breeders in places as diverse as Brazil and the Netherlands; stock cultivated at the breeders – and a brief lesson in understanding the wealth of information on the the label; rooting stations that produce rooted plants from stock; and the brokers who assemble the orders placed by garden centres.

Greg introduced the members to a range of annuals new for 2013, including a really black petunia, and Sunpatiens (similar to the New Guinea impatiens) which will tolerate sun and heat. Also he showed us Lobelias Lucia and Laguna which are both heat tolerant, and a Begonia Solenia which likes full sun. Included was a geranium Calliope, a cross between a zonal and ivy geranium, which comes in a very dark red.

Greg concluded by giving an overview of trends he sees: gardening in general is on an incline with particular interest in adding features such as patios and water features. In response to customer requests, Lockyers are introducing citrus plants, flowering ‘tropicals’, succulents to suit a hotter and dryer growing season, and home vegetable growing.

Charles and Arline De Bourbon, celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary this year, were the winners of the members prize donated by Lockyers – a spectacular hydrangea. President Colleen Green thanked Greg and CJ for their presentation.
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The mini-show topic was ‘Your favourite perennial or annual flowers or a treasured house plant’ which provided plenty of scope for the entrant’s creativity. Six quite different entries were offered.

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Mini-show entries were judged by the members at large. 1st place went to Kim Katanik-Kuris’ [uppermost in group above], 2nd place to Mary Jenkins [lower-left], and 3rd place to Gwen Reilly [lower-right]. Click the images to see larger versions.

Photo-credit: Bert Jenkins

Seed Library

The library is planning on starting a ‘seed library’ at the Picton branch where people can both contribute as well as take away (‘borrow’) seeds. The intent is to provide education about starting plants from seed, foster interest in ‘growing your own’, and provide access to a variety of seed (both ordinary and heritage types).

The tentative opening is in the morning of Saturday, April 6 … More details

Society Meeting – February 27

Despite the bad weather, a good number of members and guests were on hand for the February meeting.

Colleen Green welcomed our new members – inviting them to stand and be recognized – and also reminded guests that they should sign the Guest Book.

Colleen advised everyone that sales of vendor spaces for the County Garden Show were going really well (kudos to Anne Reeves and her team), noting that a vendor list would be published and regularly updated on the web site in advance of the show.  In other show news, buying an advance ticket for Paul Zammit’s presentation would get you into the show for free ($2 saving), and the Green Trust Music Festival (which follows the show at 7pm) tickets were available from Green Trust members for only $5.

Walter McGee, our featured speaker was introduced.  His topic was ‘A history of vegetables – from asparagus to zucchini’ and you knew it was going to be interesting after just one glance at his tie!

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Walter gave an informative and entertaining talk on vegetables, interspersed with historical and social commentary on many of his chosen vegetables. Did you know that potatoes were undesirable when first introduced into France? Fencing them in with a few gaps in the fencing prompted some of the starving peasants to ‘liberate’ the veggies and eat them … thus popularising an important food source!

Walter’s talk was accompanied by many slides of mouth-wateringly good-looking vegetables from asparagus to zucchini and dozens in between, and generated lots of questions and comments from the audience.

The mini-show topic was ‘an arrangement of any number of your favourite vegetables’. While February isn’t exactly prime vegetable season, the topic proved no obstacle for our contest entrants, all of whom produced great exhibits. Not counting Walter’s spectacular vegetable tie, there were four entries in the mini-show.

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Mini-show entries were judged by the members at large. 1st place went to Kim Katanik-Kuris’ spectacular vegetable flowers [upper-left], 2nd place to Colleen Green [upper-right], and 3rd place to Gwen Reilly. Click the images to see larger versions.

Photo-credit: Bert Jenkins

Seedy Saturday – February 23

Saturday, February 23, from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 31 King Street, Picton.

Have some seedy fun! Help Move your community’s food future! Talk to Seedy People (about Seeds!) Secure your OWN Food security! Enjoy a friendly atmosphere! Buy Seeds. Swap Seeds. Donate Seeds! Demo’s, Discussions, and Advice from local experts! Raffles! Food! Garden Inspiration! Vegucation! Q & A’s on gardening and seed saving!

Visit the Seedy Saturday Facebook page.

Society Meeting – January 30

President Colleen Green opened the meeting by welcoming everybody and speaking briefly about society business and plans for events later in the year.

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Colleen introduced January’s featured speaker – Kurt Crist – who gave an interesting ‘illustrated’ talk about bird seed and bird feeders with plenty of seed and feeder examples on view. His talk sparked some interesting questions and observations from the members.

The most unusual item Kurt presented was a concrete feeder from Germany – the yellow feeder at the end of the table in the picture below. The concrete feeder was the raffle prize for the meeting.

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The Mini-show, organized by Gwen Reilly, was a good fit with the featured speaker’s presentation – ‘Any flower presentation featuring a winter bird’.

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Mini-show entries were judged by the members at large. 1st place went to Mary Jenkins, 2nd place to Kim Katanik-Kuris, and 3rd place to Gwen Reilly.

2012 Award Winners

At the recent AGM, presentations were made by out-going vice-president Joyce Young to the winners of various Society awards:

Phyllis Turpin Award for Floral Excellence
Awarded to the club member with the most points at the Gardeners Gala
Winner – Pat Stuckey

Best Design at the Gardeners Gala
Winner – Pat Stuckey

Best Iris at the Gardeners Gala
Winner – Judith Young

Horticultural Award for most points at the monthly Mini-Shows
Winner – Kim Katanik-Kuris

Judith and Donald McClure Peony Award
Winner – Sandra Dowds

Red Rose Trophy for best rose at the Gardeners Gala
Winner – Kim Katanik-Kuris

Youth Award
Winner – Nicholas Young

Vegetable Display at the Gardeners Gala
Winner – Sherrie Brown