The Galston District Garden Club are on a “roll” enjoying our third meeting this year with visitors, new members and existing members coming together to enjoy the guest speakers, the trading table of plants which just amazes me each month, and of course the commerardy and conversation over a cuppa at the end of the meeting.
The Club meets on the 2nd Wednesday of each month in the Galston Community Hall, 37 Arcadia Rd, Galston at 7.30pm.
Our guest speaker for May was Brian Roach, an enthusiastic propagator of lots of his favourite small-growing plants so other gardeners can grow them too. He is always looking for the next Australian plant to be introduced into cultivation.
Brian says he didn’t realise he was a gardener until he married and bought a home. He joined the Australian Plant Society and became hooked on native plants, so he excavated the paths around his residential block using the soil to raise up the garden beds to provide the good drainage that many native plants need.
In Brian’s garden in Westleigh there are about 400 different species. Brian loves to show people what you can do with native plants on a suburban block. There are many grey-leafed and pastel-coloured plants in his garden giving it a cottagey feel.
Brian is interested in new plants being found such as the Wollemi pine (Wollemi nobilis) and new forms of known species. “It’s still frontier territory,” he says.
Headland Zieria (Zieria prostrata) is a great groundcover with small, pale pink flowers and neat, dark green leaves. Grows on coastal headland near Coffs Harbour so endures coastal, windy conditions.
Dwarf heath myrtle (sannantha virgata ‘dwarf) Is a neat, round bush of pale green feathery foliage that has white flowers in summer. Great for shape and texture.
Gymea lily (Doryanthes excelsa) Is a Huge, strappy leafed lily with impressive flower spikes and to 5m or more that Brian can see from the upstairs windows.
Grevillea cv.’ A seedling that came up in Brian’s garden, it is a compact shrub with small, greygreen leaves and red and yellow flowers
Spotted emu-bush (Eremophila maculata cv) A small perennial with brightly coloured pea flower in orange and pink; grows in shade or part-sun.
Fringed heath myrtle (Micromyrtus ciliata) Grows naturally around Sydney Harbour and can still be seen in the area. One of Brian’s favourites, it has tiny leaves and masses of small, white and pink flowers. Brian says early settlers used to rub the leaves around the inside of salad bowls to infuse them with its herby aroma.
NSW Christmas bush (Ceratopetalum gummiferum ‘Johanna’s Christmas’. A compact version of the popular NSW Christmas bush, growing to just 1-2m and producing masses of white flowers filled by red bracts that last over summer.
I was the lucky winner of this Christmas bush when my number came up in the club raffle held that night. Not bad for a $2 investment!!
For a full list of available plants, please contact Brian [email protected]
Our guest speaker for the June meeting is Mark Massey of Mother Earth Nursery at Kenthurst. You are welcome as a visitor, new member or existing member to enjoy Mark’s talk. He has a new nursery at Cranebrook.