The garden beds were mulched, the plants pruned, paths were swept and all was ready for the Open Gardens Weekend and the much prayed for rain came…..the first day of the Open Gardens and did it rain! As we contemplated whether people would even turn up, the rain became heavier, but turn up they did, rugged up in their boots, raincoats and with umbrellas, gardeners are a hardy bunch. A little rain was not going to stop them exploring the 8 lovely gardens. There was a sense of comraderie, a shared experience and no-one was going to complain about the much needed rain. This spirit was embodied by three lovely ladies who turned up at “Elegans” determined to have their champagne picnic lunch that they had brought. A couple of tables put together in the undercover morning and afternoon tea area and they were set, complete with their tablecloth, champers, their bowls of food, in raincoats and with a merry attitude of “We girls never give up!” Thankfully the rain held off for the rest of the weekend and there is nothing like a good soaking of rain for the gardens to come alive.
Our Open Gardens weekend was again very successful with garden owners and Galston Garden Club members going that extra mile to make the visits enjoyable for all who attended. A huge thanks goes to the Open Gardens committee and to the garden owners who not only open their gardens but who work very hard to present them so beautifully and then are so willing to pass on their knowledge, experiences and to talk about their gardens. This year over $40,000 was raised and will be distributed to the various charities selected by the garden owners and the Open Gardens Committee.
Our last meeting for the year has been held with the hall almost at capacity. The new Executive has been nominated and will be formally elected at the AGM in February 2018. Our guest speaker was Robyn Bible a Geranium and Pelargonium Specialist who kindly stepped in at the last minute due to our booked speaker being ill. Robyn is passionate on educating people about the care and how to best display geraniums in the garden, her own garden is an enormous collection of geraniums of every type. So what is the difference between a Geranium and a Pelargonium? Leaf? Flower? Shape? Size? It is by the shape of the seed pod – who knew? There was so much we realised we didn’t know about this plant, like the true geranium is a much smaller flowering plant than we thought, the rest are Pelargoniums. So here are some Pelargonium tips from Robyn…tip prune them regularly, the plant looks better, produces more flowers and forces growth back down to the root. Mass plant them for best effect. Best time to prune is March /April, cut back just above the node, literally, just above the node otherwise the stem dies back, it is the node that produces new growth and if you cut too high up it won’t produce the new growth and will most likely die back right down the stem. When you do make a cut for cuttings, use Metho to seal the cut of both ends and prevent moisture getting into the stem. Don’t cut in the humidity or if there is too much rain, they don’t like too much water once established, fertilize about every 4 months. Geraniums will grow in full sun to shade, but will produce more flowers in the sun. Robyn also left us with this advice, nothing needs to be perfect, yes, leaves get holes in them, plants get a little leggy, but step back, look at the overall picture your garden is showing and enjoy your garden whether it be an acre, small plot or a pot. And on that note we wish you all a Merry Christmas, Garden Club Meetings resume on the 14th February 2018 with a General Meeting and AGM.
Garden Club meets on the 2nd Weds of the month at the Galston Community Centre 37 Arcadia Rd., Galston 8.00pm, new members and visitors are warmly welcomed. For other information, visit our website: www.galstongardenclub.com.au