On a crisp and chilly day a number of club members rugged up and readied themselves for a guided walk through the St Ives Native Flower Nursery and 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 and 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 and 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 and many bee keepers are more than happy to come and remove a swarm and rehome them into hives. Norm explained the many reasons bees swarm and 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 and 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 and 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 and vegetables.
Preparations are well under way now for the October Open Gardens weekend with brochures being distributed by members. So come along now and take a peek at five of the nine gardens that will be open rain, hail or shine on 19th, 20th and 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 and climbing roses, pergola, rose arbour and other garden structures. Not every garden is on acres and 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 and arches, a wonderful place to wander and lose yourself in the tranquillity and beauty of flowering camellias and 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 and 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 and 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 and 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