Gardening with George

Hello garden lovers and greetings from WA. In my role as president of The Garden Clubs of Australia I was invited over to WA to visit a number of garden clubs, flower shows, private gardens and experience some of the wonders the west has to offer.

I spent my first three days as guest of the National Iris Convention, held in Perth and hosted by the WA Iris Society. We visited some amazing gardens filled with every variety of iris which thrive in this climate and also a number of gardens awash with magnificent roses, clivia and many cottage style plantings. Due to the recent rainfall experienced in the south west, the gardens were all lush and filled with flowers. And what would a garden convention be without copious amounts of food and horticultural goodwill, plus a sing-a-long from me!

I then travelled down to Busselton where I was hosted by the president of the Busselton and Districts Horticultural Society. I attended their annual flower and garden show and was knocked out by the quality of blooms on display. The following day I drove down to Augusta to visit the annual spring show and was equally impressed by the quality and range of flowers and plants on display.

The one flower that dominated the parks, gardens and verges throughout the region was the rose and for good reason – they obviously love this climate. I have never seen better examples of such big, healthy, colourful blooms! I had the great pleasure of attending a meeting of the WA Rose Society and the blooms they displayed for judging were a knockout.

But the real stars of the floral show are the wildflowers – in every shape, form and colour! Although I didn’t get to experience many in their natural setting, I did make several trips to the world-renowned Kings Park in Perth. I hosted a very successful friendship gathering of garden clubs in the park and following lunch I was given a tour of the park by one of the directors. The 1000 acres of botanic gardens, park and virgin bush is truly a magnificent asset to the nation.

I also visited the impressive Jewel Cave at Augusta, jarrah forests, Canal Rocks, walked the 1.8km Busselton Jetty and under water observatory and enjoyed several bottles of Margaret River wine! This trip was a great taste of the west  – next time I’ll take up the offer to visit the north and finally get to see the wildflowers ‘in the wild’!