Garden lovers share tips

Gloucester Garden Club committee members for 2021/22. Photo supplied
Gloucester Garden Club committee members for 2021/22. Photo supplied

Gloucester Garden Club held its 29th annual general meeting on May 26 at Hazell's garden. It was very well attended on a beautiful sunny morning, with membership now at an all time high of 134 people.

The annual club awards for the highest score in the Flower Competition was an equal first place to Pearl Beggs and Bruce Myers. First place in the Fruit and Vege Competition went to Peter Hazell with Anne Williamson and Fred Rees taking out equal second place. The Olive Meehan Consistency Awards for the most regular entries in these competitions went to Merlene Curby and Peter Hazell for their beautiful flowers and in the Fruit and Veges section to Merlene Curby and Tessa Searle for their excellent produce.

All committee and portfolio positions were enthusiastically filled with Shirley Hazell retiring as a much appreciated president and Kerry Marston taking over that role. Robert Sparkes comes in as the new vice president, Robyn Henderson carries on as secretary and Robyn Franks as treasurer. Linda Lowton conveyed her congratulations to Robyn on a meticulous effort and advised that the club's books and accounts are all in perfect order. Our thanks to Linda for her assistance with the auditing of our financial affairs.

The retiring president Shirley gave a short history of her garden which she and Peter began in 1974 when they had four young sons under the age of 12 who required plenty of open space for football and cricket on the spare land at the side. Nowadays that has all become part of an established garden which varies from areas of trees and shrubs, quite spectacular cactus and succulents, a Japanese garden, annuals, a shady fernery and fish pond, fruit trees to, last but not least, Peter's vegetable garden. Our thanks to the Hazells for accommodating our gathering there once again.

Life Member, Marilyn Swan was warmly welcomed to the meeting, bringing with her some interesting cut plants from her garden in Newcastle. Mandy Griffis ably handled the Garden Info, Question and Answers session once again. Sharon Blanch showed the young chestnut tree seedlings she had grown and gave some useful hints on how to handle the mouse plague organically. While Keith Franks advised that the robust Grandpa's weeder we have been trying to buy will be very much delayed. Peter Hazell described the care of various types of orchids, in particular the phalaenopsis type, and invited us to view his exquisite orchid house.

The Membership Draw winner was Judy Holstein, the Lucky Door winner was Robyn Henderson and five members went home very happy with their raffle prizes.

The next meeting will be held from 10am on Wednesday June 23 at Marston's 373 Bundook Road, sharp left after the little old church. The demonstration will be on pruning wisteria. The Flower, Fruit and Vege competitions will resume. Please bring your chair and a mug and contributions for the Trading Table and Show and Tell. Visitors, friends and people new to the district are all most welcome