Christmas Breakup 2021

The club held a breakup event to end a year of Covid interruptions. Strange to see everyone again as we have all aged by almost a year since faces were allowed to be seen without a mask.

The Alpine Hotel provided the meal and the club provided the fun and raffle prizes. No guest speaker but lots of stories were told. It was good to see some new members that have moved into the district – Welcome!

A short history of Bob Sheldon’s time at the Club

Bob and Kath joined the Upper Yarra Valley Garden Club in March 2003. It was not long after this that it was realised what an asset Bob was and how much the Club could benefit from his expertise.

For his sins, he being the tall poppy amongst us, Bob was elected as a committee member in August 2005 and he held that position for 11 years.  Bob soon became a valued member of our committee and thus the Club sharing, his horticultural knowledge along with his experience and maturity.

A standard part of the Club meeting is the involvement of a visiting speaker, however as we all know things don’t always work out the way they are planned and when there appeared a gap in the program Bob would just put his hand up and so filled in on at least 9 or 10 times speaking on a wide range of subjects.

Another part of the meeting was where Bob would run a segment called “what I’m doing in my garden this week” which tackled topical and seasonal gardening tips.   As well Bob would invite questions from the members.   It was always certain that a question would be asked about lemon trees.  Answers on this topic ranged from cut it down and burn it, to much water or not enough and to applying fertilisers of various types.   A question was once asked about how to rid the back yard of oxalis to which Bob replied, “sell the house and buy a new one”.

In addition to all this Bob and Kath opened their garden called Christabell Park to the public on 4 occasions and hosted numerous garden walks.  While we call it a garden it really was a small farm with the formal garden around the lodge, an extensive orchard, a vegetable plot, the size of small house block and on the rear paddock a herd of pet alpacas grazed.   Bob also ran hands-on instruction sessions on potting up and propagation of cuttings at his home in his spare time. Jane Edmanson has spoken highly of Bob’s quality of education and personally credits Bob with her continuing love of propagation.

In May of 2012 Bob advised that he was to start as the presenter on the gardening show run by Yarra Valley FM 99.1 called “Down to Earth Gardening”.   While Bob was the main presenter on the show a number of Club members helped him out on special subjects.   Through his efforts on this program Bob featured as one of the great ambassadors of the Club

It may have been a surprise to Bob, but not the rest of the members, that it was voted that Bob be awarded life membership in August 2008, an honour well deserved and conferred for his outstanding service to the Club.

To cap this off Bob received the John Pascoe Fawkner award for his outstanding service to horticulture on October 17, 2016.

There was once a popular song which had the words “you don’t know what you’ve got till its gone”. From the early start of Bob’s illness when his attendance at the Club became difficult and at times impossible members began to realise how much Bob had contributed and we must now adjust to the fact that he has gone and will be sadly missed.

Thanks Kevin for your kind thoughts on behalf of the club

Gardening for Seniors

I’d like to share with you a present I received for my recent 70th birthday (No, you can’t have any of the chocolate and the flowers have perished).

The book “Gardening for Seniors”, written and compiled by Patty Cassidy, was first published in 2011. Patty is a horticultural therapist which means the book has great ideas for seniors and folk with ageing bodies to assist in making their gardens easy to work and enjoy.

Some chapters are: Your Garden Environment, Staying Safe and Sound, Equipment and Techniques and Types of Garden. Instructions on how to construct the type of garden you want or to modify, are also included.

Lyn purchased the book from the newsagent in Woori Yallock during lockdown. You may find it on Amazon or Dymocks if you want a copy. Price? Less than $48.

February 2020 Club Meeting

Our first formal Club Meeting for the year will be held at the Warburton Golf Club on next Monday February 17 starting at 7:30PM.

Our Speaker for the night is Craig Wilson from Gentiana Nursery and his subject will be Gardening Myths and Fallacies.  He will have plants for sale on the night.

For all you food gourmets buttered buns are back on for supper thanks to Anne Herrod  and Denise Cosier.

Welcome Stewards are Grace and Michael Keck and Supper Stewards are Trevor Lewellin & Barbara Pharoah.

Member’s Draw starts at $50, Raffle tickets are $1 each. Don’t forget the Trading Table and Popular Vote.

New members are welcome to join as full members tonight.

Award to Apprentice

At the December Christmas Party, we were privileged to get to know Josh Paynter. A nineteen year old, Josh lives in Lilydale and works at Country Gardeners Nursery in Woori Yallock. The club has awarded Josh with a scholarship towards his Horticultural Studies at the Box Hill Institute, Lilydale Campus. This is an amount of $1300.  Josh has an aspiration of becoming involved in turf management. We wish him well with both his studies and his chosen career.

Meeting 15 July 2019 Announcement

Speaker at this month’s meeting.

One of our members, Pat O’Shaughnessy, will be talking on eucalypts as well as about the history of the redwood plantation in East Warburton. Have you been there and wondered “how come this is here?” Pat will let you know.


Come to the Warburton Golf Club this Monday evening at 7:30pm. If you’re not a member, you are welcome to attend. You just may want to join this active club that is in your local area. Just $10 annual fee.

See you there.

June 17 2019, Meeting Guest Speaker

Phillip Johnson, the well-known and much-admired landscape designer, gave a most entertaining talk on some of his landscaping projects, most involving running water and very large rocks.  The high point of his career has been winning the Gold Medal and Best in Show at the 2013 Chelsea Flower Show. The judges’ decision was unanimous. Preparations for his “all-Australian Garden”  at Chelsea required  5 trips to the UK for reconnaissance, a team of 12 professionals and 17 volunteers, a pre-build in Scotland, a 2.5 tonne rubber membrane for the pond, and the sourcing of Australian plants from growers all over Europe(e.g. eucalypts grown in  Spain especially for the garden). James Merlino MP, the member for Monbulk, has pledged to establish a replica of the winning garden as a public garden in the Yarra Valley.

Phillip has also worked on the Five Thousand Poppies project, in which thousands of people all over Australia have knitted red poppies as a tribute to the men and women who fought in the two world wars. He designed the display of these poppies – more than 250,0090 of them – at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show in 2015, at Federation Square for Anzac Day 2015, and at the Canberra War  Memorial.  The poppies have also been displayed at Fromelles in France, and in the grounds of Chelsea Hospital. In all, more than a million poppies have all been made by hand.

In thanks, the President gave Phillip a bottle of pinot and made him an honorary member of the Upper Yarra Valley Garden Club.

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