March 2017 Meeting

Our scheduled speaker for this months meeting, Tracy Sidwell from Bale Grow was unable to attend.

After much ado the club was delighted to listen to our club member Valda Street who gave a wonderful talk on the historic Lovers Walk in Warburton. This walk is at the entry to Warburton at the back of the old Tea Rooms just after the first bridge into Warburton on your left.

Valda discovered this walk nearly 30 years ago while taking 4 local children for walks along the river. They then began to unearth hidden stone walls and seats and started to clear the area. Today this area comes under the management of the River Frontage Committee of which Valda is a member. A few years ago Landscape Architect Andrew Laidlow was commissioned to draw up plans for restoration of the walk but due to the huge expense involved these plans were shelved. With Valda’s perseverance she has convinced the committee to start the restoration and just last week work was begun on the stone walls and seats.

Thank you to Valda for a wonderful talk on part of the history of Warburton.

President Kevin Hince gave a short talk and slide show on Straw Bale Gardening. The type of straw used is important! To begin, position your bale in line with the ties still in place to keep it firm, wet and fertilise thoroughly for a couple of months inserting stakes with wire if a trellis is required. Put a good quality planting mix into holes and sow seeds of your choice! This will break down after a while and will be a good mulch for your garden.

Here’s a link on How to Build a Straw Bale Garden by Modern Farmer.

February 2017 Speaker – Shirley Lahtinen

The speaker for the February 2016 meeting was Garden Club Member Shirley Lahtinen. She and husband Kari toured Japan in the autumn last year and she gave a very entertaining account of their trip, with some wonderful photography by Kari of the gardens they visited. She discussed four different Japanese garden styles: paradise gardens (temple based); dry landscapes (typified by raked gravel and rocks); stroll gardens with winding paths to slow the visitor down; and modern gardens. The elements considered in the development of all four garden styles were plants (especially native larches and cedars, camellias, maples, cherry trees, cycads, grasses and mosses), rocks, water (whether present or absent) and context (borrowed landscapes, temples, castles, houses). The artistry and attention to detail in some of the gardens was amazing, even down to the pruning of individual needles on conifers! In addition she showed some beautiful photographs of native landscapes with the trees in full autumn splendor, and discussed the Japanese specialties of bonsai and chrysanthemum culture.