Notes from Speakers Presentation March 2022 Meeting

Michael Harms from Barrowby Green in Woori Yallock gave a talk on indoor plants.

Main points:

• Under Victorian climatic conditions, the best potting mix for indoor plants is peat-based or based on coco-coir. The usual potting mix tends to dry out and become water-repellent.

• Many plants will tolerate quite stressful situations for short periods, but it’s best to try, if you can, to reproduce the natural growing conditions for your plant. Light, temperature and humidity are the most important determinants of success. 

• Watering: best to wait until the plant really needs water and is even starting to look a bit stressed and unhappy. Many plants are lost from over-watering, which causes rotting and other fungal diseases.

• Humidity: most plants like humidity of about 40 – 50%. Reverse-cycle air-conditioning reduces the humidity well below this, but evaporative coolers provide much better conditions.

• Temperature: Ideally, not below 18°, certainly not below 15°. If the temperature is too low, the plant won’t grow.

• Fertilizer: can be applied during the growing period, i.e spring to autumn. Michael uses a variety of slow-release fertilizers and foliar sprays.

• Propagating: Temperature must be even and consistent. Don’t put the plant on a windowsill and expect success! Propagating method depends on the plant species: cuttings, division, leaf cuttings, bulbs. Best propagating mix? Opinions vary. Michael uses pure perlite, which is sterile.

• Pests and diseases: Under greenhouse conditions, sap-suckers are the commonest pests. All can be treated by the application of soaps or oils. If a plant is attacked, look first at its growing conditions. A stressed plant is more vulnerable to pest attack. Fungal diseases and bacterial spot can be treated by improving the light and air-flow around the plant. As an extra kick, there are proprietary products which will help.

• Wipe dust off leaves with a damp cloth.

First Club Meeting this year

Hello Members and prospective Members

Yes we are going to give it a try.

Club Meeting

Next Monday February 21 it is planned to hold as near a normal Club Meeting as possible given the restrictions still applicable.

All who attend must be fully vaccinated and will be required to QR and sign in.

You will be required to sit at tables without a mask as long as you have a drink or food at the table.  Tea and biscuits will be ready for you when you arrive.

Meeting to start at 7:30PM at the Warburton Golf Course.  The guest speaker will be talking about the value of bees in the garden.

There is to be no trading table or popular vote.  A free raffle will be held.

Anyone who has not paid their membership and wishes to do so on the night we would ask you to put the money in an envelope with your name/s on the outside.  The alternative method and the preferred is to transfer the money to the Club’s account: Account No. 110627833, BSB: 633000.

Garden Walk

Instead of all going to someone’s garden under the current restrictions and to be fair to the garden owners we are proposing that, on Monday February 28 at 5:00PM we gather at the BBQ area beside the river just next the Warburton Bowling Club and Warburton Oval.  

There are electric BBQs seats and cover. You need to bring your own chairs, food and drink.

Call it a river walk rather than a garden walk.  Out of doors in a public area so no masks required.


Kevin ☺

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.

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