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
Introduction to George Jonkers to run a workshop on Permaculture.
George introduced Permaculture as a farming system adapted to a garden. He outlined his workshop plan which was to divide the audience into 10 groups with different scenarios. These were explained in the information on the tables. Also to be found was the Principles of Permaculture, and paper to design the garden outlined in the scenario.
The main focus on the evening was the group session and George walked around advising groups. The room had a working buzz of noise.
To finish George hoped we had enjoyed the exercise and regretted he did not have sufficient time to go through the Principles more closely as there was a wide range of experience amongst the group. He collected the designs from the groups and it is hoped he might feedback what he thought of these at a future date. Each participant was given a certificate of attendance.
Our speakers for the meeting next Monday at the Warburton Golf Club, will be speaking on weed identification and control of weeds in this area. You are invited to bring along any weed samples that you may want help in identifying. Especially if you can combine this with a photo of the weed in situ. This identification process could be the most valuable part of the presentation.
So get out in the garden and dig up you most vexing weeds (if they are surviving the drought) and bring them along.
PS Bring a neighbour that has made positive comments about your garden. They just may like to be a part of our club.
I have finally caught up with the people involved in the Martyr Road and Waterloo Avenue house fires and presented to them their cheques.
The first photo relates to Janine and John Thompson-Stokell, (Waterloo Ave), and the other is of Nina Hellicare, (Martyr Road).
Each family received $1200 towards their endeavour to get their lives back on track. We wish them all the best and let them know that the club is proud to have helped in their time of need.
With the payment of these cheques the Club has donated just on $14,500 to worthy recipients since 2010.
I’m sorry everybody. I had this post done the day after the party but for some reason it never actually arrived at the website. My apologies. Enjoy reliving the moments of frivolity.
If anyone has pictures of the garden show, send them in so I can include them in the site. Thanks.