Lismore Garden Club News

I have a routine of walking our little Maltese dog, Ghandi, first thing in the early morning and last thing in the afternoon and its amazing the diversity of things you see and experience and the lovely people you meet.

I talk regularly with Silvio the elderly Italian Australian gentleman who has been in Australia for many years, has reared his family and sadly lost his wife in recent years, and has been retired from banana growing and grazing for a while and enjoys his garden. He gave me some seeds of radicchio, a form of chicory which has become a popular salad component. Unfortunately I havent had much success at germinating the seed so he said he will give me a few seedlings that have sprung up under his adult plants in the garden. He told me recently that the half dozen marmande tomato seedlings (possibly the best winter variety) that I gave him were doing very well.

You may remember a while back I wrote about garden fish ponds, fish and that earth worms seemed to be the very best pond-fish food. On my morning walks I have noticed that just after rainy weather the worms get flooded out and crawl onto the edge of the road where they get baked in the sun. Presto! The best pond-fish food, dried and not too slimy to handle. I mostly have my old gardening pants on so can get away with putting them in my pocket. I somehow dont think my wifes sense of humour would stretch to me putting them in the pockets of my best pants.

Near where I live, quite a few of the street trees are Australian native bottle brushes (callistemon) which seem to flower several times a year and attract lots of our lovely native nectar-eating birds and bees. However I have discovered that they produce another unexpected bounty. When the leaves fall into the gutter at the edge of the road and we get the odd shower of rain on them they soon turn into the most wonderful partly composted mulch. When I notice its ready to be collected I take a couple of buckets and a small piece of plastic coreflute to scoop it up on our dog walk the next day and fetch it home for the garden.

The Lismore Garden Club Annual Spring Garden Competition will be judged this year on August 29 and 30. If you are intending to enter this year you only have around 15 weeks to get annuals planted and flowering. Anyone can enter and there are 31 different items in which you can enter. Entry is free, so start preparing right now. For further information phone Wally on 6624 1125.

Finally: The earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof, it speaks of His greatness it sings of His love, I watch the night vanish, a new day is born, and I hear the birds sing on the wings of the morn. Helen Steiner-Rice.

Happy gardening

Ron Burns


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