Lismore Garden Club News

Do you ever stop to count your blessings and include in them the fact that we live in possibly the best part of the country for gardening?

Just early last week when the garden was starting to dry out a bit and we were starting to get out the watering can and hose again we received those wonderful showers from heaven. I think most of us can say that the past spring, summer and now autumn are amongst the best in memory.

If you are looking for an autumn flowering shrub that will take a shady spot, try justicias. They come in white and yellow but by far the best flowerer is the pink. They won’t take frost or wind but otherwise they are easy to grow, flower and propagate by cutting.

Broad beans are an excellent crop for the home garden that can be planted now. Sow the seed directly into the rows where they will grow. Give them support – the easiest method is putting a tomato stake at each end of the row and one in the middle and then using garden string horizontally. They will grow through the winter to produce a good crop. After they set flower you should pinch out the tips and the beans will fill out better. You can use them very young steamed whole or just steam the seed at maturity and put the shells in the compost. The tips should not be wasted but steamed and eaten.

It’s been a while since I have nagged you about the values of mulch. Don’t get the idea that because the hot weather is behind us that you can forget about mulching your garden. Let’s rehash the huge values. Mulch keeps the soil warm for our plants, much like we use a blanket in winter. Organic mulch feeds the soil and fosters valuable earth worms and micro-organisms so valuable to soil health as it breaks down. Mulch protects the soil from leaching of nutrients and erosion. So buy the best mulch you can afford and top it up on the whole garden, including shrubs and trees.

The Lismore Garden Club is holding a morning tea and garden walk in the lovely garden of Judith Hill at Lot 3 Black Road, Terania Creek, on Wednesday, May 19. Please bring a fold-up chair and a plate of morning tea eats. Visitors welcome. For information please phone Rosemary on 6629 3353.

Finally: “The highest reward for a gardener’s work is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it.”

Happy gardening, Ron Burns

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