Lismore Garden Club News

When we get sustained hot weather as is normal from January to March here in our subtropical climate, we are reminded that there are gardening practices that if adhered to will ensure our gardens come through the summer with flying colours. First of all we have to face the fact that in all probability the dry continent on which we live is only going to get drier. Secondly, if we are going to continue to garden we will need to change our gardening habits and grow plants that need less water. Another consideration for all gardeners is the cost and quality of the water that we put on our gardens when there is not enough falling from the sky.

Firstly let us look at the plants that we tend to grow. Being a multicultural nation we have tended to want to blend many of the plants from other parts of the world, from whence we have migrated, with our Australian native plants. This only works if the areas from which the plants originate have a similar climate and growing conditions to ours. Many of us try to grow plants that originate in Europe and the British Isles where the climate and growing conditions are vastly different to ours. We would do better to grow plants from Africa and South America where the climate is similar to ours. Many of these plants such as agaves, succulents, cacti and bromeliads are water wise and lend an exotic touch to our gardens when blended with Australian natives.

We have been advised by the water authorities that the cost of chemical-laden town water will continue to rise. Given the fact that there are rebates to assist us in our purchases we should all be seriously considering the purchase of one or more largish water tanks to water our gardens. Also the addition of organic matter like compost and animal manure not only adds nutrient but also enhances the water holding capacity of the garden soil. Finally and very importantly, the use of mulch on the entire garden helps greatly in retaining moisture.

Many of you are aware that I propagate tropical plants including bromeliads and donate them for sale at the Adventist Op Shop behind the Adventist Church in Uralba St, Lismore. During the op shop six-week Christmas holiday break I have again accumulated a lot of extra plants that will have to be cleared. I will have a big clearance of bromeliads, orchids and other tropical plants at my home on Sunday, February 7. Phone 6624 7422 or 0421 021 451 for info. I will also have a sale at the Adventist Op Shop on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 9 and 10.

The next meeting of the Lismore Garden Club will be held on Thursday, February 11, at the Lismore Workers Club at 1pm. Visitors and potential new members are most welcome. For more info phone Ray on 6625 1773 or Rosemary on 6629 3353.

Finally: “If we can’t be thankful for what we receive, let us be thankful for what we escape.”

Happy gardening

Ron Burns


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