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April Meeting

posted May 17, 2014, 6:56 AM by BoxHill GardenClub   [ updated May 18, 2014, 11:42 PM ]

          from Show Bench

  Heather with winning exhibit

          from Show Bench
                                           15th April 2014
           Topic - Spring Bulbs for Melbourne
               Presenter - Adrian Van Kemp

Spring is a very colourful time of the year. No greater sight in the garden than a clump of golden daffodils in full flower. As the seasons change, the sun shines brighter and for longer each day and all the spring bulbs react accordingly. Adrian set us right on what and how to grow and when to plant. Melbourne's cold Winter gives us the ideal conditions to grow all the bulbs available to us. Adrian explained the reason why the bulbs we purchase bloom the first year but will often not flower again. The secret is feeding the foliage and not removing any of the leaves until they have died back completely. It is the fertilising at this time and the dying back of the foliage that sets the flower in the bulb for the following year.

Adrian gave the members lots of tips on planting bulbs in the garden and the method of double and triple planting in pots. There were lots of bulbs to buy and the members went home fired up to have their best display of bulbs this Spring. Thank you Adrian, we really enjoyed your talk and we look forward to seeing our newly purchased bulbs in full flower.

Members purchased their Hyacinth bulb and vase to take part in the "2014 Growing a Hyacinth in a Vase Challenge." Bob provided the members a comprehensive briefing on the growing techniques and a set of notes to refer to. We look forward to the results at the August and September meetings.

                          The Betty Knox Award (Best Exhibit)

Members raided their gardens to once again fill the show bench. Some great exhibits were on display and the judges took some time to select the monthly champion. The winning entry was a vase of flowering "Cane Begonia Stems" staged by Heather Armstrong that won the judge's vote. An excellent exhibit.

Cane Begonias are great plants to have in the garden or in large pots. To get plants to grow well and flower you need to provide a location in the garden that is protected from the hot afternoon sun. Plant them to receive only morning sun and shade in the afternoon. Feed them once a year in Spring. Use animal manure or complete granular fertiliser. They require lots of light to flower so plant them facing east. Water them well in Summer and Autumn to develop new canes that will flower well.

                                     Popular Vote Award

Members had no hesitation in picking the exhibit of flowering Cane Begonia Stems as their choice for the Popular Vote Award. Well done Heather in taking off both awards with the one exhibit.

           from Show Bench

           from Show Bench

         Cane Begonia

      from Show Bench