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Red Hill Gardening Society Newsletter
Winter 2017

It’s officially winter but the special autumn of 2017 is lingering a little longer. Everyone loves autumn. The intensity of the colour this year can still just be seen amongst the golden vines of Red Hill or by peeking over garden fences. The last of the stunning red and orange maples, pears, ornamental cherries or the crimson of the Virginia creeper are hanging on. A walk amongst the autumn leaves is soothing therapy to subdue the daily background noise of conflict around the world.

Winter on the Mornington Peninsula means putting a pot of soup on the stove, adding another layer (or two) of clothing, picking up your secateurs and your recipe for fast compost.

There are no meetings in June and July at the Red Hill Hall. However, for those who are interested, Clive Abben of Abben Art and Design will walk us around a garden he has designed in Mt Martha on 14 July. We have a limit of 20 people for this garden rendezvous, so please RSVP Diana Farmer or Christine Lowe for this event or email:  rhgs@rhgs.com.au

Don’t forget the Casual Winter lunch on 28 July. For further details please refer to the Events page.

Reminders for winter gardening:

  • Deciduous trees can be pruned but delay pruning lilac until after it has flowered.
  • Note our CFA speaker Owen Gooding’s comments about creating defendable spaces, removing dead fuel from shrubs and trees and creating a fuel free barrier around the house.
  • Remember Kerrin’s beautiful salvias. Perhaps you have some leggy perennials which have finished flowering and need pruning.
  • Roses are pruned later in the winter after the main frosts. Ideally aim for some strong stems and leave and open centre. Remove all the dead wood.
  • Winter pruning of fruit trees promotes vigorous growth, but if pruned annually the tree size can be contained. Apples pears (lightly), peaches, nectarines can be pruned now. Leave the cherries until August, according to Trevor Holmes (one of our 2016 speakers). It’s worth considering transitioning to summer pruning fruit trees because it limits growth and encourages the tree to put its energy into making fruit (this recommendation from Jane Varkulevicius who demonstrated for is in early 2016)
  • In readiness for our Daffodil Show on 25 August, control snails and feed the bulbs as they emerge with bulb food (to fatten up their flowers).
  • If camellias have loads of buds experiment by removing some to encourage larger flowers – perhaps for use in the floral art section of our August Show.
  • Inspect citrus for pests and bugs.
  • Plant seedlings of lettuce, brassicas, spinach and silverbeet in readiness for the August Show. In these unsettled times our gardens provide some solace. As Freud said, “Flowers are restful to look at. They have neither emotions nor conflicts.”

Executive:   Committee:  
President: Christine Lowe Annie McLennan Christine Anderson
Vice President: Dianna Farmer Carol McPherson  
Secretary: Ann Hull Website: www.rhgs.com.au
Treasurer: Bambi Hanson Email: rhgs@rhgs.com.au

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