Garden Club

Meetings are held in the Cherry Gardens Uniting Church meeting room, at 7.30pm usually on the 2nd Monday of the month from February to November.

President: Ray Wise: or 0405 273 003
Secretary: Shirley Callaghan: or 0403 801 916


Monday 9th September
Richard Heathcote from Carrick Hill will entertain us with a talk on the history of garden tools.

Monday 14th October
Neville Bonney author and bush tucker advocate will be our speaker.


Spring is the busiest time of the year for gardeners, with everything bursting into life as well as everyone wanting to show or tell you about what is happening in their garden. Open Gardens SA have a full program of gardens you can visit in Spring and there will be a new one in their program this year at 395 Ironbank Rd which will be open on the 6th and 7th of October. I know the garden and can thoroughly recommend a visit.

As well as all of the plants and trees enjoying this time of the year so do the pests, so be on guard.

  • Snails and slugs love fresh new growth, fungal diseases are prevalent and need to be dealt with.

  • Aphids on roses are often controlled by predators, eventually, but can be washed off with a jet of water.

  • Give black spot on roses a spray with a milk spray - 1-part full cream milk to 10 parts water.

We have been warned that it will be a lot dryer this Spring and Summer so now is the time to prepare by mulching heavily to conserve moisture and keep the soil cool.

  • Plant out all seedlings as soon as you can so they have well established root systems before the hot weather arrives.

  • In the vegetable garden a few old favourites to plant this and next month are - cherry tomatoes, loose leaf lettuce to have a continuous harvest, beetroot, cucumber, silver beet, bush beans, and capsicum.

  • Some flowers to plant are - asters, carnations, sunflowers, zinnias, and celosias.


July is the month for our Winter Warmers evening. At an early 6:30pm start we were greeted by wonderful savoury, tea-time odours, drifting through the building. Even more warming was the chatter as everyone greeted each other. Earlier four members had carried in their Crock pots of 4 choices of soup and others their contributions of dessert slices. Crusty bread and cheese were provided. How great to sit down face to face with members, some of whom we may not have had the opportunity to chat with in the past.

When we were all well sated by delicious food and conversation, all signs of tea were cleared away and we drew our chairs into a circle for “Gardening Tips and Tricks”.

  • Jot down gardening ideas, chores and thoughts in an old diary. Date and cross off and comment when you’ve done the chore, creating a record of and a reminder for that day next year.

  • To secure Sweet Peas from ravaging wind, coil Tie-wire around a piece of dowel or wooden spoon handle as many times as you need clips. Slide the coil off and use wire cutters to cut through it lengthwise, leaving small c shapes which can then simply be pushed on to secure the stem to the trellis;

  • Prepare plant labels in advance, for plants which have been potted up to give away to friends, charities or as contributions to the auction at monthly garden club meetings;

  • Dry out, crush and store egg-shells ready to add to worm farms, or to use as non-toxic snail deterrents around seedlings;

  • Sprinkle spent coffee grounds sparingly around acid loving plants and shrubs or add greater quantities to compost bins, great for reducing PH levels in our alkaline garden soil;

  • One live-alone, club member uses large clamps, sold at mega hardware stores as a second pair of hands to grip or anchor items when doing a “two persons” job;

  • Paint various garden tools in different, bright, colours in order to spot them easily in the garden, shed or if absentmindedly laid down in the wrong place!

  • Add a mulching kit to ride on mowers to save having to rake up and mulch leaves and mowings;

  • Label and date all seeds gathered from the garden then file in a card index box for easy retrieval;

  • Push a carnation support over new plants or bulbs to remind you they are there;

  • Hedging lavender bushes instead of growing singly as shrubs adds interest to the garden;

  • Use plastic liners, under wicking beds;

  • Use shade cloth under compost bins to keep pesky tree roots out, but cut a couple of holes to allow earth worms entry or escape in hot weather;

  • “Water Ups from Down under” wicking beds from Mark at “Adelaide Hills veggie gardens”;

  • Stick a rose cutting into a potato and bury it for great rooting results;

  • Plant seeds in a ½ Orange or Grapefruit peel and bury;

  • Prune your roses exactly 56 days before a function to ensure a great display of blooms;

  • Bury bottomless used paper coffee cups in which you’ve planted your cuttings and seedlings;

  • Soak root vegetable seeds in hot water for a few minutes before planting, speeding germination;

  • Stick a length of holey agricultural pipe vertically down into compost bins for aeration;

  • Kill broad leafed plants with non-toxic boiling water;

  • Lay cardboard on moist, weedy soil and cover with mulch to improve soil;

  • Fill a punctured 3 litre milk carton and let it leak out next to isolated plants for slow effective watering;

  • Kangaroos don’t like Kale or Silver beet - ensuring a crop in the hills!

  • Propagate Bird’s nest ferns by sprinkle spores over Zygocactus plants or onto a damp brick. The hormones in female saliva causes cuttings to strike;

  • Pot up to no larger than 50% bigger. So 200ml pot repotted to 300ml.

  • Hang old cracked bamboo filled coffee mugs or teacups in trees to provide excellent “native bee hotels”

  • To cool worm farms on hot days, yoghurt container of ice in middle of food and cover with wet hessian bag.

By the end of the evening we were all fired up to go home and put these clever ideas into practice.

Our formal meeting was opened with the great news of a grant won to assist with our planned 20th anniversary celebratory dinner. scheduled for October!