January 2020 Newsletter

Hello members and other readers,

Happy New Year! Hopefully your garden is surviving this very mixed bag of weather that the summer is providing. Since our last newsletter we have finished 2019 off with our end of year lunch and garden wander at our leader, Verena Reich’s garden.

Now our committee is planning 2020’s calendar of events. More about that later.

Here’s a quick review of the last excursion and final speaker of the year for 2019.

Garden Visit – Saturday 9th November

On  a grey Saturday 9th November thirteen plucky and lucky members had the pleasure of visiting member, Sue Gilbert’s garden in Mt Eliza.

The garden is a mix of native and exotic plants but Sue has an ever increasing passion to add more native plants as she and her husband develop the garden. Just near the front gate is one of Sue’s pride and joys, a thriving Wollemi pine.

Another obvious feature are the two large rocks in the very front of the garden.Sue has made use of a variety of pots to show off more recent additions to the garden.I quite liked this sculpture too.The garden wander continued to the back gardenbefore we had a chance to look at Sue’s bonsai collection.Our visit concluded with a lovely morning tea inside.


Speaker – Royce Raleigh – Lesser Known / Small Plants in the Garden – Tuesday 19th November

We were fortunate to have Royce Raleigh as our speaker for our November meeting. He was indeed able to show us some lesser known but very beautiful plants that he has growing in his garden in Wartook in the Grampians. His talk dealt with the plants in alphabetical order. Many were WA plants. Some are grafted but many are on their own roots. The Raleighs garden is based on a sandy shale clay soil at Wartook. They use scoria as a mulch. Here are a few of the beautiful plants he shared with those present. The photos are from our leader, Verena’s photo collection from a trip to WA plus she is lucky enough to have the last one, the Verticordia grandis in her garden.

Chamelaucium megalopetalum
Hovea pungens
Lechenaultia formosa
Verticordia grandis

After Royce’s presentation there was an opportunity to buy plants Royce had propagated. If you missed this presentation a complete list of the over 100 spectacular plants can be obtained from either myself or Verena. Requests can be made to our email address, mornpenaps@gmail.com

Following that we had many lovely samples on our plant table. Here are a few that caught my eye.

Chamelaucium X Verticordia ‘Paddy’s Pink”
Melaleuca wilsonii
Hymenosporum flavum, (native frangipani)

Plant of the Month – November

Verena was pleased to send me this photo of her Pileanthus rubronitidus which was at its peak blooming in November. It was one of many Royce Raleigh featured in his presentation to our group. It loves sandy conditions which is why it loves Verena’s garden!

Pileanthus rubronitidus

Plant of the Month – December

Even though it isn’t very big we were again pleased to see our Banksia ashbyi come into flower with two cones just in time to show it off to relatives and friends over the festive season. It does prefer sandier soils but so far is handling our Dromana soil.

2020 Calendar

Our new calendar of events for 2020 is now taking shape. For an early sneak peek click on the Calendar tab at the top of this page. As events are finalised the calendar will be updated. Our first evening meeting on Tuesday 18th February will feature five of our members giving you an insight into what is happening in their gardens. Following that our first excursion for the year will be on Saturday 22nd February with a 1pm visit to the wonderful Kawarra gardens at 1190-1192 Mount Dandenong Tourist Drive, Kalorama in the Dandenongs.

You also need to reserve a place in your 2020 diary for our fabulous plant sale which will be held on Saturday 2nd May at Seawinds Gardens in Arthurs Seat.

Plant of the Month – January

This stunning Verticordia monodelpha can be found in our leader, Verena’s garden. Almost looks unreal but obviously likes the conditions in Rosebud. The tiny but delicate flowers make quite show, although not as magnificent as in previous years – hard to believe.

Verticordia monodelpha

Remember, if you have a special plant in bloom in your garden that could be featured in the Plant of the Month section send an email to mornpenaps@gmail.com with a photo attached. Keep file sizes below 1Mb please. Include a short blurb about where it is growing, how old it is etc. In the subject line mark it – Attention to Mark Allison. Thanks.

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