TIBOUCHINA: Coral Ernst loves her tibouchina.
TIBOUCHINA: Coral Ernst loves her tibouchina. Contributed

Gardens spring cleaned for Society meeting

SOUTHSIDE resident Coral Ernst has been very busy getting her garden ready for the Gympie Municipal Horticultural Society meeting which will be held on Saturday, along with flower competitions and a talk from a bromeliad guest speaker.

Spring is one of the busiest seasons in the garden, especially trying to keep weeds under control, pruning when flowering finishes, fertilising plants as new growth appears, and planting flowers.

Gardeners will notice that flowers are blooming earlier than normal.

Normally, May bushes flower in early October but this is not the case as there are masses of white flowers at present, and this is a result of having a mild winter this year.

Despite the unusual weather this has not stopped Coral from producing a bright, colourful garden with her snap dragon, clarkia, single stock, pansy, roses, petunias and dianthus

flowering beautifully in her front yard.

These flowers have definitely livened up her garden with clarkia grabbing your attention for its pretty colours in pink, white, red and purple, and growing to about 60cm in full sun position.

Having success in gardening stems from her mother with Coral having fond memories of planting and growing whatever flowers or vegetables she wanted under the apple tree that was designated just for her.

This experience gave Coral a much better understanding and an appreciation of plant life.

As a young child she always loved soft dirt especially running in the ploughed up farming land to grow crops.

Even though she lives in the city the love of the land has never wavered.

Coral is really happy with her mulberry tree with it producing a terrific crop thus making this her favourite plant.

There was so much fruit with some being eaten fresh, others stewed or simply given away to loved ones.

This is a fabulous deciduous tree to have in a large garden in that it grows very fast, provides shade in summer and allows sun to shine through in winter with fruit forming at present.

It has been suggested that the best time to pick mulberries is when they are black and ripe otherwise the fruit will not ripen once off the tree, and also be aware that your fingers will get stained in a purple colour.

Mulberries are perfect if you are thinking about having silkworms for children and grandchildren with their life expectancy being two months thus making them an ideal pet to have as they are cheap, clean, do not smell, can be kept in a confined space, and also are a great way to learn about insects and nature.

They must be fed with fresh leaves daily, and will not eat wet, wilted or dead leaves.

When removing old mulberry leaves please make sure the silkworms are not touched as this has been known to damage their skin, and they do not need water.

Our guest speakers, Yves Daniel and Lindsey Gerchow, will be travelling from Buderim to speak about bromeliads, and will also have plants for sale so please make sure you bring money along to avoid disappointment.

On Saturday do not forget to take a stroll in the garden and choose the best looking flower to enter into the flower competition with prizes being awarded to the Horticultural members for winning the best flower of the day.

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