May perfect for gardeners

THE May long weekend is filled with garden events.

On the local scene the Gympie Garden Expo is on at the Show Pavilion from Saturday morning until Sunday afternoon.

Exhibitors will have a competition plant display and a garden gnome display. You can enter both of these but entries need to be at the pavilion from 1pm and before 5pm on Friday, April 30. Judging by Joy and Bruce Drummond will be Friday night.

The Orchid Society handles all orchid exhibits and judging. The gnome competition includes traditional gnomes those with the squat build and usually a red hat. The decorated section will cover all other gnomes. There are cash prizes for exhibitors of plants and gnomes.

Guest speakers are John Robertson on orchids at 11am Saturday; Bernard York on sub-tropical gardening with cannas and begonias noon; Margaret Paterson on bromeliads at 1pm, and Robyn Cook on soil nutrition at 2pm. On Sunday speakers will appear at 9.30am, 10.30am, 11.30am and 12.30pm.

Remember Mother's Day is close. Suggestions include taking mum to the expo, buying her a plant or an orchid in bloom.

Perhaps you can buy a book from local bromeliad grower Margaret Paterson called Bromeliads Hybrids: For my own Satisfaction.

Also on May 1 and 2 is the Bromeliad Spectacular at the Community Hall, Millwell Road, Maroochydore. Saturday is from 8.30am to 4pm and Sunday 9am to 2pm. There will plants for sale.

Meet Gardening Australia presenter Josh Burn, speaking between 10am and noon at the Go Green Rainforest Nursery, 2620 Steve Irwin Way, Glenview. He is also a keen food grower from Perth.

Toowoomba has Autumn Greenfest.

The April meeting for the Horticultural Society was held in rain at the beautiful parklike Baumgartner garden at Stockden Road, The Palms.

This is a garden ideally suited to walking and viewing however rain prevented our full enjoyment of the treed surrounds. Monica has planned her pathways. Greg has built terraces. Allamandas were in glorious colour.

Ed French, from the Gympie Regional Council, spoke about the planned Sensory Knot Garden at Lake Alford. This will be near the children's playground. Sensory plants include spiky, furry, smelly, edible and unusual plants. The beds will be raised. This will be a look-and-feel garden.

On Friday and Saturday the Caloundra Orchid Show was won by local John Green with a very unusual plant. Gympie's display was very beautiful and this is a taste of what you will see at the expo. You can fill your weekend with garden workshops, displays and plant purchases.

My backyard includes an environmental park with a wondrous sight – a Christmas Bell in full flower. It is one plant only but it is totally visible and beautiful. The usual flowering time is November however you can have a lovely surprise as I did after rain. Locals tell me we could have a lot more in bloom if the days are bright and sunny.

Rain has caused gardens to bloom. Take time out and visit the Gympie Garden Expo this Saturday.

Gympie Times


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