This Group meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month. The Group maintains the Cottage garden with advice and assistance from the staff of the Royal Botanic Gardens. Plants suitable for use by the Craft Groups can be found in the garden. To join this group please contact the Friends' office.
On the whole we have continued to be treated to good, and on some days, absolutely gorgeous weather for our gardening mornings with the exception of one morning in September when it was inclined to rain and ‘drip’ a bit, but not sufficiently to deter us completely! The rainfall over the past couple of months has been a bit spasmodic with some very good and very welcome falls, but then weeks of very little rain at all. In the final weeks of September and early October there has been a feeling of summer about and parts of the PCC garden are already looking as though a good drink would not go amiss.
As the area at the side of the Cottage, beneath the Peppercorn Tree, is no longer being used as a dedicated area for mulch, the decision was made to convert this space into garden. Adnan Mansour, together with Angela Mitchell’s husband, has installed a retaining edge of sleepers and we have already moved some clivias and hellebores into this space. We hope that such plantings will enjoy this sheltered and shady spot.
A Sweet Pittosporum growing on the bank above the driveway entrance to the Cottage has developed what appears to be a fungal infection and is looking decidedly unwell, with yellowing foliage and peeling bark. The problem was reported to the RBGV and the arborist, and it is possible that this tree will need to be removed. This pittosporum has provided shade and shelter to the area beneath it and so if it goes the micro-climate will completely change and thus we will need to review what is planted there and move and replace things that will not thrive in a much sunnier and more exposed situation.
We were sorry to have to say goodbye to Jacqui Hawkins in September. Jacqui has headed home to England now that she and her husband have come to the end of their two year stint in Melbourne. In her time here Jacqui pitched herself wholeheartedly into involvement with the Gardens, the Friends and the Garden Group.
On our last gardening morning in September Michael McNabb (Manager, Horticulture, RGBV Melbourne) visited the group again and talked to us about planned developments in the Gardens and the thinking behind the transition planning that is necessary to prepare for the predicted warmer and drier climate of the future. Michael also suggested a tour of the RBGV nursery for the group and this has been arranged for late October.
Over the past three months the garden has been blooming brightly, with rosemary, wallflower, jonquils and daffodils, white violets, purple flags, daisies, clivias, hellebores, arcotis, Spanish Bluebells, geraniums, the Kowhai (Sophora microphylla) and Waxflower (Philotheca verrucosus, syn. Eriostemon verrucosus) amongst others, all flowering for much of this time.