July 15th was another day for the Garden Club which was well worth attending as the young speaker was Stewart Clark of Tanglewood Nursery, Hilton, who enthralled us with his knowledge and enthusiasm for sustainable gardening. With all the constant reminders of global warming, we as gardeners must get on board to do our bit.
Stewart spoke of his small contribution to help the planet in the form of water-wise gardening. He has made part of the nursery into a water collection area where he has dug trenches and made beds for vegetable planting. The base of the bed is fertilised and aerated with sticks and old logs, rotted manure and saw dust. Then covered with soil. So the plants grow in a veritable compost heap with no spraying whatsoever. Thus, the garden should look after itself. The run-off water is channelled into a small catchment dam and saved for dry periods.
He also spoke about compost heaps and stressed that not all plant material is suitable – so ensure that the correct ingredients are used.
We must ensure that we garden naturally and use certain companion plants to enhance this. Trees and wind breaks are essential in sustainable gardening. Breaking the wind helps to prevent drying out and trees provide shade where needed. A fascinating talk enjoyed by all.
Next month – on August 19th – we have Geoff Makin of Petersgate Herbs speaking on that interesting subject. He was one of our first speakers when we formed the Club and is a wonderful speaker. He will come with lots of stock for sale – so don’t forget your money!
September will be a busy month as we have two meetings; on the 9th we have ANNA CELLIERS from the Cape. She is well-known as the sub-editor of The Gardener magazine who writes many articles and the very amusing back page. We are all very excited and this event SHOULD NOT BE MISSED. Please note that this is NOT THE THIRD MONDAY OF THE MONTH. On the 17th September which is our usual meeting day, we will be visiting Liz Boyd’s wonderful Clivia garden in the Karkloof – so September will be a very busy time for us!