PAGG CHRISTMAS MEETING
On 12 December 2019
At the home and garden of Barb and Peter Burnett
President Janie welcomed approximately 60 members and invited everyone to listen to some Christmas music and sing carols at the end of the meeting.
Safety Officer Robert identified a trip hazard in the carport – a wooden sleeper with bolts protruding, and cautioned us all to “be aware, take care”.
Janie introduced our hosts Peter and Barb.
The house and garden are approached by an avenue of ornamental pears and the garden itself is contained by a post and rail fence. Established trees are a mix of deciduous and evergreen, including ornamental pears, pistacia, and eucalypts.
Peter told us that they came to the property 8 years ago. Campsie Park, on the Allyn River, was part of an original land grant next to Torryburn. It operated as a dairy from 1920 – 1976. There was a local school on the property near the river, from 1850 – 1938, which was also accessed by a pedestrian swing bridge over the river. The original brick house was destroyed in 1934 and the existing home built on higher ground. The barn, stables and outbuildings are older than the house and have been “saved from ruin” by Peter and Barb.
Barb said that they had been fortunate to inherit the lovely established trees and avenue but have simplified the garden by removing herbaceous borders etc. so the effect is a shady lawn surrounding the house. Sandstone blocks (foundations of the original house) have been used as retaining walls around the parking area. They have planted some vegetable gardens and citrus trees at the rear and recently built an arbour on the western side of the house.
Barb and Peter said that their biggest challenge was not so much the garden but establishing trees in the paddocks where domestic and native animals are fond of grazing them.
Janie thanked them for hosting club members for our Christmas meeting and lunch, and presented them with some Tar10 products.
Janie outlined some of the topics that we are keen to focus on in 2020:
Growing food at home or in community gardens
Propagating methods, including seed treatments, cuttings, layering etc.
Members to be surveyed regarding what topics they would like to have covered.
Penny drew our attention to the prolific flowering this year, of Brachychiton discolour (Lacebark) – indigenous to this area. She also highlighted the mass flowering of eucalypt species this year (known as a mast year) in response to the drought. This synchronous flowering en masse is a stress reaction.
The “Christmas Giving Tree” raised $1700 – an amazing amount! PAGG will donate $800 from our funds to take the total to $2500. This will be donated through the CWA to support drought families and those affected by the recent bushfires.
The raffle of two books on roses, donated by Lisa, to raise funds for the Dungog Shire literacy program realised $505 – a generous result from members.
There will be no meeting in January or February.
Our next meeting in March will be our AGM and will be at the Bath House Gardens near Maitland. Entry will cost $12 including tea and coffee. We will need to provide our usual treats to eat.
Janie thanked all and wished everyone a “Merry Christmas and Good Gardening”!
We were then treated to music and carols with members playing various instruments –
Robert – clarinet and clap sticks
Janie – flute
Penny – guitar
Mark – guitar and ukulele.