Retreating to the garden and burying themselves among blooms and bulbs has been an experience enjoyed by many house-bound residents escaping boredom caused through the COVID-19 pandemic.
For Gin Gin Garden Group members their monthly gatherings provide the opportunity to socialise with like-minded enthusiasts, listen to guest speakers and swap gardening tips and share plants.
Joy Foley, who formed the group 11 years ago, has returned to the role of president and recently the group met at her Drinan Road property near Bullyard.
“I’ve always had a love of gardening,” said Joy.
“I’ve been at my current address for about 16 months and it has been a pretty big job creating a garden.”
The meeting at Joy’s garden attracted around 25 members who enjoyed morning tea, an address from local Landcare guru Ray Johnson, raffles and a stroll around Joy’s gardens.
“I started the group on Anzac Day 2011 with 10 members. We have had up to 65 but obviously the virus has impacted numbers.”
Joy said that having the regular meetings with her fellow Garden Group members kept her informed and inspired.
She said the shared ideas and experiences when it came to gardening was inspirational for her.
“You look at the way someone can view an old charred stump and place a plant in it to bring it all to life. I just love that creativity.”
Ray Johnson who oversees Gin Gin Landcare’s nursery at Tirroan, spoke on native plants and grasses and their uses in an environmental context.
Ray touched on native tree varieties that produced edible fruits and grasses that produced edible seeds as well as providing major benefits in addressing wet and erosion prone areas.
His expertise was further called upon by garden group members to judge the members contribution to a “best plant” competition.
A very showy orchid in bloom exhibited by Pat Jackson was the winner with runners up being Gayle Rafferty and Dawn Daly.
Anyone wanting to know more about the Gin Gin Garden Group can contact Joy Foley on 0408 022 308.