Flower power still in bloom for Mur’bah garden club
IF THERE'S a notable yard in your neighbourhood adorned with bright blooms, it's likely behind all that beauty is a dedicated member of the Murwillumbah and District Garden Club.
The club celebrates its 40th anniversary next month and has over the years honoured many of its life members for beautifying our region, including Gloria Hurst in 1999.
The inaugural meeting of Murwillumbah and District Garden Club was held on October 13, 1975, in the Guide Hall, Brisbane Street, Murwillumbah.
It was Betty Macartney, a local florist and floral art teacher, who was responsible for the beginning of the club.
But due to insufficient numbers, the election of officers and committee was deferred until the next meeting in 1976.
Then the monthly meetings were transferred to the CWA Rooms in Queen Street, and later to the Presbyterian Hall in Wollumbin St.
The first president of the club was Bob Ball, secretary Pam Willock, treasurer Joan Lancaster, chief steward Betty Macartney, committee members Irene Edwards and Norm and Gloria Hurst.
We Aim to Grow became the garden club's motto and the poinciana tree its emblem. Benching became a large part of each meeting, initially with sections for roses, cut flowers, floral art, pot plants, fruit and vegetables. Later orchid and herb sections were added.
Marguerite Boyd became a patroness when her husband Max was the mayor from 1979 to 1981 and again from 1984 to 1989.
"I always felt I could go to him if the club needed support," she said. "It's a great thing for the entire neighbourhood to have all yards with beautiful colours and flowers," she said.
Over the years she has seen many trends in gardening.
"There are a lot more shrubs and succulents now because of the water restrictions," she said.
"There are orange sub-tropical rhododendron, hedges and common geraniums now and use of a lot of mulch and composting.
"I think that's how gardens are evolving now," Mrs Boyd said.
Patroness Dr Betty Marks said about 40 years ago she won the annual garden competition with camellias, daisies and roses.
"I did grow gum trees, native beech trees, and an Illawarra flame tree... I did grow too many trees because I came from Bathurst where there was heavy rainfall.
"Now I mostly have camellia and hibiscus, but my garden has been ruined by brush turkeys," she said.
The annual Murwillumbah and District Garden Club flower show is on October 1 and 2.
The 40th anniversary will be marked at the Jessie McMillan Hall on Saturday, October 17, from 1pm to 4pm, for afternoon tea.
RSVP to Leone on 02 6677 1403 or Mollie on 02 6672 2110 by October 15 if you'd like to attend.