Gardeners enjoy their winter growing

By Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Deniliquin Community Garden members celebrated the winter solstice on Saturday with a bonfire to mark the occasion.

It was also be a chance to celebrate six months of hard work by a core group of community minded volunteers to revitalise this important community asset.

Garden member Suzy Keys said the shortest day of the year has also brought frost to the gardens and while winter veggies can handle the chilling visitation, summer crops need protection.

‘‘Winter veggies such as onions, spinach, peas and beans, root veggies and brassicas can handle it but our summer veggies such as capsicum are still fruiting and can be coaxed into fruiting again next year if they survive the frosts.

‘‘Tropical plants such as luffas, turmeric and ginger will die off with the frosts and will be harvested while eggplants and zucchinis will turn up their toes and shuffle off.’’

The group has launched the Deniliquin Community Garden Facebook page which Ms Keys said allows them to communicate with the community and has assisted sales.

‘‘Other gardeners and the public who are interested in what’s happening in the garden are able to connect with us and us with them.

‘‘Our pumpkin patch sale was very successful and will be repeated next year with the addition of some new varieties. This has brought many new people to the gardens and some continue to visit to get more pumpkins and whatever else is in abundance.’’

Ms Keys said they have received a lot of helpful donations including local gardener John Russell’s expertise when he ran a Sunday morning workshop on how to prune fruit trees.

‘‘It was a great workshop that helped not only prune the trees at the garden, but teach others how to make the best out of their pruning. The beautiful roses are ready to prune when time allows,’’ Ms Keys said.

‘‘We have also received a surprise box of unidentified bulbs which were donated to us and so we have planted them. Some jonquils have just begun to flower and many members are wondering what other varieties will reveal themselves over the next few weeks.

‘‘A load of red gum firewood was also donated to use in our fireplace where members relax with a cuppa after working in the garden. This is also very popular with visitors.’’

The Community Garden is open to the public when the gate is open and gardeners are present, or Sunday mornings from 10 am.

Potential new members are advised to visit and pick up a copy of the gardens’ Policies and Constitution before joining at $30 per year.

For more information contact Jan Renwick on 0418 663 948.