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Happy retirement Jill!

Many of you will have come to know and love our regular gardening column Garden with Jill. After many years with Mitre 10, Jill has decided the time has come to retire and so that also means the end of her column here at The Local News. 


The team here at The Local would like to send a very big thank you to Jill for her contribution to our paper over the years sharing her amazing tips, hints and very yummy recipes! We wish Jill all the best on her retirement and hope she enjoys her well-earned and deserved break. You will be missed! 


We would also like to take this opportunity to welcome Adelle and Paul from Bribie Garden Centre as the new garden column contributors from our next issue. They will share their wealth of knowledge with you, offering up hints, tips and other gardening advice to get you through the cooler months of the year. 


He Loves me 

Bellis perennis is a lovely daisy flower growing as a flattish rosette of leaves, which are rounded at the tip and narrow abruptly at the base, dark green on top and paler underneath. Each flower stem, which grows from the centre of the rosette, has a reddish tinge and carries only one terminal flower, made up of a yellow centre of disc florets, surrounded by white ray florets, some with a touch of pink. 

The leaves were used medicinally as an external poultice for pains in the joints.  Called the ‘measure-of-love’, which involves the pulling off of the petals one-by-one, saying ‘he loves me, he loves me not’. It always ends with HE LOVES ME


Being dormant in winter, lawns are often invaded by moss. To stop this happening, mix 30g of iron sulphate in 4L of water applying twice a week, for six weeks (three times). 

Indoor pot plants will need less water. Use tepid water when watering the plants, removing any old growth and ensuring plants are not near heaters or sunny windows. If needed, repot after winter. 

Mid-winter is the time for planting roses and fruit trees. Roses should be planted with the bud union just above the ground level. Ensure that you build a small mound in the centre of the hole and that the square hole is large enough to accommodate the spreading root system. 


An addition to your rose garden is a lavender plant. Lavender increases the scent of your roses and is a very popular garden plant. Native to the Mediterranean and used by the Romans as perfume in their washing water, this shrub comes in quite a number of varieties, growing to heights of 30-60cm or even to one metre like the French lavender. Its stems are erect and the leaves narrow and silvery green. All parts of the lavender plant are aromatic, but it is the fragrance of the purple, pink and white flowers that make this plant a fabulous summer flowering treat in your garden. Medicinally, it has been used for treating depression, anxiety and tension headaches. Remember to sprinkle some lime through the garden 10 days before planting, as lavender likes a sweet soil and hates wet feet. 

FOXGLOVE – make sure you wear gloves when handling this plant. The heart drug (digitalin) is derived from foxglove. When planted in your garden, it has a strengthening effect on other plants so increasing their resistance to disease.  Try planting it near fruit trees, particularly apples. 


Athletes in Ancient Greece ate a lot of figs, believing they increased a man’s speed and stamina. A deciduous tree growing to 4-5 metres, it has large lobed leaves with flowers that are hidden, clustered inside the green fruit, which ripen after being fertilised by insects crawling into the fleshy figs. Figs grow best in a warm sunny sheltered position, with a soil pH of 7–8, so a little sweet.  Beware, the milky sap can burn and blister the skin. 

As some of you already know this will be my last newspaper article, as I am retiring, my last day will be June 27. 

I am very grateful that I had this chance to make a small contribution to your gardening world. I hope this has been an enjoyable experience for you, as it has been for me. 


As I have often included recipes or cocktails for your pleasure, I would like to leave you with a wintertime treat; my Mum’s Rum Ball recipe: 

1 can condensed milk 

3-4 tablespoons rum (Bundy) 

2 tablespoons cocoa 

8 Weet-Bix 

1 packet of raisins 

1 cup coconut 

Blend the Weet-Bix to a rough mix, then add all the remaining ingredients.  Make into golf ball size balls, roll in coconut and refrigerate. 

Happy gardening, the experience ends. 




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