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The Pumicestone Gardening Club celebrates its 30th birthday

By Alistair Gray

It is party time for members of the Pumicestone Gardening Club.

It was all smiles and chatter as all the local gardening gurus met to celebrate the 30th birthday of the Pumicestone Gardening Club. Formed on June 15, 1993, the club has come a long way since those early days. The club was founded by Heather and Rod Barlow from Barlow’s wholesale/retail nursery Donnybrook.

Heather Bienke, one of the original founding members at the party, said Heather Barlow used to connect with the local ladies informally for gardening advice and friendship.

Rod was a horticulturist and they used to meet in a shed out the back of the nursery. When the club began they had 26 members, including a representative from the Queensland Council of Garden Clubs, with meetings held monthly. Today, they have a membership of 60. The club grew bigger and moved to the Donnybrook Community Hall. During this time club founder Heather Barlow, was president for 20 years, followed by Arthur Richards.

“The meetings were very much about friendship, in the then relatively isolated community,” Heather Bienke said.

There were recipe and cutting swaps, lessons about propagation and effective grafting techniques. They used to raise lots of money from raffles and various other activities. With the help of the council, the funds raised went towards constructed seating along the different walking paths in the area.

During the meeting Barbara Worthington, another club founding member, was awarded a life membership in recognition of her long contribution to the club. The 30th anniversary was celebrated with a sit-down spit roast luncheon and entertainment provided by bush poet Noel Stallard in the Toorbul Community Hall.

“We continue to encourage and educate local gardeners with regular presentations on all things gardening including soil composition, composting, worm farms, grafting, native bees and other local community interests including dugongs, stroke prevention and yellow bin management,” current president Wayne Kelly said.

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