With the bulk of the landscaping of the Noosa Men’s Shed gardens completed the Gardening Team is now turning its attention to stage one of the reforestation programme.
In collaboration with Ered Fox, Nursery Manager at Noosa & District Landcare, a range of cabinet timbers and flowering trees and shrubs have been selected for planting. A plan has been drawn up for stage 1 which has commenced.
A bonus was the 22 trees gifted to Noosa Men’s Shed by Landcare. The selection includes silky oak, red cedar and hoop pine. In addition we have chosen the bunya pine and black she oak to attract the black cockatoo.
There is also a range of flowering trees and shrubs to cater for nectar eating birds. This includes the beautiful pink evodia which have been planted between the paper barks along the drive way.
Stage one of the three stage planting programme is being headed by Gavin Meakens who has built an enviable reputation as a tireless worker with a love of gardening. It is Gavin who has been largely responsible for the landscaping of the grounds. This will always be a work in progress as there will always be replanting, pruning, fertilising and watering to do.
While the Noosa Men’s Shed will draw stock from Noosa & District Landcare for reforestation, it has also been propagating trees in its own right. The most notable is the Queensland Fire Wheel which is a close relative of the Illawarra Flame Tree planted on the lawn adjacent to the outdoor recreational area. Planting trees that add colour when flowering is important in the beautification of the gardens as is diversity of species.
All trees planted will have an identification number on a stake so members can easily identify the species.
Following a request for identification of the ‘red ball flower’ we received responses from John Phillips, Owen Curtis, John Williams, Jan Broadfoot and Peter Kjorstad. All were on the scent but it was Jan Broadfoot who hit the nail-on-the-head by identifying the mystery flower as Scadoxus Multiflorus or the ‘blood lily’. The plant hails from Africa growing from Senegal to Somalia to South Africa. Thanks Jan.
Besides having an interest in flora, the gardeners are interested in the fauna of the area. Last week we heard the ‘whoop whoop' call of what is often titled the ‘bush pheasant’. Known officially as the Pheasant Coucal it is widely distributed through the East coast of Australia. The Pheasant Coucal is a ground feeder living on small inverter-braes, (predominantly small frogs) and insects. It is more comfortable running than flying. A pair were heard in the undergrowth of the Unity Waters grounds last week. They are very hard to see but their call is distinctive. Listen for it.
In the lower garden we had cultivated some rock melons. With the disaster we had last season with crows breaking into the shells of the water melons we took precautions by covering the fruit with milk crates. The crows were dissuaded from destroying the ‘fruits of our labour’ but the water rats took full advantage of the opportunity to the point that all that was left were the outside shells.
On Thursday morning we found one of the rock melon eating culprits spread eagled on the ground. Upon examination, its belly had been ripped open and the surrounding flesh eaten. The kill was fresh as the ants had not had time to start their work so one assumes the kill happened in the early hours of the morning. The suspect would most likely be a Tawny Frog Mouth Owl which frequent most parts of Australia. The water rat has now been dispatched to a compost bin as a source of blood and bone. Go the owls!
The workload of the gardeners continues to grow to the point that we need to recruit more enthusiasts. In particular, we would like assistance in the lower garden. Gavin Meakens and Bill Lodge have their hands full with landscaping as well as caring for the lower gardens and propagation shed. This is an opportunity for a couple of members to have a free hand to grow a range of fruit, vegetables and flowers in what are very productive beds. If you are interested in joining the team please speak to
Mike Nixon or Bill Lodge. You will be most welcome.
The Noosa Men's Shed has an active gardening group that grow a range of produce for the benefit of members. Beside the two produce garden areas, the undertaking includes a propagation shed for the growing of seedlings and a range of plants and trees for landscaping and sale. In addition there is a worm farm, large compost pits and hydroponics systems.
The gardening team is establishing a fruit orchard and rainforest area. Included in the responsibility for landscaping, the team plans to build rockeries and a water feature as part of a botanical garden approach to the beautification of the Noosa Men's Shed grounds.
The gardening team welcomes new recruits to assist with the wide range of activities in-hand. Contact Bill Lodge for further information.
First planting heralds start of the fruit orchard Tuesday 19 July was a historic occasion at the Noosa Men’s Shed. The ‘gardening team’ planted the first two of a planned 30 tree fruit orchard.
With a designated area, the team is looking to expand the orchard as quickly as possible as the trees, depending on variety, take some years to bear fruit. The two trees planted were A and B variety avocados which were donated by Ian Broadfoot.
To achieve its objective of building a significant orchard, the Noosa Men’s Shed ‘gardening team’ is seeking donations of suitable fruit trees. This can be in the way of a tree or a cash donation to purchase one. The donors of trees will receive recognition via a plaque that will detail the tree and the name of the donor or donors.
The two avocados planted on Tuesday will be named in Ian Broadfoot’s honour. In addition to Ian Broadfoot’s donation, Ron Blackman has gifted the orchard a ruby grapefruit.