GROWING INTEREST: Geoff and Maria Bell at work in their own garden at Heritage Park.
GROWING INTEREST: Geoff and Maria Bell at work in their own garden at Heritage Park. BELINDA SCOTT

Springing into action for garden club competition

GEOFF and Maria Bell love the spacious surrounds of their Heritage Park home, but at this time of year they expand their circle to share their love of gardening with hundreds of others all over the Coffs Harbour City local government area.

As the president, Geoff is at the helm of the Coffs Harbour Garden Club's 2016 Spring Garden Competition, one of the largest garden competitions in NSW.

Entries in the competition are free and open until September 2 and forms can be found at nurseries and online.

Geoff said one of the most hotly contested sections was now for gardens tended by gardeners over 75.

"There are so many fit people," he said.

"The overall idea of the garden competition is to help beautify the city."

Meanwhile Maria is in charge of the club's newest venture, a blog spot which is proving a blooming digital hit.

"Pat Roser (former garden club president) asked me to establish an information page," Maria said.

"I wasn't that confident but my son Stephen, who was in Bangkok, said he'd help me establish a blog spot and it's grown and grown.

"We've had 110,000 page views in a little over three years."

With a flower of the month, information on pests and disease, and places and events of interest to gardeners, the blog spot and website, which is not restricted to members, has become a must-read and a source of new garden club members.

The winners of the Spring Garden Competition will be announced on September 16 and prize-winning gardens will be open to the public on September 17 and 18, meaning even non-gardeners can enjoy them.


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