Working to keep the gardens great

(L-R) Helen Curtain, Kevin O'Sullivan and Barry Roberts at the memorial gardens. (Damjan Janevski) 395814_05

It is time to get your hands dirty and help maintain Hume’s stunning Alister Clark Memorial Rose Garden.

Hume council’s landscape planning leader Helen Curtain said anyone can help out, with a wide range of tasks that need completing.

“Regular tasks include weeding, watering, dividing perennials, planting, mulching, raking, fertilising, pruning and garden bed rejuvenation,” she said.

“We are presently focusing on rejuvenation of the garden beds to improve the soil, water infiltration and maximising growth and flowering of the roses.”

While the gardens are partially managed by council, they also rely heavily on the work of dedicated volunteers to keep the attraction at its best.

Ms Curtain said volunteers from right across Victoria have helped in the past.

“Volunteers come from not only Hume, but as far away as Trentham, Tylden and Warrandyte,” she said.

“If you are thinking of volunteering, come along, wear clothes that they don’t mind getting dirty, boots or solid shoes, sunscreen, gloves if they have them.

“But most important is a love of gardening or a willingness to learn, and to bring something to share for lunch while you get to know the other volunteers.”

She said autumn is a perfect time to visit the gardens despite being out of the peak season.

“The gardens are at their peak in spring between October and early December, although some of Alister’s roses are in flower from late July to early August,” she said.

“We have another flush in autumn, and this year it is looking like there will be a good show of blooms in April.

“The garden has a range of perennials that flower throughout the year, so there’s nearly always something to see.”

The working bees run on the first Saturday of every month, and this time around it is Saturday, April 6 from 10am to 2.30pm.