LFG Event: Sunday 21 September 2014 Garden Visit to Roger and Brenda Clark's Park Ridge garden

Event Details

LFG Event: Sunday 21 September 2014 Garden Visit to Roger and Brenda Clark's Park Ridge garden

Time: September 21, 2014 from 9am to 11am
Location: Park Ridge
Street: 142 Stoney Camp Road
City/Town: Park Ridge
Website or Map: https://goo.gl/maps/eXaxU
Phone: 0488266069
Event Type: garden, visit
Organized By: Liz Woods
Latest Activity: Sep 21, 2014

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Event Description

In September, Roger and Brenda Clark welcome us to the five acre Park Ridge property where they have lived for 35 years as their blog attests.

Theirs is an unusual situation. They have plenty of space to establish fruit trees and grow the vegetables which supply their kitchen, but Roger has reverted to container gardening to achieve productivity. He has done this to overcome the challenges of a shallow sandy/clay soil, limited water and animal pests, among other constraints.

Roger's containers range from large commercial planters, raised garden beds lined with metal sections (white ants ate the original hardwood ones), bathtubs, laundry tubs, polystyrene boxes, sacks and a commercially available raised bed. This approach allows him to prepare a more fertile soil suited to the plants he wants to grow, as well as conserve water. Roger and Brenda have a plentiful local supply of weed-free horse manure which Roger composts and uses as one of the ‘lasagne’ style soil layers in his containers, along with the local soil and mushroom compost. He fertilises with blood and bone, rock dust and some trace elements. His soil attracts large earthworms which do a great job of blending the growing mediums.

Roger grows some fruit trees/bushes in large pots which improves his control of pH and plant nutrition. His potted Blueberries, Avocados and Figs are all giving good results.

From the outset, Roger maintained records of the treatments he used for different crops and the outcomes. A simple A - Z indexed book was his original way of recording but he has moved onto a system based on diagrams of his growing areas. On a three monthly cycle, Roger updates his record of the crops he has produced in each container and rotates the crops to pre-empt issues with pathogens. He has also compiled an alphabetical collection of articles relevant to crops he produces, to inform his gardening efforts. 

To address the shallow soil issue on their property, Roger and Brenda planted their fruit trees into mounds of soil and interplanted mostly Leucaena and some Icecream Bean, to help fix nitrogen in the soil. Roger also mulches with Leucaena mulch. However currently, the winter season and the lack of good rainfall throughout 2014, along with Roger and Brenda’s limited tank water and the high cost of town water mean that their main orchard area is currently dormant and  their trees are having to survive unaided.

There is a lot to learn in Roger's productive garden, for gardeners in all settings. 

When you join us in Park Ridge, please bring:

  • a plate of food to share, for morning tea;
  • your own folding chair and a mug;
  • your give-away table contributions: labelled seeds, seedlings, plant material, garden related goods: biochar, composting worms, excess produce etc;
  • an umbrella if it is raining HOPEFULLY (or hat to keep the sun off).

There is plenty of parking on the property.

Your contribution of between $3 and $5 per person helps Logan Food Gardeners Inc to cover its costs.

Partners and children are welcome, but please do not bring dogs or other pets to events, except where prior approval has been given by the events committee.

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Comment by Liz Woods on September 21, 2014 at 13:32

 Please make your comments about today's Garden Visit in the Forum section of this website! Thanks!

Comment by Angie Hill on September 20, 2014 at 10:52
Would like to attend as I am interested in container gardening. Hopefully I won't get lost! I may bring my partner with me.
Comment by Janine on September 20, 2014 at 10:20

Would have loved to be there. Unfortunately have a clash in events, so hopefully there will be a next time to visit the Clark's garden:)

Comment by Liz Woods on September 20, 2014 at 3:33

Wonderful that your son will be in town, Alan Yates! Look forward to seeing you at the next Garden Visit!

Comment by Alan Yates on September 19, 2014 at 18:30

Sorry we can't make it.  Had a ph call from our son in Perth and he is making an unexpected trip to see us this weekend. Hopefully we can make the next garden visit.

Comment by Louise Staunton on September 15, 2014 at 14:45

looking forward to this visit :-) 

Comment by robyn denmeade on September 2, 2014 at 18:38

Liz he is 12 this year & the only one that is still interested in coming and having a holiday with his Noni the other two 22yr old & 16 yr old have given up on this older for the time being - so sad - for me! anyway I'm hoping that the pick up is on the Saturday so we can attend on Sunday morning; he does love meeting other kids at these events so, yes, hopefully there maybe other kids there if all works out & we attend

Comment by Liz Woods on September 2, 2014 at 10:04

Hi Robyn Denmeande, It's lovely to hear you will be joining us at Roger and Brenda's place. How old is your grandson? Hopefully there'll be some other children attending as well and he won't feel lonely. It's lovely to have children attend our events, especially when we can actively share knowledge and inspiration with them, by engaging them in the Garden Visit. Maybe he might be able to help out?

Hi Roger, great to hear you'll get some mulberries and like you, we are all hoping for follow up rain!

Hello Kylie P, Thanks for your reply. We try to vary the times and days of Garden Visits and Crops Swaps to accommodate the different circumstances of all our members, but if there is any way we can otherwise help you attend, please let me know and we will try to assist. Also, it's great Roger is happy to offer you advice about potting trees. I hope his advice helps you achieve your transplanting and transition, successfully.

Comment by robyn denmeade on September 2, 2014 at 6:26

That is the weekend I pick up my grandson for holidays, depending on what day my daughter arranges a half way meet at Stanthorpe will depend on whether I can make it.  If Sunday is free I'll drag my grandson along if that is okay with you Roger & Brenda

Comment by Roger Clark on September 1, 2014 at 8:43

Liz,

The rain was great. We may even get a crop of mulberries this year as the timing was good for the mulberries. Most trees are looking better, but we still could do with some follow up rain. Here's hoping!

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