Meeting at Cheryl Lee Loy's Garden

What a treasure of a garden we had the privilege of visiting for our August 2023 meeting. Cheryl, you are a BOSS! Thank you so very much for allowing us into your space.


The front garden is small, and as the saying goes, “good things come in small parcels”. This was no disappointment! The perimeter of the space was eye candy every inch of the way, with a black olive tree perfectly pruned to compliment the space, adjacent to this is a mature purple Leea (Leea burgundy), followed by a lovely Blue Cyprus, bejeweled with gorgeously colourful bromeliads all the way up its trunk. A veritable piece of art.


A lovely pedestrian gate is topped with a most beautifully grown butterfly vine. But it doesn’t stop there. Beyond this is a symphony of heights, colours, textures and forms of specimen tropical plants and small trees. A few beautiful potted specimens are also part of the display.  A collection of succulents and small bromeliads of many colours surround a precious cherub in a bowl, elevated to make a statement and it does. Cheryl has placed an ornate bench in the corner to invite the visitor to sit amongst these tropical beauties and quietly imbibe the experience.


Surrounding the house there is a phenomenal collection of specimen tropicals, in the ground, in baskets, in pots, on the wall and on top of it. Somehow it all works, and nothing seems cluttered.


Cheryl a big congratulations on your amazing garden.


The meeting started a little late as many of the members were delayed due to heavy rains. A few of us got to taste Mangosteen fruit brought to the meeting by our vice president Lorraine. I was lucky enough to be one of the group that got a taste and it was simply delicious. Reminiscent, I think, of kiwi fruit. Thanks Lorraine.


The club gained three new members this month, Leslie Clarke, Elizabeth Legarza and Erica Anderson. We all look forward to their input and participation and welcome them all warmly.


The 2024 calendar should be ready for launch in early October, and in November the Club is having its Annual Plant Sale. We will be having a members’ tent where members can sell plants they may have that they wish to part with, or have propagated for sale. Now is the time to start preparing.


Climate change is becoming a more and more pressing issue, and everyone should do their part, no matter how small it is. We, as a club, should feel the pressure more acutely than the average person. We should all be mindful of our carbon footprint. Some easy steps that we can all take are 1. Compost as much as you can (and if you can’t then give your scraps to someone who can). 2. Plant trees and bamboo and encourage others to do the same. 3. Recycle as much as you can.  4. Carpool to reduce gas and diesel use as much as you can and fly less.


The show bench was a huge success with fourteen lovely philodendron specimens to be judged. The judging was done by Tony Tang Kai, ex-president of the Horticultural Society of Trinidad and Tobago and a main participant of the Gold Medal Winning (hattrick, no less) team at Chelsea Flower Show in London, England. A great big thank you to Tony.


Tony continued to share his knowledge and expertise and spoke to us, along with Simone Taylor on their experience of participating in and winning at Chelsea. The intricacies that one must know to navigate tropical flowers and plants from our beautiful shores to London, England was jaw-dropping.! Tony and Simone, thank you for an amazing talk and for all your work representing our country at this World Event. You have done us very proud!


The quiz was somewhat neglected by the members this month but there was so much to look at and talk about that all is forgiven. The quiz will be posted online before the next meeting. There are many quizzes with all the answers online. It’s a very useful resource when getting to know new plants and their needs. Use it, you will love it. Tell your friends about the website too.


The food was wonderful. Congratulations to all involved in putting those gorgeous morsels together. I think I can talk for everyone in saying how tasty everything was.


Our next meeting is at the home of Linda Paul on Saturday, 16th September at 3:30 in the afternoon. Stay well, compost plenty, plant more and see you there.