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20th birthday for Cobram Garden Club

Cobram Garden Club hosts floral art, cake and more than 40 well wishers at luncheon to celebrate its double-decade milestone.

ROB HENSON July 29, 2014 3:36am

Club member for 20 years Rose Goodwin cut the garden-themed cake created especially for the event.

Cobram Garden Club celebrated its 20th anniversary in style on Thursday, with scores of green thumbs commemorating with cake and floral art.

Moira Shire Cr Alex Monk opened the celebrations at the Uniting Church’s Irvin Hall, praising the group’s community service.

‘‘Garden clubs do provide support networks and facilitate gardening as a hobby and a pastime, and maybe even a lifetime,’’ Cr Monk said.

‘‘We wish them a happy birthday and wonderful celebration; I’m sure they will be around for many more years.’’

Garden Clubs of Australia president Ken Bradley travelled from Sydney for the major milestone, as did members of Finley, Numurkah and Yarrawonga garden clubs — making a crowd of more than 40 in attendance.

Mr Bradley said his certificate of recognition was provided on the proviso he was invited back in another 20 years.

Cobram Community House’s Jean Campbell also provided a certificate of appreciation, while Koonoomoo Flowers and Florangements’ Lorraine Swanson-Hoyle made a special piece of floral art in front of a generous crowd.

‘‘It’s supposed to represent the sun’s rays coming down onto the earth, using the Cobram colours,’’ Ms Swanson-Hoyle said.

Kath Gregory provided a history of the club, including its inception in 1994, then later when the group began judging and organising the Cobram Show’s floral sections.

The group’s achievements include planting a rose garden at the Cobram town entrance in 1997, landscaping the Hay St Maternal and Child Health building in 1998 and donating 300 plants for Kinglake after the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires.

The group remains active, with regular bus trips to regional nurseries and public and private gardens.

Mr Bradley said Cobram was one of 684 clubs in Australia, with the most recent growth seen in community garden clubs.

‘‘There’s lots of specific groups, including rose societies, as an example, as well as horticultural societies and friends of botanic gardens.

‘‘Most new clubs, however, are for community gardens, often in the inner city suburbs, with people coming together, interested in growing vegetables.

‘‘In the city areas there’s a push towards bigger houses on smaller blocks, that’s a trend, and less garden space. It’s very different from the past where it was vegies out the back and flower garden out the front, but that’s the price of a desire to have a bigger house.’’

Out of 48000 garden club members nationwide, Mr Bradley said the growth sector was young gardeners.

‘‘It’s magnificent what small towns can come up with — it’s a credit to see the work of people in these areas, there is a very high standard.’’

Mr Bradley said the Garden Clubs of Australia — now in its 64th year — operated on a motto of ‘friendship through gardening’.

‘‘It’s a way of coming together with a common interest, meeting with other people interested in that passion.’’

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