Sunday, 22 January 2023

Japanese Garden - January '23 Update

With the school year about to commence after Australia Day next Thursday it was time to spend some time in the Japanese Garden. The watering has continued over the summer months but little else has been happening in the garden - apart from the weeds growing! There were also many leaves and bark from the surrounding gum trees covering the plants, stones and rocks.

First task was to give many of the azalea shrubs a light trim to neaten them and attend to some of the larger plants such as the rhododendrons. The possums have been causing some damage which includes attempting to nest in the bamboo, breaking small branches in the cherry trees and feasting on the magnolia leaves. The magnolia has now been netted so hopefully this will discourage the possums and allow the leaves to grow and the tree to recover.

Every few months the leaves need to be removed from under the bamboo at the Foot Street end of the garden. This usually means picking them out by hand as access between the bamboo makes it challenging to use a rake. Weeding and raking was the next task after dislodging the loose leaves and cuttings, followed by picking up the piles of weeds and leaves throughout the garden.

The blower/vac was then fired up to help with the cleanup of the many cuttings and leaves on the white stones, river rocks and paving next to the 3 classrooms. Some food for the garden with dynamic lifter scattered liberally before a good soaking with the hose and then time for some photos to finish.

The start of the academic year inevitably means hotter weather so ongoing watering will be required in the coming months and our next working bee will be held in March when we aim to schedule on the same Sunday morning Frankston High hold their Term 1 working bee.

Saturday, 12 November 2022

2022 FSFA Chairperson's Report


2022 FSFA Chairperson’s Report

The past year has been challenging for all of us due to having to live with the on-going effects of the coronavirus. These unprecedented times has impacted FSFA in many ways. but due to the on-going commitment from the committee members, FSFA continues to plan for the future.

Earlier this year we were able to resume our face-to-face meetings at Frankston City Council which has been great. The Committee continue to meet on the first Tuesday of each month, with some members choosing to ZOOM into the meeting.

Frankston City Council continues to support the FSFA Committee in promoting cultural experiences to the Frankston community. We acknowledge the financial support which assists with funding events such as the Japanese Fair, Speech Contests and our Hanami party.

This year we celebrate our 40th anniversary with our Sister City, Susono. Unfortunately, we have not been able to celebrate with our friends from Susono in person, however we have participated in celebratory ceremonies via ZOOM which have been very successful.

As the year progressed, were able to resume some of our usual cultural activities within the community.

In September FSFA hosted another very successful Speech Contest at Monash University. The speech contest was well attended and the 47 students who participated all spoke very well.

Our Japanese garden continues to be a wonderful sight at Frankston High School. On October 23rd 2022 we were able to hold a Japanese Hanami party for our FSFA Committee and members of the community. The Hanami party was attended by the Mayor of Frankston, Nathan Conroy and Councillor Sue Baker.

Unfortunately, due to the impact of COVID, our friends in Susono had to postpone their scheduled trip to Frankston which was planned for October 2022. We hope to welcome them back to Frankston in the future, and at a recent ZOOM meeting between FSFA and SOFA, SOFA have invited FSFA to visit Susono in October 2023 to attend the Australian Fair. Hopefully we will be able to meet again in person next year.

Our small, but dedicated committee members continue to do a wonderful job in promoting FSFA and sharing their love for Japan to others. Simon Hast (Vice Chairperson) does an amazing job in overseeing the Japanese Garden at FHS, and organising the working bees which the other committee members assist with. Bev Hannan continues to keep the financial books balanced which is fantastic. Therese Sakamoto and Sam Warrington do a great job in communicating with our friends on SOFA as both (being past FSFA exchange students) are fluent in Japanese. Our other committee members, Anita and David Cross, Vic Webster, Helen Wilson and Adrian Thomas are all valued members of our small team and assist wherever required.

On October 10th 2022, Simon, Therese, Bev and myself gave a presentation to Frankston Mayor and Councillors about the history of our Sister City Relationship, including some of the highlights from over the past 40 years. It was an opportunity to invite the councillors to assist with future activities that we have planned, including assistance with holding another Japanese Festival and also future delegations to Susono.

Overall, it has been another busy year for FSFA. Our small Committee remains dedicated to the Association and hopes to resume even more activities in the future such as our Japanese Festival, hosting students from Susono on school delegations and visiting Susono. 

Thank you to all those who have made the past 40 years such a success, including the current and former Committee Members, as we look forward to the future.

Stay safe and well,

Julie D’Arcy

Saturday, 1 October 2022

Japanese Garden Working Bee - October 2022

Our Japanese Garden working bee was planned many months ago with the expectation that the Susono delegation would be arriving later this week for their visit and the Japanese Festival. The festival was to be held at Frankston High School's senior campus with our Japanese Garden to be a feature of the day's activities. With both the delegation visit and the Japanese Festival postponed it was decided to still hold the working bee to prepare the garden for our Hanami Party which will be held on Sunday 23rd October - just 3 weeks away.

The purple rhododendron has plenty of buds ready to flower

Members of the FSFA committee who were able to attend met shortly after 9 a.m. with a range of tasks undertaken including dead heading and trimming the many azalea shrubs, along with some weeding, raking and general tidying in the garden. It was also an opportunity to water and fertilize to help with the anticipated spring growth.

The pink cherry blossoms are starting to emerge

The garden appears to be in good order with plenty of colorful flowers, the start of the cherry blossoms and the stunning red maple the showpiece of the garden. The rhododendrons have plenty of buds ready to burst into full boom with their spectacular purple and pink flowers - the coming weeks should produce quite a show. The mondo grass is doing well but still not back to the pre-drought era of lush growth - a work in progress!

All 3 cherry trees should be in full flower at our Hanami Party

Thank you to Julie, Sam, Adrian, and Helen for their help in the garden and also Bev & Vic for delivering a delicious morning tea.

The spectacular red colours of the Japanese maple