Saturday 20 March 2021

Japanese Garden Working Bee

This morning (Sunday) members of our committee gathered in the Japanese garden on Frankston High School's Senior Campus for a working bee to plant mondo grass in the barer areas of the garden. Whilst other parts of the garden have flourished, the front sections of the garden close to the very large rocks have seen better days! These areas experience the greatest sun exposure during the hot afternoons and the heated rocks draw moisture from the soil.

At our most recent Japanese Festival held in 2018 I was fortunate enough to meet with an experienced gardener who had worked in Japan. His advice, plus the recommendations from Brendan Curtis (a horticulturist who works at Melbourne Zoo) were adopted at today's working bee. The garden received extra watering during the past week to ensure adequate soil moisture, a garden fork was used to loosen the areas to be planted, and each of the 10 trays of 10 mondo grass plants were divided into 4-6 smaller plants to ensure greater coverage.

FSFA Chairperson Julie D'Arcy undertook some initial weeding while Vice-Chairperson Simon Hast got busy with his garden fork. They were joined by committee members Adrian Thomas and Therese Sakamoto (and her current Dogs for Kids pup called Vegemite!) who started dividing each of the mondo grass plants. These were then planted out by Julie and Simon. Bev Hannan and Vic Webster were kind enough to do the coffee run while committee member Helen Wilson (also Frankston High School Senior Campus Principal) arrived with new Frankston High School Principal Andrew Batchelor to meet the committee. The plate of scones were very much appreciated!

The planting continued after our delicious morning tea with the aim to finish before 12 midday so we could join staff, parents and students who had been at the working bee based on the school's 7-10 Campus. All the planting, watering and clean-up were completed in quick time with everyone pitching in to complete these tasks.

The predicted rain over the coming week is ideal to ensure the grass gets a great start and it is hoped the new plantings will thrive over the coming months and spread to cover the previously bare patches in the garden. Some additional watering may be required but we are hoping for plenty of autumn and winter rain!

Thank you to those committee members who assisted in our very productive working bee, to Helen and Andrew for providing morning tea scones and the school's continuing support of FSFA's work, and also to Frankston High's Community Liaison Coordinator Anne Thompson who purchased the mondo grass and delivered it to the Japanese garden during the week.

We'll keep our FSFA members updated with how the grass is faring over the coming months.

Bev, Vic, Julie, Adrian, Andrew, Therese, Vegemite and Simon