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The bad news unfortunately, is that the club will not be able to provide mail order plants for members in 2014. Members will be needing to propagate their own plants for next year's growing. Please refer to the CSV Manual on how to do this. 

The good news is there will still be a PLANT SALE at the October meeting for those 
who can attend.


Victorian Chrysanthemum Society member and judge, Colin Omerod's involvement with Wonthaggi Garden Club.

The first article shows bananas having been grown and exhibited in Wonthaggi area (southern Victoria). 



A taste of the tropics at Easter show

March 30, 2013

Show organiser Colin Ormerod (left) and Colin Wilmott of Glen Alvie, who exhibited the first-ever bananas seen at the Wonthaggi Flower and Vegetable Show.

BANANAS grown in Glen Alvie are on show for the first time this Easter weekend at the annual Wonthaggi Garden Club Flower and Vegetable Show. 

Let one thousand flowers bloom

March 30, 2013


Colin and Sheila with Sheila’s prize-winning roses.

COLIN Ormerod always relished the time in the glasshouse just before a flower show. Like the artist before an exhibition opening, he could wholeheartedly enjoy his peerless creations one last time. Soon they would be subject to the judges’ critical gaze and the scrutiny of a curious public.

“I loved being surrounded by them at their absolute peak, plucking a petal here or there."

Colin’s enthusiasm for chrysanthemums, brought with him from Lancashire to Wonthaggi more than 30 years ago, was the basis for a remarkable injection of gardening activity into the town. With his wife Sheila’s support, he and a couple of friends put on the town’s first-ever chrysanthemum exhibition, in 1992, and went on to establish the Wonthaggi Garden Club two years later.

Colin and Sheila have been club office bearers going on 18 years. Every Easter the club puts on the flower and vegetable show, where top-class chrysanthemums feature along with a cornucopia of other flowers, fruits and vegetables. It’s Colin’s job to vet and co-ordinate up to 500 exhibits displayed at the Wonthaggi Workmen’s Club ready for judging before the public opening on Easter Saturday.

Colin has been a chrysanthemum fancier since his early 20s but his love of gardening goes back much further to happy days spent with his father in the family’s vegetable and flower allotment.

In Britain, the allotments supplemented people’s diet, particularly during and in the aftermath of the Second World War. Colin’s dad, like so many gardeners in the north, also grew flowers.

Sheila has finally convinced Colin there is life after chrysanthemums. The couple gave up growing them fairly recently.

“I’d been a chrysanthemum widow for a long time,” she says, and laughs. “Now we are doing all sorts of other things together, like volunteering at the State Coal Mine.”

Community service is part of life for the Ormerods. In the past, while working full time and raising a family, they put up their hands to help with the Wonthaggi Italian Festa, among other social events and community projects. Getting involved is a way of belonging, Sheila says.

Colin also has commitments as a Victorian Chrysanthemum Society member and judge at regional shows, as well as the Royal Melbourne Show.

Both of them wish more local people would join the garden club and take part in the annual show, but Colin is not sure whether exhibitions and specialised flower growing appeal as they once did.  “Chrysanthemum growers in Great Britain have dropped from 30,000 to about 2000 now.”

And yet Wonthaggi’s annual show has a new sponsor, Parklands Wonthaggi, making it more financially viable, and that brings hope.

The annual flower and produce show is also a proving ground for trainee judges, with interstate judges travelling to Wonthaggi for the occasion.

One of the delights of the annual exhibition at the Wonthaggi Workmen’s Club has been the reviving of the town’s once celebrated Leek Club, which boasted 44 members in 1934, a few of them women. The Wonthaggi Workmen’s now sponsors a prize for the largest leek with a trophy for the best in section.

Chrysanthemums are much prized in Japan where they stand for longevity and happiness.




Above: Some of Colin's prize blooms over the years.

The Wonthaggi Garden Club Flower and Vegetable Easter Show is open to the public from 12.30pm-5.30pm on Saturday March 30 and 10am-4pm on Sunday March 31. Entries are open to the general public can be lodged with Colin Ormerod until 9pm on Wednesday, March 27. Sections including dahlias, floral art, cut flowers, vegetables, herbs and pot plants. There is also a photographic section. Inquiries: Colin on 5672 2720.


Colin inspects a bumper crop of tomatoes in his Wonthaggi patch.


The association with the Workmen’s has been a happy one, Sheila says. “They are very good to us. We get a free room and meals for the judges.”

It’s a busy time for Colin and Sheila in the lead-up to the show but Colin still finds time for some serious work in his vegetable garden and raspberry patch, and Sheila has her roses.

“By the way,” Colin says as he inspects a bumper crop of pumpkins, “our children know never to give their mother a bunch of flowers with chrysanthemums in it.”


Permission: Copied with permission from South Coast Post.


Vale Ray Webb


Ray Webb

We are saddened to report the passing of our Life Member, Mr Ray Webb, in Tasmania on Thursday morning 28 June 2012.

Ray was a key person in the continuation of the Chrysanthemum Society of Victoria for some years. He and his late wife, Joyce, carried most of the load as Treasurer and Secretary of the Society. Ray also served as Show Manager. The older members will more fully appreciate the contribution Ray and Joyce made, and can probably add more detail to the work they did.

Ray moved to Tasmania a few years ago and made his presence known in that part of the Chrysanthemum world. Unfortunately, in recent times Ray had not enjoyed the best of health.

CSV extends sympathy to Ray's family.





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