Linger for a few moments near Kiama’s Collins and Terralong Streets roundabout and you are almost guaranteed to hear someone commenting about the flower display or the perfume from the Peace roses planted under the War Memorial.
This spring we were treated to a glorious display of almost stained-glass magnificence as intermediate-sized snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus) reached for the sky.
The Kiama Council Parks and Gardens team, led by horticulturalist Murray Dee and apprentice horticulturalist Jason Pappas (above), work round the year to beautify this entrance to Kiama.
Jason says the secret to snappie success is healthy soil and feeding them Healthy Earth, an Australian-made fertiliser, about a month after planting.
“When we see a flower bud come up, we cut it back as this allows more flowers to come out, as it gets more energy to the roots,” he says.
Pappas was Council’sMegan Dalley Apprentice of the Year in 2019 and is doing his final block of TAFE horticulture studies this term.
He says we can expect more colour and joy in summer.
“Soon we will turn over the soil, apply an inch of mushroom compost and add petunias (maybe High Society) to the salvia, canna lily and assorted shrubs mix,” he says.
While we stand admiring these colours, a retiree from Wollongong walks past.
“We regularly catch the train to Kiama, walk to Minnamurra then take the train home,” he says.
“My wife Maureen has always wanted to be a gardener in Kiama. She sends emails to council to congratulate them on their flowers.”
He turns to Jason and says, “It must really give you a lift to work here, son.”