Club back in full bloom

Chris Tournier. (Rebecca Hosking) 226008_11

By Luke Voogt

Activities are blossoming again for a club of green thumbs who put their garden tours on hold for the first time in four decades last year.

Grandmother and nursery owner Chris Tournier was happy to restart Gnarwarre Gardening Club’s activities last November following an eight-month COVID-19 hibernation.

The reunion was the first time she had seen her fellow members after they halted events in March.

“It was good to see everyone healthy – we had a lot to catch up on,” she said.

The group began about 40 years ago when Chris’s long-time friend Bernice Carty began organising visits between her and her friends’ gardens.

“Her children and my children went to Gnarwarre Primary School about 35 years ago,” Chris said.

“She was a lover of roses, so I used to get advice from her. She has since died, so I kind of took over it.”

The informal club has fluctuated between half a dozen to 30 members over the decades, according to Chris.

“When Bernice started it, it was more or less visiting each others’ gardens,” she said.

“We’ve got a bit bigger since then. Now it’s progressed to open gardens and festivals.

“We’ve been to gardens and festivals in Tassie, New Zealand and the Blue Mountains.”

With many older and more vulnerable members, the club has been cautious with its activities during the pandemic.

But with the COVID-19 situation improving members are optimistically looking forward to 2021.

“We’re making plans for different things – maybe a bit of interstate travel,” Chris said.

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