The Horticultural Society celebrates its 90th anniversary

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Mike Hammer, Karen Petersen, Keith Ross and Ian Wallace of the Ferny Creek Horticultural Society planting on the Sassafras site acreage. PHOTOS: STEWART ROOMS

By Tyler Wright

The Ferny Creek Horticultural Society has reached a major milestone by celebrating 90 years of business in 2022.

Founded in 1932, the self-funded voluntary organization promotes the study, practice and development of horticulture, brings members of the community together and provides and operates facilities for members and visitors to learn and hone their passion. for growing plants in gardens.

Eric Watson, secretary of the Ferny Creek Horticultural Society, joined the group after buying a property with a nice garden and wanted to gather information about gardening while involving incredible people who had enormous knowledge.

“We look after 10 acres of gardens that have been allocated to us to look after and care for. There’s a lot of gardening and we also have our flower shows and general meetings,” said Eric.

“We organize three flower exhibitions and the plant collectors’ exhibition every year.”

With around 250 members managing the property in Sassafras, Eric said some locals who have lived in the area were unaware the gardens existed.

“We probably have 1,000 people coming to see [our] flower shows, we have home-schooled children who regularly come to supplement their education by learning a bit about the gardens and the plants, and we have our interested groups who come to visit the gardens from time to time, several times a year”, Eric said.

“We also receive people from afar. Loads of people come to our shows to take a look and enjoy what we have.“

Beginning with meetings in a log cabin at the Ferny Creek Reservation, the Society was originally a meeting place for like-minded people to discuss their love of horticulture.

For its 25th anniversary in 1957, members were allocated four acres adjacent to the reserve, and a few years later six additional acres to bring the total to 10 acres (four hectares).

Eric said the band got stronger and stronger.

“We have real professional horticulturists who are part of the company who have now or in the past had nurseries which they have managed professionally, but we also have people who are also hobby gardeners. … they usually learn from horticulturists,” he said.

“We even had [a fellow] who is no longer an active member, but who had a degree in botany and taught at a university in the field; it is therefore a wide range of skills and knowledge that make up our members.“

The upcoming Ferny Creek Horticultural Society Spring Flower Show on Saturday, September 3 and Sunday, September 4 will feature flower shows, officially judged shows, guided garden walks, plant and flower sales, vendors, refreshments and a sizzle of sausages for the enjoyment of visitors.

A nominal fee will be charged at the door for non-members.

“You can go and ask [members and gardeners] really basic questions and they are very enthusiastic about providing the answers. They are very free to disseminate their information,” the secretary said.

A variety of groups are available including an Australian native plant group, propagation group, rhododendron and camellia enthusiasts, rock garden and craft groups depending on your interests.

The spring show schedule will be available soon, and Eric said more activities are in the works for the 90th anniversary.

Membership involves an annual fee of $25 to attend group shows for free and get involved in sub-groups.

For more information on the Ferny Creek Horticultural Society and future events, visit fchs.org.au/

You can also check the social networks of the Society @fernycreekhorticulturalsociety on Instagram and the same name on Facebook.

The group site is located at 100 Hilton Rd, Sassafras.

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