by Greta Yeoman
Daffodils will be on display at the Timaru Horticultural Society Spring Show this weekend.
The society’s show is being held in conjunction with the Alpine Energy National Daffodil Show.
Society president Maureen Ng said it was the beginning of the group’s 2019-20 show season, which also marked its 150th year of operation.
It is an impressive feat for the society, given its establishment was only a year after that of the Timaru borough.
The show’s 2019-21 schedule records a meeting at the time of “gentlemen interested in the formation of a horticultural society”, many of whom were owners of large estates in the Timaru district and who went on to have streets named after them.
The society’s first show was held on December 16, 1871 (Anniversary Day at that time), at the Oddfellows Hall.
In 1912, women were admitted to the committee, but this was not a unanimously popular decision as many of the men feared this would spell the end of their social hour or two held after committee meetings.
The society experimented with church halls, woolstores and warehouses as venues for the shows, but from the 1930s onwards the show has been held at the Caroline Bay Hall.
The weekend’s Daffodil Show would also be held there.
Daffodils would be the main feature of the two-day event, which was set to feature blooms from growers from around the South Island, Mrs Ng said.
Other entries would include cut flowers, container plants, orchids, rock garden plants, bonsai exhibits and floral art.
The society would be hosting an anniversary dinner in March 2020 to mark the milestone.
Mrs Ng said while the group had a “lot more” members at its 100th celebrations, the society still had a strong, dedicated core of about 200 members.
The society’s next show would be the South Island Dahlia Show in February, followed by a chrysanthemum event in May.
The Alpine Energy National Daffodil Show and Timaru Horticultural Society Spring Show will be held at Caroline Bay Hall on Saturday and Sunday. The hall will be open to the public from 2pm to 5pm on Saturday and from 11am to 4pm on Sunday.