by George Clark
The Timaru Horticultural Society has marked its 150th year by planting a magnolia denudata tree in the Timaru Botanic Gardens last week.
As the youngest member of the society, 38-year-old Malcolm Blackman said he felt privileged to place the 150th-anniversary plaque earlier that morning.
His fond memories of planting trees with his grandparents had prompted him to join the society.
“I have been doing vegetable gardening since I was young and have always enjoyed it. Joining the society seemed like the next step.”
Horticultural society president Maureen Ng said it was a surreal moment for the society.
“We are celebrating 150 years of being a horticultural society, carrying on the tradition with garden competitions, spring and a summer garden for flowers and a vegetable garden competition.”
Life member Ted Falvey died suddenly the day before the tree planting event. His son Geoff Falvey drove over from the West Coast to participate in the event on his behalf.
“Ted was secretary and treasurer for over 20 years, convened all the shows, made the equipment we used, he was an engineer and that was his life. He passed away suddenly and we are deeply saddened he cannot be here,” Mrs Ng said.
The Timaru Horticulture Society is the second longest-running in the country.