Umvoti Garden Club, 121 years of great gardening

2017-10-11 06:00

IN 1896, 121 years ago the Umvoti Horticultural Society was established and since then has served anyone interested in horticulture, gardening and the floral arts as the Greytown Garden Club.

President Jen Cowie told the Greytown Gazette that it is reputed to be the oldest continuously running organisation of its kind in South Africa. To commemorate this remarkable achievement and the contribution of members past and present, a special celebration has been planned for Tuesday October 31.

Since its early beginnings Mr Hutchinson, a bachelor and manager of Standard Bank, shared his fondness for flowers by holding floral demonstrations at the bank and regaling the ladies of the district with tea and “Huntley and Palmer biscuits” while instructing them on matters horticultural as their children played in the water furrows outside, Greytown Garden Club has progressed to become a vibrant, dynamic organisation well into its third century.

Jen points out: “Just as fashion trends change so do the trends in gardening or floral art.

“Being prepared to embrace the flow of this cycle of constant change is what sustains an organisation enabling it to move forward in history.

“No longer are the children banished to play in the water furrows outside while mothers attend meetings, rather young mothers are encouraged to include their offspring as they will sustain the gardens of the future.”

To celebrate 121 years of Greytown Garden Club history guests, members and visitors will be treated to a special morning with guest speaker, floral artist Vee Rencken, beautiful flowers through the historic NG Church arranged by members and others, a magnificent tea as well as a selection of stalls offering a variety of garden related products and quality crafts. Numerous trophies and awards have been awarded to Greytown Garden Club members for excelling in the disciplines of floral art, specimen blooms and magnificent show gardens.

Although the dynamics of the society have changed, many of the stately gardens throughout the district are the product of ideas learnt at meetings, and put into practice.

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