Photo courtesy of A & J Collins
Our meetings take the format of a presentation by a speaker followed by supper and plant viewing then the raffle and auction.
Guest speakers may be specialists who provide information on a particular species using a slideshow and specimen plants. Some also bring plants for sale. On other nights members give presentations, often showing photographs of gardens they have visited around the world. To see the wide variety of topics covered check our lists of upcoming and recent speakers.
Also see the newspaper article from the Sydney Morning Herald about the joys of attending a typical Tropical Garden Society meeting.
All members are encouraged to donate at least one plant for our $1 raffle, with proceeds going to the society. Winners can make a choice from any of the plants remaining on the table when their ticket is drawn. As there are many prizes it is not unusual to go home with one or more plants for a very small outlay. For example one member was able to choose a small chambeyronia palm, a bird’s nest anthurium and a heliconia recently when three out of five tickets were successful in the draw.
Members may also bring plants to be sold through the auction. They will receive their reserve price if the plant sells. Any excess over the reserve goes to the society. Plants are grouped on two tables, one for plants with reserves of $10 or more which are sold first and another table with lower reserve prices. The auction has plants of interest to those who are just beginning new gardens as well as experienced collectors. There is usually wide variety of plants propagated by members but also mature specimens from collections that are being downsized. Sometimes quite rare specimens are available such as the Worsleya procera offered recently. Our auctioneer provides valuable information about growing conditions so you can learn a lot just by being there.
All plants for the raffle or auction should be brought with their pots enclosed in a plastic bag to avoid spillage of soil or water. Auction plants should be listed on an auction sheet. Two identification markers such as paddle pop sticks should be used. One should show the plant name and the other has the seller’s initials, reserve price and an item number that corresponds to the item number on the auction sheet.
The Sales Table
Lower priced plants of $10 or less will be sold from the Sales Table before the meeting starts and during the supper break. These plants will require one paddle-pop stick with the seller’s initials and the sale price, and one label with the plant name. There will be no need to provide a list of plants being sold from the Sales Table.
One or two committee people will collect the money and paddle-pop sticks as plants are sold, and payment will be made to plant sellers before the end of the night with 10% commission being deducted to go to our Society.
Our library cupboard contains a stock of books and magazines which can be borrowed by members at the meetings.
The society has occasional outings for members and their guests to members’ gardens or places of interest. We have had two visits to the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney to view the replanted palms beds and had behind the scenes tours of the glasshouses. In late 2020 we organised visits to nine gardens of members and we hope to have more gardens opening in 2021. In March 2017 we visited the Wollongong Botanic Garden and a member garden. In June 2018 we visited Living Edge Garden & Mt Penang Garden. Outings are advertised in our society newsletter or emails.
The society has run stalls at the Collectors Plant Fair at Clarendon and The Plant Lovers' Fair at Kariong.
Visitors and Membership
We welcome visitors to come and sample a meeting before taking out membership. Visitors may participate in the raffle and can buy plants at the auction. Once they become members of the society they are also able to sell plants in the auction and on the sales table.
Membership costs are $25 per calendar year for a single person or $30 for a family.
(Note that 2020 financial members will have their membership automatically renewed for 2021 without payment of fees.)