A long-time Sutherland Group member decluttering at home rediscovered several posters promoting our large public events in the late 1980s. The spectacular flower displays attracted much public interest and helped spread awareness and knowledge about Australian native plants.
In a sign of the times, our name was the Society for Growing Australian Plants, and there was no such thing as a website address for more information.
Various commercial groups have run large gardening and plant-oriented annual events in various locations in Sydney but they have been difficult to sustain beyond a few years.
Ian Cox wrote in the Fern Study Group Newsletter January 2021:
‘At the Hills Council’s Community Environment Centre (CEC) at Annangrove, Sydney, where I work as a volunteer, there’s a garden affectionately called “Betty’s fern garden”. Now, the Betty mentioned is Betty Rymer. Betty will be well-known to some of the long-term members of the Fern Study Group, as she was a very active member until a few years ago. Indeed, Betty was a very active, respected and knowledgeable member of APS NSW, and was the main organiser of the fabulous Wildflower Spectacular Shows at Castle Hill and Rouse Hill in the 1980s and 1990s that sadly don’t happen anymore. These shows attracted many thousands of visitors and created tremendous publicity for native plants. For her efforts Betty was honoured in 1991 by an award of life membership by APS NSW.’
If you have a story to share from those event days or more posters, please the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org