Brightwater Horticultural Society in need of new members
A crop of new members keen to share their growing tips are sought by the110-year-old Brightwater Horticultural Society.
The society holds its annual show next weekend at the Brightwater Hall.
Along with the best looking flowers, vegetables, pot plants, jams and cakes in town, the show will feature a children's section which included a colouring competition, that would be judged on the day by spectators.
The district's garden clubs and Nelson Horticultural Society members will also take part in the weekend show.
President Arch Crerar said the annual event was once the focal point for the rural community and a place where families could display their home-grown and hand-made produce.
Crowds continued to attend the show to this day.
"The most common comment about displays is people saying they have a better one at home."
Membership of gardening clubs continued to climb, which showed strong regional interest in the hobby, Crerar said. But over the years, and despite the minimal $3 annual fee, the society's membership had slowly eroded.
Crerar blamed the demise of school gardens, which were now coming back into fashion , smaller sections and the move away from families growing their own food.
He said he was infected with the gardening bug through his school gardening days in Dovedale and falling in love with a "beautiful" farm garden in Sunday Creek, before making his living growing tobacco.
Now retired, Crerar can be found in his large Stoke garden from early morning where he prolifically grows colourful head-high dahlias and bulbs alongside thriving plots of vegetables.
"Gardening is good for your head space, it clears out the rubbish," he said.
"But the seed is sown at an early age.
"Gardening books and online sites give great advice, but the best thing is to just start gardening," he said.
Crerar said the society had a friendly laid-back country atmosphere and was keen to recruit new members who could help it move with the times.
"We are all about fostering the interest of growing plants and excelling in what we try to do.
"It would be a shame if it folded."