Information Evenings

Information Evenings are held monthly, public welcome. The program includes a guest speaker, followed by free raffle, supper and a chat at no charge. They are held every 3rd Monday of the month (except December), at 7.30pm in the Wesley Foyer, Wesley Uniting Church Centre, National Circuit, Forrest, unless advised otherwise in the timetable below.

At the monthly Information Evenings beginners and experts alike can receive advice about plants and gardening, exhibiting in the Society’s shows, or simply discuss horticultural matters with others interested in the same.

Monday 17 January 2022 CANCELLED DUE TO COVID
Monday 21 February Our speaker will be Greg Johnson who will talk on “Our garden in a year of calamities”.
Monday 21 March Our speaker will be Judy Horton OAM. Judy’s topic is “Great American gardens and gardeners”.
Monday 18 April Our speakers will be Samantha Ning and Carma Sweet from Urban Treescapes. They will be talking about trees in the ACT.
Monday 16 May Our speaker will be Dr Stephen Utick. His talk is entitled “Beyond the Silk Road – a decade of Chinese garden adventures”.
Monday 20 June Our speaker will be John Weatherstone who will be talking about “Native orchids”.
Monday 18 July Our speakers will be Minister Rebecca Vassarotti and Greens MLA Jo Clay. The title of their talk is “Sustainable Food”.
Monday 15 August AGM. Our speaker will be Belinda from The Flowering Field at Burra. Her talk is entitled “Setting up a flower farm”.
Monday 19 September Our speaker will be Dominic Wong whose topic is growing peonies.
Monday 17 October Garden Guru Paulene Cairnduff will talk to us about the Fetherston Gardens at Weston.
Monday 21 November HSOC member Wendy Whitham will tell us about her trip to Japan in search of wisteria, peonies and azaleas.
December No meeting

Location of Wesley Centre

Flower Shows

Four shows are held each year, the first of the calendar year being the Autumn Flower Show in March. The other three shows are held in spring.

It’s now been decided that three shows in 2022 will be held at the Lancaster Hall, Wesley Centre, National Circuit, Forrest, while one show, the Iris, Rhododendron and Azalea Show, will be held at The Abbey at Federation Square. New opening hours will apply to all shows from (and including) the Iris, Rhododendron and Azalea Show: Saturday 10.00am to 4.00pm and Sunday 10.00am to 3.15pm.

Prior to the show season the Society may hold workshops and lectures for members wishing to become judges, stewards and exhibitors at shows, or who wish to further their knowledge of judging, stewarding and exhibiting.

Shows provide gardeners with an opportunity to show off their flowers, plants and produce in a competitive environment. There are different levels of competition from novice to expert. Also, they provide a chance to see what the experts are growing, and they are a great social occasion when you can compare notes with other gardeners or seek the advice of the experts.

Entry to the shows is by gold coin donation.

Click here to see two interviews about dahlias, filmed at the 2022 Autumn Flower Show:

  1. Interview with Warren Vigor of Dahlia Heaven
  2. Interview with champion Canberra grower, John Woodfield



The Autumn Flower Show
Show Rules 2022
5-6 March
The Spring Bulb and Camellia Show
Schedule (Revised July 2022)
Show Rules 2022
17-18 September
The Iris, Rhododendron and Azalea Show
Show Rules 2022
29-30 October
The Spring Exhibition and Rose Show
Show Rules 2022
12-13 November


Autumn Flower Show 4-5 March 2023
Spring Bulb and Camellia Show 16-17 September 2023
Iris, Rhododendron and Azalea Show 28-29 October 2023
Spring Exhibition and Rose Show 11-12 November 2023

Enquiries and entries to:
The Honorary Show Secretary, Phone (02) 6251 2859

Location of Lancaster Hall, Wesley Centre

Open Gardens

The Society conducts an Open Garden Program where members’ gardens are open for other members to visit. Visiting open gardens give an opportunity to share ideas. It lets visitors see what the owner grows, how to grow it, and what has been done to tackle the drought and water restrictions.

Please note that Open Garden visits are only available to financial Society members.

Not a member? Go to Membership to find details on how to join or call 6291 5352.


The Society organises interstate bus trips for members. In the past, trips have been arranged for visits to the Blue Mountains, the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, specialist nurseries, and public and private gardens of significant interest. There has also been a trip to New Zealand.

For insurance purposes, participants on bus trips must be members. Not a member? Go to Membership to find details on how to join or call 0419 517 877.

Bruce Demonstration Garden

The Horticultural Society has a garden at Bruce, adjacent to the Canberra Institute of Technology, where plants are being grown to demonstrate what grows well in Canberra and surrounds. Findings will be recorded for the purposes of future editions of The Canberra Gardener, and information used in other HSOC publications and on the HSOC website.

Working bees are held monthly on the last Saturday of every month except December, from 9.00am to noon, unless the date conflicts with another event. In addition, the garden is open each Wednesday morning (also between 9 and 12) for HSOC members to visit.

Working in the garden is not a requirement and you can come and go as you please. Morning tea is at 10.30. If you would like to join in, bring a mug and some food to share. Please feel free to walk around the garden, ask for gardening advice, join us for morning tea and a chat, or do some light gardening or propagation of plants.

Please note that participants in working bees must be HSOC members for insurance purposes. For further information on the garden, email

The remaining dates for Saturday working bees in 2022 are as follows:

30 April

28 May

25 June

30 July

27 August

24 September

22 October (not the 29th as the 29th coincides with the Iris, Rhododendron and Azalea Show)

26 November.

There are a number of documents reporting on progress with the Demonstration Garden and with the outcomes of trials:

Report of 16 January 2013

Report of July 2014 – vegetable trials

Report of Dahlia Trial 2018

Timeline for the HSOC Trial Garden at Bruce 

Timeline for the HSOC Trial Garden at Bruce January 2017-August 2018

Demonstration Garden Location