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 16 January 2023 Robert Little will speak on flesh-eating plants
Monday 20 February Paul Scholtens will talk about his career in horticulture, noting that trees are an important part of his life.
Monday 20 March Our speaker will be Peter Abbott, author of Native bees of the ACT and NSW South Coast. We’re hoping he’ll bring some native bee honey to taste as well as copies of his book.
Monday 17 April Our speaker will be Cid Riley on the topic of worm farms.
Monday 15 May Jane Wright will talk to us about the orchids we can grow in Canberra – in the garden, on the deck under cover, in the house and in a heated greenhouse.
Monday 19 June Our speaker will be from Neutrog.
Monday 17 July Kieron from Greengold Nursery at Federation Square will be talking about indoor plants. He will also have plants for sale.
Monday 21August AGM. Our speaker will be Bill Willis from Cuumbuen Native Plant Nursery in Queanbeyan.
Monday 18 September Suzi Bond will talk to us about butterflies of the ACT.
Monday 16 October Please note that the speaker for October has changed. Our speaker will be Dr Anna Howe on how Southern California went native in Canberra in the 1960s, including using drought tolerant Australian native plants and Californian desert plants.
Monday 20 November Associate Professor Gavin Smith will be talking on working with and for venomous snakes on the urban edges. Prof Smith is with the ANU’s Canberra Snake Tracking Project.
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.

Opening hours for the four shows are Saturday 10am-4pm and Sunday 10am-3.15pm.

Entry to the shows is by gold coin donation.

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.

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



Autumn Flower Show 2-3 March at the Fitzroy Pavilion, EPIC

Spring Bulb and Camellia Show 21-22 September at the Fitzroy Pavilion, EPIC

Iris, Rhododendron and Azalea Show 26-27 October at The Abbey, Gold Creek

Spring Exhibition and Rose Show 16-17 November at The Abbey, Gold Creek


Autumn Flower Show   To be advised
Spring Bulb and Camellia Show   To be advised
Iris, Rhododendron and Azalea Show   To be advised
Spring Exhibition and Rose Show   To be advised

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

Location of Fitzroy Pavilion at EPIC

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 dates for Saturday working bees in the second half of 2023 are as follows:

29 July – Note that there will be a rose and fruit tree pruning demonstration from 10am on this day. Also, on 30 July, there will be a rose pruning demonstration at 1 Spence Place, from 1pm. Public welcome at both events.

26 August

30 September

21 October (not 28 October, to avoid a clash with the flower show)

25 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