Horticultural society releases book on its fertile history

THE Launceston Horticultural Society will no longer have to search through hundreds of books and newspaper clippings to find out about its 175-year history, as it is now written in the one book.

Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten launched The Launceston Horticultural Society _ Its History at the Town Hall last night.

It took more than three years for Hobart historian Gwenda Sheridan to research and write the book and she spent a lot of time visiting large properties that had previously belonged to former members of the society.

Society president Pat Wellington said the society began in 1838 with 48 members.

``It grew out of the need for sustaining themselves and feeding the colony,'' Mrs Wellington said.

More than 175 years on, the society is as strong as ever with about 140 members.

The society's Ron Camplin said some of the big changes over the years was that the society's shows were more about flowers now than vegetables and the shows were held four times a year.

``The shows gives people a chance to see what is available and when they see what's available and see some of the beautiful flowers, they can say I'd like that in my garden, and go to a nursery and buy it,'' he said.

The book also mentions the society's significant contribution to Launceston's City Park, which it leased for 21 years from 1841.

The Launceston Horticultural Society _ Its History can be bought at Petrarch's, Birchalls, Fullers Bookshop and the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery. 

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