From growing things to garden history, from urban greening to organic farming, our interests are wide-ranging. We offer a chance for all who share a love of plants to meet. For more than 30 years, we have delighted in garden visits, overseas trips, talks and social events. The Hong Kong Gardening Society gives us a chance to learn, as well as to exchange knowledge and experience with others.
There are special interest groups to join for those with a passion for orchids or wondering how to grow things in confined spaces like rooftops and balconies. We also partner with others to spread awareness of Hong Kong's rich biodiversity and abundance of flora and fauna.
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Whether you're a veteran gardener, a beginner or just a plant lover, we'd like to hear from you. Become a member. The society is run entirely by volunteers and we always welcome new faces and new ideas. If you would like to get involved, please contact us.
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Flower of the Month: Makania mirantha
It’s hard to miss Mikania micrantha at the moment as it is flowering profusely in any empty – and not-so-empty space, sprawling up trunks to smother some of our most beautiful woodland trees. In another few weeks the seeds will ripen and the wind will carry millions of them to any place where they can gain a toehold. If you have Mikania in or near your garden, root it out without delay before it takes over all your precious plants. The nickname, Mile-a-minute was not lightly given!
Mikania is native to Central and much of Southern America, but it has long since become well-established in the tropics. Stories of how it reached Asia vary: one version tells how it was introduced to provide quick-growing camouflage for aircraft hangars in wartime. Another account suggests that some animals will eat it despite its rank odour and it was introduced to this region as fodder. Whatever the truth, if you see it, eradicate it as far as possible and dispose of the uprooted pieces where they cannot continue to invade.
Tree of the Month: Peltophorum pterocarpus or Peltophorum tonkinensa
The leaves of P.pterocarpus are darker green and the silhouette of the tree is narrower, but both species are similar and it can be hard to distinguish between them from the windows of a bus! I am happy to leave botanists to sort out the names while I enjoy the brassy yellow flowers that are starting to make splendid and long-lasting splashes of colour along the section of Pokfulam Road between Queen Mary Hospital and the University of Hong Kong.
Peltophorum thrives in a tropical environment where it can reach a height of 25-50 metres. It will be interesting to see how the Pokfulam trees mature. In their original habitats, they are traditionally valued for their various medicinal properties and as roadside shade trees. Their symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria enables the roots to fix atmospheric nitrogen, some of which is utilized by the growing tree, but some can be shared with nearby trees.
Bird of the month: Eurasian Tree Sparrow
Tree Sparrow is "Hong Kong's "favourite bird". In addition to its lovely appearance, this bird can be found almost everywhere in Hong Kong. Some people felt they had grown up with the sparrows; some admired their energy and ability to survive in any environment - reflecting the character of people of Hong Kong! Last but not least, the name of the bird has a similar pronunciation to the popular local game "mahjong", thus raising the awareness of Tree Sparrow amongst a very unusual audience!