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.
18 June Foraging Expedition
23 June Microgreen Farm Visit, Tin Wan
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Flowers of the Month:
A Prince of Bromeliads
Name: Quesnelia marmorata
Origin: Atlantic forest of southeast Brazil
Feature: This handsome bromeliad is well known for its upright shape and smooth leaves with their mottled maroon design. They also feature attractive pink and purple bracts which emerge from the cup, creating a natural sculpture. These bracts appear only once per plant, after which the mother shoots out ‘pups’ around its base.
To Grow: Quesnelia does well in Hong Kong; they prefer good sunlight with air circulation. Best results come from mounting them on rocks, with or without a pot. Always keep water in the cup.
The ‘Drunken' Hibiscus
Name: Hibiscus mutablis cv. Versicolor (Confederate Rose, Dixie Rosemarrow)
Origin: Southeast China, Taiwan, southern Japan
Feature: This hibiscus is famous for its color ‘metamorphosis’. It is white in the morning, pale pink at midday and dark reddish pink by late afternoon. Though the flower lasts only one day, you can enjoy various hues throughout the day. Both single- and double-petal varieties are available. In Japan the changing color is said to resemble the effects of too much sake on a person’s face, so it is called the ‘drunken hibiscus’ (酔芙蓉).
To Grow: Ideally, it prefers being planted in the ground, but it will also be happy even in a large pot.
(credits to Akira Kada)
Bird of the month:
CHINESE BULBUL Pycnonotus sinensis
The colloquial Chinese name is "pak tau yung" in Cantonese. Pak is white as in "pak choi". Tau is head. "Yung" is old man. The name is related to the bird's white nape. This bulbul has been known here also as the white-vented or light-vented Bulbul. They are the most abundant and widespread species in Hong Kong, with the highest count of 5000 on 30 March 2010. Chinese Bulbuls have been described as noisy and less tuneful than the Red-whiskered. They eat the fruit of Lantana and of Melia azedarach, Persian Lilac, to which we would add from our own observations: flowers of Averrhoa carambola, Star Fruit, fruit of Ilex rotunda var. microcarpa, Glochidion macrophyllum, Zanthoxylum avicennae, small ripe chilies plucked from the bush and persimmon fruit on the tree.
RED-WHISKERED BULBUL Pycnonotus jocosus
Previously known as the Crested Bulbul, and in some circles, more fondly as the Top Hat Bulbul, this species has now been labelled more unimaginatively as Red-whiskered – a name we stumble over every time. They are still regarded as an abundant resident in most habitats except woodland interior. We have observed that they prefer to live and breed in close proximity to humans. They breed between February and August. Nests can be quite low-down in shrubs, bamboo and trees but have also been recorded in some bizarre places such as in Cycad plants and on a balcony in a wire basket. Our own food observations have recorded them eating fruit of Alpinia formosana, Callicarpa sp., leaves of Clerodendrum walichii, fruit of Duranta erecta, Desmos chinensis, Zanthoxylum avicennae, Ilex rotunda var. microcarpa, Schefflera heptaphylla, ripe banana, small ripe chilies plucked from a bush and persimmons on the tree.
Note: Please see May 2020 Newsletter for the full article of Bird of the Month.
(credits to Karen and Ruy Barretto)
Tree of the Month:
Crateva unilocularis (樹頭菜/魚木)
Crateva unilocularis (樹頭菜/魚木) is quite common in Hong Kong as roadside trees. This deciduous species has been introduced to Hong Kong for a long time. Their spring blossom along Prince Edward Road is also popular to photographers. Though exotic, the tree has plenty of nectar which attracts various local butterflies. It was, however, named Spider Tree referring to the stamenoid petal arrangement. The species had been misnamed C. religiosa locally in the past due to misidentification. They are two different species.
(credits to Chiky Cheuk Yuet Wong)