Chair’s Report regarding the DHGCT Society’s 2020 AGM

The Darts Hill Garden Conservancy Trust Society’s (DHGCTS) 2020 AGM was held on Saturday March 7.  Treasurer Ron Fawcett presented the budget for 2020 which was approved by the membership. As in the preceding year, the Society’s 2019 total revenues significantly exceeded 2019 disbursements.

2020 Board elections were held and Ron Fawcett (DHGCTS Treasurer) was acclaimed to a second 3 year term as a Director of the Society.

Ken Warren, COS, updated the DHGCTS membership with an illustrated talk about the changes and improvements to garden in 2019 and plans for 2020. Maria Fish, COS, complemented Ken’s talk with a summary of the work done to date on the Darts Hill Garden Park Master Plan. The DHGCTS and the COS began the Master Planning process for the garden in August of 2019. It is an ongoing process with implementation in three stages over a long 30 year term and of course, is dependent on funding.

As part of the DHGCTS Chair’s Comments, some interesting stats were presented to the membership:

  • 291 DHGCTS members in 2019           (221 in 2018:  200 in 2017)
  • 8,602 visitors in 2019                           (6,522 in 2018: 4,700 in 2017: 2,300 in 2016)
  • 13 booked tours led by Guides that included 173 people plus tours at each Open House and Members Day.
  • 422 new labels placed in the garden for a total of 3,312 inventoried plants
  • $9,752.85 in Plant Sales                        ($8,150 in 2018:  $7,200 in 2017)
  • 281 copies of A Secret Garden sold
  • 1679 on site volunteer hours logged

Some of the DHGCT Society’s accomplishments in 2019 include:

  • Published A Secret Garden: the Story of Darts Hill Garden Park and
  • In partnership, with COS hosted a successful Book Launch on July 31, 2019
  • Redesigned the Oracle Newsletter
  • Upgraded the DHGCTS website to accommodate online book sales
  • Increased garden publicity with our new Instagram account and bumped Facebook posts
  • Participated in the Master Planning of DHGP
  • Added 146 new species to DHGP (via the work of the Collections Committee)

Here’s what to look forward to in 2020:

  • 10,000 visitors to the garden?
  • Plant Sales, Tours and Workshops and Special Events like the “Resplendent” temporary Art Show
  • Increase membership 10 % to 320?

Douglas Justice showcased a selection of plants cut from the garden earlier that morning. Several showy Rhododendron blooms, fragrant Pieris and a dozen other cut stems were passed around the room.

DHGCTS Chair, Susan M. Murray’s presentation about the Rare and Unusual Plants of the South West Botanical Province of Australia was well received.

Thanks to the door prize group, in particular Sanne Dryborough and her crew of helpers, who sourced a wonderful selection of garden appropriate gifts.

 Thanks also to the youth group and in particular, Bonnie Old, at the Emmanuel Evangelical Church for event logistics and the provision of an enjoyable light lunch.

Celeste Paley toured DHGCTS members through the garden after the meeting. It was forecast snow but none appeared and the afternoon brightened as the tour proceeded. Thank you, Celeste!