Margaret Sinclair, president of the Jamaica Horticultural Society, moves towards the group's recently completed headquarters in Hope Pastures. The building was officially opened in April. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer
Marlon Vickerman, Features Writer
As soon as you enter the silver gates you imme-diately see the beige-coloured building, flanked by a rainbow assortment of plants and flowers, standing in grandeur against the backdrop of the green landscape. Other trees and plants flourish in the scenery as well and the butterflies could not possibly enjoy greater freedom.
This is not a fairytale description of a kingdom far, far away. In fact, this is the vista at the recently completed Jamaica Horticultural Society's (JHS) headquarters at 1 Gibson Close in Hope Pastures, St. Andrew.
The building, completed at a cost of $5 million, with the Bank of Nova Scotia providing $1.25 million of that total, was officially opened in April, just in time for the Jamaica Horticultural Society's annual flower show.
Margaret Sinclair, president of the JHS, said the event was the christening touch for the newly constructed headquarters. "Prior to 1990, our annual flower show was held at the National Arena. After that, we started hosting the event on the grounds here at Gibson Close. However, this was before the building was erected," she says.
"Now that we have our own building, one of the main objectives is to have a closer working relationship with the Hope Pastures Citizens' Association. Additionally, we are also hoping to foster greater interaction between other horticulture bodies such as the Jamaica panel of judges of flower art and horticulture, St. Andrew Flower Arrangers and the other sister societies in the other parishes," she continues.
Fay Williams, a past president of the society and the first female, to have held that coveted title, says that the primary functions of the Jamaica Horticultural Society were to promote the art and communi-cate better gardening techniques and pest control among members and the society.
She says that any plant lover is welcome to join the society by contacting the headquarters. The JHS, now in its 50th year and boasting more than 200 members, is an affiliate of the Royal Horticultural Society in England. The body's annual flower show is held on the last weekend in April, and is the society's major fund-raising and expo event.
Contact us plant lovers Plant lovers interested in joining the JHS may do so by contacting 968- 4678. Interested persons have the option of signing up for an ordinary membership plan, a lifetime membership plan, or a commercial membership plan. Monthly meetings are held with the members on the last Saturday of every month and are often graced by a guest speaker, knowledgeable in the field. Horticulture, the art and science of growing plants and flowers in small garden spaces, is derived from the Latin word hortus, translated to mean 'garden'.