History of The Sydney Hills Garden Competition

 

HISTORY OF THE GARDEN COMPETITION

 

History tells that the competition can trace its origins back to Eric Mobbs.

 George Eric Mobbs, known as Eric, was born 5 August 1899 at Parramatta. The family moved to a new weatherboard home at 194 Excelsior Avenue Castle Hill when he was one. His father George H. Mobbs was a member of the Excelsior Land and Building Trust that developed land in the area. George H was descended from convict orchardist William Mobbs of Mobbs Hill, Carlingford. Another relative, Eric Arthur Mobbs (1891-1974) was a Councillor for Dundas Municipality.

 George Eric worked as a nurseryman for many years and supplied G.J. Coles with cut flowers, especially carnations, until the 1960s. He was a Hills Shire Councillor 1956-1977 and successfully advocated that Council have a footpath tree planting program. On 7 July 1959 he and Councillor Wilson moved that Council hold a competition on the last Saturday of November 1959 for the best-kept footpaths within the Shire and was one of three Councillors on the sub-committee.

 On 22 October 1960 Council combined the footpath and garden competition with a one-day festival at Castle Hill Showground. In 1969 Council combined the footpath and garden competition with the Orange Blossom Festival and it ran from 12-21 September 1969. Eric can take much responsibility for the origins of this annual event and the Shire’s reputation as “the Garden Shire”.

As well as being remembered for the Garden Competition, George Mobbs memory is still preserved  by the George Mobbs Reserve in Castle Hill.

For many years the Garden Competition was run by the Hills Garden Club, but from  2005 the Competition was run by The Rotary Club of Baulkham Hills for several years before being run by another Service Club for 2 years and then by the Shire Council for several years after which it lapsed until it was revived by The Rotary Club of The Hills-Kellyville  in 2014 with the support of The Hills Shire Council.