ROCKDALE Community Nursery was the site of a special ceremony on Wednesday celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Royal Horticultural Society of NSW. To mark the occasion, the RHS launched two new plant varieties, a celebratory rose called the Bennelong Gold and an iris called the Bennelong Ruby. Celebrity gardener Don Burke did the honours in launching the new plants before more than 100 guests. Mr Burke used the occasion to speak on the history of gardening in Australia and how it has progressed from when James Cook first sailed in to Botany Bay. He also highlighted changing attitudes towards a greater appreciation of Australian native plants. The RHS comprises almost 40 affiliated floral and horticultural societies from across NSW. It is famous for its annual floral and horticultural display at the Royal Easter Show. Rockdale Community Nursery is a member of the RHS. The society thought it was the perfect site to celebrate its sesquicentenary. The nursery employs 15 people with disabilities and the society wanted to recognise their efforts in working with plants. "The message of the day was that everyone can share the love of gardening," nursery manager Kevin Kaprot said. The celebratory rose and iris will be on sale at the nursery which is located in Beach Street, Kogarah.