Ellen has been a member of the Bromeliad Society of Australia for many years. She is also the second longest continuous member of the Cactus and Succulent Society of NSW. She was a member of the NSW Bromeliad Society, the Western Suburbs Cactus and Succulent Society, the Western Suburbs Bonsai Society, the Concord Garden Club and many others.
She deeply valued all the societies she was a member of and attended many Australian conventions as well as travelling to attend 18 overseas conventions. She made many life-long friends in the Bromeliad Society, contributed to articles in the Bromeletter and books as well as participating in many events.
Ellen travelled to many countries in search of bromeliads and was at one stage the largest personal importer of plants into NSW and was, we believe, the only individual guest at the opening of the Quarantine Centre at Eastern Creek. The other invitees were nursery and commercial importers.
In 1974 she was the last winner of the Sydney Morning Herald Garden Competition, Western Zone.(see image below). One SMH judge said that Ellen had more varieties of plants in her small garden than the Botanic Gardens. She won many prizes at the Royal Easter Show receiving the Bronze Medal (runner up to the Banksian Medal) for the second highest aggregate points, a major achievement for someone who didnít compete in roses and dahlias. She submitted entries in Bromeliads, Cactus and Succulents, Bonsai, Floral Art among other categories. She won the local Concord garden competition every year except the first year she entered. She was especially proud of beating Mr Cullen of Cullen Motors in the local competition because he employed a professional gardener 2-3 days a week.
Ellen lost her drive in the garden when she lost her dear husband Joe in 2000. It was Joe who persuaded her to join the many plant and garden societies which became a major part of her life. He was her keen supporter and the quiet force behind this passionate woman. They were a great team.
Ellen now lives in a Nursing Home in Concord, Redleaf Manor, surrounded by her awards and photographs of her plants and her family. Her daughter Paula has followed in her footsteps with a deep love of broms. Unfortunately Ellen is no longer able to attend functions and events because of her mental and physical infirmity however we have maintained her membership of the Bromeliad Society and the Cactus and Succulents Society because they were her true loves and she always admired the growers who shared that love.