Looking at group activities in 2019

Happy New Year, Gardeners! Best wishes for health and happiness in your gardens! With “2020” vision, let’s take a very brief look back at the history of the Yorkton and District Horticultural Society.

The YDHS had its first flower show on September 7, 1906, at the Yorkton town hall. It is difficult to imagine that in those challenging times of a young Yorkton, people took time out to have a flower show! But they did, and the group has been around, in various forms, since that time.

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The group has evolved from a group that consisted mainly of gardeners with large prairie gardens to a group that has a wide spectrum of gardeners, some with big gardens right to some with their “garden” in containers on a deck or patio. It doesn’t matter: the mandate of the group is to encourage an interest of horticulture in all forms.

The group has always focused on education, and to this end, our meetings still have speakers or presentations at most meetings. The topics cover everything from planting and maintaining a garden, growing flowers, growing trees and shrubs, planting containers, landscaping, and a fine focus on caring for the environment, with talks about bees and pollinators or how to make compost. We also have two plant sales every year.

The yearly fruit, flower and vegetable show in August is always a highlight, showing the very best of the gardening season. In times gone by, the show was “judged” with judges coming from all over the prairies to select the finest in the show. But as the years went on, the group changed to a non-judged format for a variety of reasons, the main one being that more people took part in presenting at the show.

The group has a long and active history in the community, and at this time I’d like to thank Margaret MacDonald, the lovely organized lady who has been our historian for a long time, and can tell you many great facts about the group over the years. Thank you, Margaret!

Yorkton is a gardening city; if you think it isn’t, just go for a drive on a summer evening. There are so many interesting and beautiful yards! So now, here’s the question: why aren’t these great gardeners part of the group? Consider this your invitation to join the hort society: you’ll meet interesting people who share a common interest of gardening, and have many chances to take part in fascinating programs. A new slant that is rapidly gaining popularity is garden visits, where we visit interesting gardens right here in the city. Another project that got a lot of attention was our hyper-tuffa session last summer. When guests saw our amazing planters at the August show, they asked if we were having another session because they wanted to be part of it!

The membership fee is five dollars, and it will be the most interesting five dollars you’ll spend, because it is your ticket to great speakers, fun and productive projects, and the chance to meet with fellow gardeners of all ages who will be only too happy to share ideas and information with you. And if you can’t make it to every meeting, don’t worry! You’ll enjoy the ones you can attend.

The Yorkton and District Horticultural Society will be having their first meeting of 2020 on Wednesday, March 19. Meetings are always the third Wednesday of the month, 7PM at SIGN on North Street. Visit us at www.yorktonhort.ca to see what’s “coming up”, and have a great week!

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