Gardener's Notebook - Unusual plants sought by club

The Yorkton and District Horticultural Society has always been about promoting horticulture and gardening, so here is something new from the group!  Do you have an unusual plant?  Take a photo and submit it to our website for our new feature “Mystery Plants”.  Be sure to include the name of the plant, if known, and tell us a little about it. We’ll post the photo and ask viewers to guess what it is.  Then after a couple weeks, we’ll reveal the name.  Or, if you have a plant and don’t know what it is, maybe someone can identify it.  We’ll all learn together!  Please send in photos to yorktonhort@yahoo.com

We know that many gardening friends are disappointed that our Annual Fruit, Flower and Vegetable Show has been cancelled for August 2020, but wait!  We’re going to have a virtual flower show online!  This is something totally new for us, and as soon as there are more details I’ll let you know.  But we are thinking that this is one way that hort members can still present our best of the season to you, and though we will miss seeing you and having coffee and dainties and talking together at the show, we will still be able to share our gardening excitement with you.  And hopefully next year we’ll be sharing a face-to-face visit at the show again!  Check out website, www.yorktonhort.ca  and details will be posted soon!

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Imagine that!  Going from the first flower show at City Hall in 1907, to giving bags of flour away as prizes in the 1940’s, to having a virtual show online in 2020!  It’s mind-boggling!  So much has changed, and yet some things stay the same.  

I was looking at a horticultural show book from 1970.  The president at the time, Mrs. Susan Wonitowy, had this to say in her opening message: “Amateur horticulture is an exciting and important hobby.  It fits into the everyday life of far more individuals than most of us realize.  This hobby has no age limits.  Like all great hobbies, horticulture serves as a release from the tensions and worries of the land.”  Isn’t that as true today as it was fifty years ago when Mrs. Wonitowy penned the sentiment!  With all that is happening in the world right now, we truly do need gardening as a “release from the tensions”.

Ours shows have definitely changed, though.  Back then, judging was done with strict adherence to show rules, with categories that seem almost unheard of today.  Seven sections for dahlias, based on size of the bloom. Fifteen sections for glads, based on color and fifteen classes based on size of bloom. Eight sections for sweet peas, based on color.  Thirty three sections for cut flowers. Forty four sections for vegetables.  It seems hard to imagine now, but these categories were full of entries, filled with the best specimens and not a leaf out of place.

Time marches on, and gardeners are different in many ways.  Our gardens are likely smaller, and some of our “gardens” are in containers.  With more limited space we likely grow only our favorite flowers or vegetables.

Some hort societies still have judged shows, but some, like ours, have now gone to an “exhibition” show.  We did this years ago for a variety of reasons, but mostly to encourage participation with our members, while still offering a learning gardening experience for our guests.  It’s worked very well, we love having our gardening friends attend, and believe me, we will miss seeing you all this year!

So we will look forward to our virtual show, and we hope you will log on and share the fun!  Thank you to our friends at Yorkton This Week for their hard work.  Let`s pray for health for all, and brighter times ahead!  Have a great week and be sure to wear a hat!

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