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Gardener's Notebook: Horticultural Society holding virtual flower show

Local show has long history.
invermay 5
Local gardeners can show off their best blooms online.

YORKTION - In a normal year (do we even know what that is anymore?), the Yorkton and District Horticultural Society would be holding their annual Fruit, Flower and Vegetable Show around this time.  There is no live show this year, but if you visit the Society at you’ll be able to see our Virtual Flower Show.  It’s not the same as getting together and having coffee and dainties like we used to, but right now it’s a good way to share our gardens and move forward!  Many gardeners that we’ve chatted with have said what a challenging year it has been, but still, there is beauty in the garden!  Be sure to check out the show!

A bouquet of thanks to all the gardeners who were such good sports and shared their plant photos for the Show: you really entered into the spirit of enthusiasm that so many gardeners who went before us shared with the show!  And a big bouquet of thanks to John, our webmaster, who patiently compiled all the photos into a great display.  Thank you, John!

The first horticultural exhibition was held on September 7, 1906, at the town hall. The show caused a lot of excitement, because $250 in prizes was on offer, a huge amount of money at that time.  Prizes also included $18 for potato prizes, and $8 for the best collection of vegetables.

Some interesting show factoids from the past:  In 1920, a ton of coal was one of the prizes, and the Enterprise said that the 1920 show was “the greatest show”. In 1925, the winner of the best collection of vegetables won a solid walnut commode.

By 1943, enthusiastic society members were growing vegetables to send overseas, and they had the theme “Dig For Victory”. In 1945, the war effort was still in mind, and show exhibits were auctioned off, with $52 raised and donated to the Veterans’ Cemetery Memorial Fund.

Looking through the history of the group, there were many dedicated gardeners who gave much time and effort to the activities of the Society.  Wouldn’t they be amazed now to think they there is an online show!  I’m sure they’d think it’s a wonderful thing!

Through all the years, the show always had hundreds of entries in a wide variety of categories.  When guests walked into the hall that was holding the show that year, they were probably overwhelmed at the amount of entries, and to think that it all got set up and taken down in two days!  Even more amazing when the show day was all contained in one day.

It was a labor of love, and a huge amount of work to choose the best specimens from the garden.  I’ll share a funny story with you: one year, Mom had some tomatoes that she was preparing to enter in the show, which was just days away.  The tomatoes were ripening beautifully, free of blemishes, and had great “tomato” shape.  They’d make great entries!  Some friends stopped by for a visit, and as gardeners do, went out to see the garden.  As they strolled along, one of the guests stopped by the tomatoes, picked one, then another, and ate it on the spot, saying how delicious they were right off the vine!  And wouldn’t you know it, they were the “show tomatoes”!  As gardeners say, there’s always next year!

Don’t miss the Yorkton Gardener’s Market on Saturday, from 9AM till noon at the north parking lot of the Prairie Harvest Christian Life Centre, corner of Melrose and Simpson.  Homegrown produce, eggs, jams, relish, flowers, and honey.  If you have any questions about the market, or perhaps would like to be a vendor, just call Glen at (306) 783-7040.

Thank you to our friends at Yorkton This Week for all their great work.  Have a good week in your garden, and be sure to wear a hat!