Horticultural Society set to blossom once more

Matt Gardner
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The Prince Albert Horticultural Society is preparing to make a comeback after a six-year hiatus.

The club’s return officially kicks off on Saturday, March 15 with a reorganization meeting hosted by the Prince Albert Exhibition Association Agriculture and Horticultural committee.

Everyone is welcome to attend the meeting, which takes place at 2 p.m. in the log cabin on the P.A. Exhibition grounds.

“We’re opening it up to former members, existing members -- anybody who’s interested that has a green thumb,” longtime Horticultural Society member Barry Swanson said.

“The whole gardening and flower thing is growing, so it’s time for the Horticultural Society to become re-activated.”

The upcoming meeting is expected to include discussion of the club’s reformation and the election of a new interim executive.

Many current members of the Agriculture and Horticultural committee were also active in the Horticultural Society prior to its dissolution in 2008, which Swanson attributed to fewer participants as well as the increasing age of members leading to a period of inactivity.

Even during those dormant years, however, the committee continued to organize one event each year -- the annual Agriculture and Horticultural Show at the P.A. Exhibition.

“They would rent the facility and then you would bring your biggest, best flowers and I would bring my best flowers and we’d go in a competition,” Swanson said. “So it might be for petunias, it might be for dahlias, it might be for roses, it might be for snapdragons, any of those things.”

We’re opening it up to former members, existing members -- anybody who’s interested that has a green thumb. Barry Swanson

By contrast, the Horticultural Society in its prime hosted many events each year, providing a forum for members to gather and exchange knowledge.

Such horticultural education offered plenty of tips on the most effective means for tending one’s garden or yard, or for growing fruits, vegetables, flowers and other plants.

“They would sponsor events where they’d have an evening on maybe growing orchids or growing roses and have a speaker come in,” Swanson said.

While the educational component will likely remain the same in the revived Horticultural Society, Swanson believed that new members could also bring in new ideas.

An active member of the club before its hiatus, Swanson and his wife find horticulture to be both an appealing recreational activity and a convenient source of fruits and vegetables.

“I do it as a hobby and then we do grow our own garden and produce,” Swanson said. “So we garden, we grow potatoes for the winter, we grow carrots for the winter, my wife cans and we freeze things.

“But in the meantime we do it as enjoyment,” he added. “It’s not work to us.”

Green-thumbed residents who share that passion for horticulture may contact Swanson at 306-922-7289 for more information on the club and its upcoming reorganization meeting.

Organizations: Horticultural Society, Horticultural committee, Prince Albert Exhibition Association Agriculture

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