The latest fundraiser for Kelvington-based EC-SARBI (East-Central Saskatchewan Association for the Rehabilitation of the Brain Injured), the province’s only rurally located rehabilitation centre for brain injury, proved as popular as previous fundraisers, drawing attendees from a large area. The April 23 effort was the Spring Garden Expo, a seminar with local and provincial experts speaking on various aspects of gardening.
The Expo was held at the Kelvington Golf Course clubhouse, a spacious and bright location that complemented the garden theme. Paintings by local artist Rose Steadman decorated the area, featuring lovely flowers on canvas. The door prizes and silent auction items also echoed the themes, with living plants as well as gardening tools included among the items. Shelley Rutherford, who came up with the idea of the Expo, also emceed the event.
Featured speakers were Glen Tymiak from Yorkton, of the Yorkton Horticultural Society; Kevin O’Neil of TLC Greenhouse near Kelvington; Dianne Sloan of Red Lily Farm near Kelvington; and Bev Wiwcharuk of Endeavour Family Greenhouse.
Because of the cosy setting, attendees were able to ask questions, get tips, quiz presenters on their specialties and add their own remarks. The first speaker up was Tymiak, whom Rutherford introduced with: “He has won Best City Garden in Yorkton not once, not twice, but 14 times!” Tymiak’s initial talk was on vegetable gardening.
O’Neil brought in several examples of succulents for his talk. He discussed topics such as watering, fertilizing, overwintering and repotting. While drought-resistant, succulents are also light-sensitive and, unlike cacti, prefer indirect light rather than intense sun.
Sloan stepped up next with the easiest ways to grow lilies and gladioli. She described the different types of lilies and glads and the conditions they like. She also warned of the protected status of wild lilies, which extends from disturbing the habitat all the way to picking. Soil types, pest and disease control, and wintering over were also discussed, and Sloan covered the topic of pruning: when to, when not to, and how.
Donna Cunningham, Gwen Olshewski and Alvena Oryszczyn entertained at the mid-afternoon break. This trio from Lintlaw entertained by sharing gardening stories they called “Three Bags Full,” which were funny, nostalgic, ironic, and resonated with every gardener, no matter how new or experienced.
Wiwcharuk brought in several plants and pots to demonstrate the creation of a beautiful and balanced planter. Some things to consider were how much watering would be needed, how much the plants will grow, and whether the plants will make the pot top-heavy. She created a planter on the spot, mixing grasses and flowers, showing how easy it could be once you know what you are doing.
The day served to get gardening muscles going again and reignited enthusiasm in all those present, who hope this successful event will be repeated.
By Charlene Wirtz