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The 1947 The Winnipeg Flower Garden, precursor to the current book

More about the Prairie Garden History (continued)

During this same time period (mid-50s), the annual statements of the Winnipeg Horticultural Society were no longer included. In 1957, in conjunction with the book’s new name, Glad Reycraft began his long tenure as the editor (1957 to 1973). Glad was involved with the publication prior to that period as a member of the Winnipeg Horticultural Society. He was a Director of this Winnipeg society in the early 1950s, then served consecutive terms as Vice President and then President. In 1956 he became chairman of The Flower Garden Committee. The newly formed committee became The Prairie Garden Committee in 1957. And so, 1957, 20 years after the first edition was published, was an auspicious year for The Prairie Garden. The book had a new name, a new look, and a new process. Now The Prairie Garden Committee was responsible for publication of the book, but still under the continued auspices of The Winnipeg Horticultural Society.

Since the early years, the format of the book has changed somewhat. While colour photos first appeared in 1961, it was only in 1974 that the colour section became a regular feature. The colour photos in this issue targeted a particular topic or theme which was highlighted on the cover. The book was such a success that the practice was continued ever since. In 1974 the idea was expanded and a portion of the articles in the books were also chosen to expound on the theme highlighted by the colour photos. This was the year after Glad Reycraft stepped down and Phyllis Thomson took over as editor. A treasurer position was also created this year (1973/4), and Roger Brown took over finances for the committee from Glad. During this time, the process to formalize the committee began, and in the late 1970s a set of regulations was adopted and positions for editor, treasurer, secretary and chair were ratified. This allowed for a more structured approach to the task at hand and a clearer delineation of responsibilities.

In 1987, the practice began of inviting a Guest Editor (Lynn Collicutt, “Perennials for the Prairies”) to assist with the collection of theme material. Frances Wershler became Editor when Diane Wreford retired after completing her term as Editor with the 1989 issue featuring “The Best of 50 Years of Prairie Gardening”. Once again transitioning the book’s production team produced a successful idea which has been continued to this day. The digest-sized book (approximately 180 pages) now featured a 16-page colour insert that highlighted the theme and general gardening articles alike. In 2012, with Guest Editor Rick Durand and the release of ‘Trees’, The Prairie Garden featured its first edition with full colour throughout.

Committee members have changed over the years, usually after serving for a number of years. Glad Reycraft retired as editor in 1973, after serving on the committee from 1950 to 1973. He was succeeded by Phyllis Thomson (1974 to 1979). That same year (1974) Roger Brown became the treasurer. In 1981 Louis Lenz succeeded P. J. Peters who served as chairman from 1969 – 1980.
When Phyllis Thomson moved away in 1979, Dianne Wreford became the editor (1979 to 1988). Frances Smith joined the committee in 1977 and soon became secretary. Fran Wershler took over as editor in 1989.


In 1990 Linda Pearn became secretary when Frances Smith retired. 1991 was the first issue produced on a computer, and Fran’s second issue as editor. In 1997 Jean Pomo became treasurer, replacing Roger Brown, who stepped down from this position only to step back again 1n 2003 and serve as co-chair with Gary Platford. Roger Brown retired from the executive in mid-2007. Gary’s other co-chair, Charlie Thomsen, shared the chair position with Gary from 1989 to 1993. Gary Platford retired from the committee in 2009.

When the Winnipeg Horticultural Society disbanded in 1999/2000, The Prairie Garden Committee continued on with publication of the book. 2002 saw another change in the editorship when Frances Wershler stepped down after being editor for 12 consecutive issues, and Yvonne Dean became editor for the 2003 book. She was the first editor to send the publication to the print house on disk. In 2003 Audrey Hosegood became editor when Yvonne moved west, continuing the production of the book in-house. Audrey began her editorship in early 2003, producing the 2004 to 2007 issues. She also developed our first website, giving The Prairie Garden its first Internet presence, and bringing the publication fully into the present. Richard Denesiuk took over as editor March 1, 2007, beginning his tenure preparing The 2008 Prairie Garden featuring “Roses.” He was the first editor to work with full colour throughout the book. Guest editor Rick Durand guided the committee that year with the book on “Trees.”

Many members of this dedicated committee stay for over a decade and sometimes more. Susanne Olver, for example, joined The Prairie Garden Committee in 1976 and served for 41 years, until 2017. All of our current committee members are serious and distinguished gardeners, many being veteran professionals in one or more of a variety of specialties.


The Prairie Garden Alumni

The list is sorted by last name,
number of years served, and the dates.

 

J. R. Almey: 8, 1965-68,1984-88
E. T. Anderson: 1, 1948
Wm. Andrew: 4, 1978-81
Lori Battershill: 1, 2001
Martin Benum: 14, 1971-84
Jennifer Bishop: 5, 2005-09
F. W. Broderick: 2, 1941 & 1945
R. W. Brown: 1, 1941
Roger Brown: 41, 1974-2014
F. C. Cave: 1, 1941
Bruce Chown: 1, 1941
J. J. Coffery: 1, 1959
Lynn Collicutt: 8, 1987-1995
G. Collin: 1, 1977
H. A. Craig: 7, 1972-79
W. A. Cumming: 1, 1941
Reg Curle: 44, 1971-2014
Ed Czarnecki: 9, 2006-2014
Yvonne Dean: 5, 2003-07
Richard Denesiuk: 8, 2007-14
Valerie Denesiuk: 6, 2007-12
J. P. deWet: 10, 1958-68
Brian Duncan: 7, 1999-2005
Rick Durand: 3, 1998-99, 2012
Victor Dyck: 5, 2003-07
Bill Emerson: 6, 1977-82
Stefan Fediuk: 5, 2006-10
A. C. Ferguson: 11, 1969-80
Virginia Furutani: 4, 1996, 2000-02
Jeannie Gilbert: 3, 2012-14
Robert Golinoski: 14, 1994-2007
Lois Grieger: 1, 2012
Phil Graham: 16, 1996-2010
George Grainger: 6, 1981-1987
P. H. Hammond: 2, 1937-41
David Hanson: 3, 2000-02
Audrey Hosegood: 6, 2004-09
Carla Hrycyna: 3, 2008-10
B. J. Jackson: 5, 2006-10
Joanne Joyce: 1, 1991
R. H. Knowles: 1, 1964
Jim Kohut: 4, 2007-10
Thomas Krahn: 3, 1984-87
Claude Law: 2, 1950-51
Louis Lenz: 12, 1973, 1978-89
W. R. Leslie: 12, 1959-72
Lorraine Loptson: 1, 1993
Hector Macdonald: 8, 1959-68
Norman MacKay: 2, 1963-64
Wendy Mackie: 8, 1987-96
G. Malaher: 9, 1972-80
Henry Marshall: 1, 1981
Melanie Mathieson: 1, 2014
P. D. McCalla: 23, 1959-1981
Sue McLeod: 5, 1990-94
Mrs. R. Munt: 2, 1947, 1952
Cheryl Nielson: 2, 1996-97
A. O. Olsen: 5, 1972-76
Paul Olsen: 1, 2008
Susanne Olver: 37, 1978-2014
Warren Otto: 3, 2012-14
Linda Pearn: 25, 1990-2014
Clarence Peters: 3, 1984-87
Pete Peters: 12, 1969-1980
Gary Platford: 37, 1973-2009
Jean Pomo: 17, 1998-2014
Jim Portree: 9, 1981-89
Jane Reksten: 2, 2013-14
Glad Reycraft: 26, 1955-80
F. W. C. Rice: 12, 1959-73
D. R. Robinson: 15, 1959-73
Philip Ronald: 2, 2009-10
Wilbert Ronald: 6, 1990-95
Doug Ross: 4, 1986-89
Bert Sandercock: 1, 1969
Gunter Schoch: 1, 1974
Dieter Schwanke: 6, 1969-75
Stan Sheard: 16, 1969-1984
Frances Smith: 17, 1977-93
Terry Smith: 8, 2003-2010
Richard Staniforth: 1, 1986
K. C. Stewart: 1, 1965
Linda Stilkowski: 1, 2003
W. J. Tanner: 3, 1966-68
Chris Tarrant: 3, 2001-03
Andy Tekauz: 4, 2011-2014
Charlie Thomsen: 18, 1981-1999
Phyllis Thomson-McGrath: 10, 1971-1980
Bonnie Tullock: 2, 2011-2012
Bill Turnock: 11, 1998-2008
Kevin Twomey: 26, 1987-2014
A. C. Valgardson: 1, 1979
Sandy Venton: 5, 2010-2014
John Walker: 20, 1968-1985
Fred Weir: 13, 1965-1977
Fran Wershler: 25, 1990-2014
Stan Westaway: 1, 1967
John Wiebe: 3, 1981-83
Sara Williams: 3, 1967, 1994, 2014
Mrs. J. L. Wiseman: 1, 1959
Diane Wreford: 8, 1982-1989
Percy Wright: 1, 1965
Charles Young: 4, 1965-70
Colleen Zacharias: 7, 2007-14
Carla Zelmer: 3, 2012-14

 

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