Charleswood Horticultural Society/Garden Club was founded in 1910 and is still "growing" strong. This commendable achievement is due to members, past and present, who are committed to preserving the natural beauty of our community. Join us to help provide knowledge and encouragement in our future endeavours. Some of our recent activities are:
- The creation of our website.
- Open Gardens. As our contribution to Charleswood's 100th anniversary, on July 20th 17 members opened their gardens to the public for a free tour. Big orange flower signs were posted at each location and guest books were provided for comments. The goal of having a casual, informal and neighbourly event was a resounding success with from 100-180 gracious and respectful visitors from Winnipeg and beyond view the gardens.
- 94th Annual Fair - an exhibition and competition of local flowers, fruit and vegetables for adults and juniors. Special anniversary artifacts and memorabilia were on display to honour our contribution to the Charleswood and Headingly areas.
- Continued community garden sponsorship with awards and plaques.
- Continued maintenance of shrubs at the Cairn and Welcome to Charleswood sign, in cooperation with the Legion and Historical Society.
- Continued support of the Manitoba Horticultural Association with their varied activities and projects. All past three conventions in Winnipeg have been held in Charleswood.
- Plant exchange and sale at our unique Auction in May and plant and vegetable Gardeners' Market in September. Both of these activities are fund raising events to support our Club.
The Charleswood Horticultural Society was the 5th society to be issued with a Certificate of Organization by the Province of Manitoba. It was formed on March 31, 1919.
The first horticultural Fair was held in 1919, in conjunction with the Boys' and Girls' Club. Since that time there has always been a firm commitment and support for junior activities. The Fair Books, an annual event, illustrate the growth in this community over a ninety year period from rural to a "suburb beautiful" of Winnipeg and thus encompasses more than just changes in horticulture. They included community sports events such as baseball and races, but also afternoon tea, baby show, lunches and a dance - in other words a "Fair". Adults provided examples of excellence and supported this in their children. Junior competition included scholastic achievement, preserving, baking, garment making, poultry and calf raising as well as, of course, gardening. Through competence in these domestic and gardening skills junior exhibitors were able and were expected to contribute to the rural family unit.
World War II affected the members of our rural Society and community in innumerable ways. The 1941 Fair Book reflected the value of the garden: "As a refuge in this war-stricken world, what can compare with the peace and serenity of your garden? Flowers and their culture provide the ideal antidote to the worries and anxieties inseparable from the war." The Minutes of the Charleswood Horticultural Society May 8, 1943 reads "with the pressing demands upon the time and energies of many of our members who are also active in war work "the Fair of 1943 was cancelled but Victory Gardens were support to a remarkable degree. For example there were (a) special victory vegetable garden (b) gardens not to exceed one half acre, (c) gardens over one half acre. The cost of seeds and prize money was absorbed by the Society for junior victory gardens.
Each year a boy or girl with the most points in the garden competition receives the Cameron Anderson Memorial Trophy for one year and a smaller trophy to keep. F/L Cameron Anderson, who lost his life during World War II, was the son of Ethel and Fred Anderson who were the type of dedicated members responsible for our continued growth over the years.
As aspects of the community change so have the new skills and hobbies. We have sponsored home grounds competitions, supported garden tours, photo contests and through local schools mentor a garden competition with seeds and bulbs provided. We also encourage the use of heritage seeds and through our annual auction encourage plant exchanges.
We are very honoured that the Archives of Manitoba have accepted our donation of records which document activities over a 90 year period. These records illustrate changes in horticulture as well as growth and changes in our community. These records will be preserved for future generations of researchers.