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The Prairie Garden Award for Excellence
by Press Release
October 2, 2005

The Prairie Garden Committee is pleased to announce that Honeywood (Dr. A.J. Porter) Heritage Nursery is the winner of The 2005 Prairie Garden Award for Excellence. A presentation luncheon was held in the Oakview Room at Breezy Bend Golf Course, Winnipeg, Manitoba. A monetary award of $1,000.00 and an engraved granite plaque were presented by The Prairie Garden Committee. Accepting the award were Judy Harley, Rhoda Aug and Byron Waterhouse. Judy is the Manager at Honeywood, and Rhoda and Byron are two of 16 shareholders in the property.

The Nursery was started by Dr. A.J. (Bert) Porter in 1934. For years, his main interest was developing hardy fruit varieties for the Canadian prairies. He is known best, however, for his work with Asiatic lilies. Dr. Porter has received many honours for his work, including the highest honour bestowed by the North American Lily Society (1971) – the E.H. Wilson award for outstanding contributions to the genus Lilium. And, he was inducted into the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame in 1987.

Bert left Honeywood, in 1990, in the hands of Allan Daku, who had been with him since 1978. Allan continued the business until 1998, when it was sold to a local farmer. When the farmer’s plans to turn the nursery into farmland became known, supporters, spearheaded by Kathleen Burgon, came forward and raised the money to purchase the property: their goal to restore and maintain the nursery as a heritage site and a monument to the memory and work of Dr. Porter. Bert passed away on August 2, 2000 at the age of 99, knowing Honeywood was in good hands.

The Province of Saskatchewan designated the nursery a Municipal Heritage Site in early spring of 2001 and the grand opening of the nursery was held in August of that year. An associate non-profit group known as the “Friends of Honeywood” was formed in spring of 2003. Tours and events are held regularly. The next fundraiser, a “Touch of Autumn” will be held on September 18th, 2005.

Honeywood is approximately 130 kilometres north of Saskatoon, just a short drive from Parkside, Saskatchewan.

Look for a detailed story about Honeywood (Dr. A.J. Porter) Heritage Nursery in The 2006 Prairie Garden which should be in your local bookstore or garden centre by mid-November, 2005. You can also refer back to your 2004 issue of The Prairie Garden where Parkside and Honeywood were featured as one of many “Pleasing Prairie Places” to visit on the Canadian Prairies. Or visit Honeywood’s web site: www.honeywood-lilies.ca.
 

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