Dr A. J. (Bert) Porter 1901-2000

Dr. A. J. (Bert) Porter left a teaching career during the depression to sell nursery stock from his farm near Parkside, Saskatchewan. Because of the depression many customers who had put in orders for plants failed to pick up their orders and Bert decided he should plant the leftovers rather than waste good plant material. He soon learned that many of the trees shipped to him were grafted on tender root stock and did not overwinter in his area. Thus started his lifelong ambition to develop hardy fruit stock.
 
For the next fifteen years he concentrated on developing small fruits such as strawberries, raspberries as well as apples and plums.
 
His lily breeding started around the fall of 1948, when Percy Wright gave him some lily bulbs which
thrived in the sandy soil of Parkside. In the fall of 1954 Bert produced his first price list of lily bulbs for sale.
 
His contributions to the breeding of small fruits and lilies have been recognized internationally.
 
Honeywood Heritage Nursery, his home near Parkside is now being returned to its former glory, Bert's log house has been restored and is now used as a tea room and interpretive centre and many of Bert's introductions are being returned to the nursery.
 
To learn more about Bert the man and his plants read "In a Cold Land: Saskatchewan's Horticultural Pioneers" by Sara Williams.
 
Because of the gumbo clay soil at the Forestry Farm Park, and those pesky peacocks, many of the lilies that were originally planted at the Heritage Rose Garden have succumbed to nature. We are planning some rejuvination in the near future.
 
The original planting at the Heritage Rose Garden included:
'Earlibird' lily
'Pink Champagne' lily
'Cinnamon Toast' lily
'Scarlett' lily