President's Message - 2016

By Kathleen Chipperfield

As we make our way through another Saskatchewan winter, I am sure you are all itching to see Spring and the 2017 gardening year. Spring will soon be here.

2016 has once again been a very successful year for the Saskatchewan Perennial Society thanks to the dedicated Board members: Heather Brenneman, Bernadette Vangool, Jodi Francoeur, Nicole Kearns, Pat Wilson, Lawrence Klutz, Anne Hildebrand and Sue Barrett. The Board members are motivated and energetic and have contributed much of their time and abilities to the Society:

Heather Brenneman as our past President has been invaluable to me by sharing her experience and information.

Bernadette Vangool as our longstanding treasurer and membership coordinator. She also coordinates Labour and Learn sessions at the Forestry Farm and looks after the website. Her organizational skills ensure continuity in the Society throughout the year.

Jodi Francoeur our vice President also looks after the operation and organization of our Facebook page.

Nicole Kearns as our Secretary

Pat Wilson helped with the Spring and Fall plant sales and both Garden Tours. She is also part of the Nominating Committee.

Lawrence Klutz as the coordinator of the Spring and Fall Plant Exchange and Sale

Anne Hildebrand helped with the June Garden Tour.

Sue Barrett coordinated one of the Garden Tours and helped to find gardens for both tours. She is also part of the Nominating Committee.

The Board members all assisted with every Society event in some capacity.

A big thank you also to:

  • Our hospitality ladies, Lorie Horky and Norma Meyer. They have been at every luncheon organizing our coffee, tea and snacks.
  • Margaret Hawke our librarian. Her hard work keeps the library up to date and organized.
  • Erl Svendsen our volunteer editor of the Garden Column that appears weekly in Bridges, and other weekly papers in Saskatchewan. This column offers many diverse topics and great gardening advice for all.
  • Sandra Rose for being the announcer at the Spring Plant Exchange
  • Helen Osback for continuing to help with our plant orders and looking after plant sales at both of our Plant Exchange and Sale events.
  • All of the members who have volunteered and assisted with our many functions and events.

Our current membership is 240. This is and increase of approximately 14% over last year. Membership fees remain at $10.00. Membership with The Gardener magazine remains at $27.00.

2016 Events and Activities included:

  • Spring and Fall Plant Exchanges and Sales. Many treasures can be found at this event including plants hard to find elsewhere. The 2016 Spring Plant exchange was an amazing event with 126 people in attendance. We had to put out extra tables to accommodate the abundance of plants our members brought to share. The plants brought in for sale came from Vanstone Nurseries, whose plants are hardy for our particular climate. Thanks to our plant experts Lawrence Klutz, Mary Jean Roy, Sharon Laningan and Brenda Korchinski who helped with plant identification and habits.
  • Labour and Learn sessions coordinated by Bernadette Vangool. Members helped contribute to the maintenance of the Heritage Rose and Meditation Gardens at the Forestry Farm. This is an ideal opportunity for members to hone, and maybe learn a few more gardening skills. There is always room for a few more gardeners to join in and help at these Saturday sessions. All you need to do is bring along your favorite gardening tools. Check our event calendar for 2017 dates.
  • The two Garden Tours held during the summer were very popular. We had a great turn out for both events and beautiful weather for both. Thank you to the gardeners who opened up their gardens to share with members for these tours. the gardens were spectacular, each one different, showing a variety of gardening styles.
  • Public Education Presentations are held during the Fall and Winter months at the Emmanuel Anglican Church on Dufferin Ave. These presentations offer a variety of topics and presenters that keep us primed for Spring when we can once again tend to our gardens. In 2016: January - Bernadette Vangool presented "Tulips from Amsterdam "; February- Heather Brenneman presented "Dividing Perennial the YouTube Way"; March-Brian Porter presented "Irises"; October-June Flanagan presented "Cultivating Natures Palette - with Native Prairie Perennials"; November-Sara Williams presented "Two Canadian Gardens of Lesser Note". These presentations have been very well attended and provided great information and inspiration for those attending.
  • Gardenscape. Bernadette Vangool organizes volunteers for our booth at this event where we promote the benefits and activities of our Society. We also sell memberships. Volunteers receive a free pass for the day they volunteer.

Our calendar of events for 2017 looks very exciting and I am looking forward to another wonderful year.

To keep in touch with the Saskatchewan Perennial Society, please visit our Website at and our Facebook page at All our events, articles and contact information can be found at both these sites.

Thank you all for contributing to the success of the Saskatchewan Perennial Society!