Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Charleswood Horticultural Society name change sparks membership

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THESE days more people consider themselves gardeners than horticulturalists, so the Charleswood Horticultural Society also calls itself the Charleswood Garden Club.

They started advertising their events under the new name a couple of years ago, and it has increased interest and attracted new members, says Minnie Chaikoski, president of the club.

The organization is set to celebrate its 84th annual fair on Aug. 14 & 15 at Charleswood Centre. Competition items can be brought to the mall between 6 and 9 p.m. on Aug. 13.

"The mall is the perfect place for our fair," says Chaikoski. "Admission is free. There is ample parking. We attract shoppers and shoppers discover us."

Among the colourful exhibits to be displayed are a selection of wildflowers, vegetables and fruit, as well as house plants, garden flowers, arrangements, boquets, hanging baskets, handicrafts, baking and preserves.

This year's special giveaway is the Yellow Ladybird Cosmos. Seeds were given away to club members and non-members in the early spring. They were then invited to grow them and enter five stems in the fair.

Handicrafts have several categories: adult, boys and girls, and seniors.

For boys and girls, there is also the popular Best Junior Garden competition. The club invites kids ages eight to 16 from all Charleswood and Tuxedo area schools to take part.

The kids are given seeds to grow three flowers and three vegetables in their own gardens. Club members visit each garden at least twice over the summer to evaluate their work.

The Charleswood Garden Club has over 75 members. Annual membership is $5.

While the big event of the year is the annual fair, the club also holds a plant sale in May and monthly speakers on gardening and related topics in October and November and January to April.

For Chaikoski, a long-time member of the club, having a garden is what beautifies and makes a home. She remembers her parents always having a little garden.

When she and her husband moved to Charleswood 50 years ago, she started her own garden and hasn't looked back. The 76-year-old enjoys sharing what she grows with her 90-year-old neighbour, and her four children and seven grandchildren. Her husband, Michael, is also a gardening enthusiast and member of the club.

"In Charleswood, the deer and rabbits eat many plants. That can be challenging. But being successful in the garden is satisfying. My garden is beautiful at times. It gives me a positive feeling, and makes me feel comfortable and happy.

"Gardening is a relaxing and enjoyable hobby. You just do a little at a time. It's a labour of love," says Chaikoski.

For further information on the Charleswood Garden Club and the annual fair, call Chaikoski at 832-1639 or fair organizers Joyce and Bill Alexander at 832-6105.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 13, 2003 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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