THE PRAIRIE GARDEN HISTORY & COMMITTEE
A non-profit publication dedicated to the advancement of horticulture in the Prairie Provinces
The Prairie Garden is a digest sized, soft-covered book published annually by a volunteer committee consisting of about
15-20 members. The work is organized by
the Editor and an annual Guest Editor. Each year, a theme is selected from which a large portion of the articles follow. The theme articles are the responsibility of the Guest Editor, who is chosen because of his or her knowledge in the
chosen subject area. The books are edited in part and as a whole by The Prairie Garden Committee, before being published each year in time for Christmas. Members of the committee often write articles for the book as well as provide images for the 16/32-page colour section aside from their role as Associate Editors. These individuals are what makes this book possible, as are our sponsors, and you, our loyal readership.
The 2012/13 Committee: Co-chairs: Ed Czarnecki & Colleen Zacharias, Guest Editor: Rick Durand, Secretary: Linda Pearn,
Treasurer: Jean Pomo, Editor: Richard Denesiuk. Associate Editors: Valerie Denesiuk, Phil Graham, Carla Hrycyna, Susanne Olver,
Warren Otto, Linda Pearn, Philip Ronald, Andy Tekauz, Bonnie Tulloch, Kevin Twomey, Sandy Venton,
Frances Wershler and Carla Zelmer. Award for Excellence Committee: Reg Curle,
Roger Brown. Contributing members: Gary Platford, Jim Kohut, Phil Graham.
Click here to read an article about The
Prairie Garden Committee
from the Winnipeg Free Press.
Some of the committee at the 2009 Award for Excellence
lunch: (l-r) Ed Czarnecki, Jean Pomo, Colleen Zacharias, (award recipients: Ken Ivey & Brenda Cameron), Roger Brown, Reg Curle, (sitting) Susanne Olver & Linda Pearn.
From left: Co-chairs Ed Czarnecki and Colleen Zacharias, Susanne Olver, Sandy Venton, Richard Denesiuk, Jean Pomo, Fran Wershler, Carla Hrycyna and Valerie Denesiuk
(photo Boris Minkevich - Winnipeg Free Press)
The Prairie Garden Committee began in 1956 as a standing committee of the Winnipeg Horticultural Society, which had published The Winnipeg Flower Garden and The Flower Garden, the precursor of The Prairie Garden, starting in 1937. The book began as the annual report of the Winnipeg Horticultural Society, and was free to members when they paid their annual membership fees. It was first called The Winnipeg Flower Garden and included not only the official annual report of the society, but also informational articles by prominent local horticulturists of the time. The name was changed to The Flower Garden in 1955 because of the book’s ever-increasing readership. However, it was only to be called The Flower Garden for two years before becoming The Prairie Garden in 1957, once again because of its ever-broadening popularity, now extending right across the Prairies and beyond; and its applicability to gardening in this region in general, and not to Winnipeg in particular.
The Prairie Garden Committee
Co-Chairs: Colleen Zacharias
Colleen Zacharias is a Master Gardener and Certified Prairie Horticulturalist. Past President of the Friends of Gardens Manitoba. Serving as Chair of Gardening Saturday, Co-chair of the Manitoba Master Gardener Association and has a weekly gardening column in the Winnipeg Free Press. Ed Czarnecki, (BSA, MSc) retired as a cereal breeder from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Some of his interests include perennial hybridizing, gardening, travelling, photography and study of native flora.
Linda Pearn: Secretary, and Chair of The Prairie Garden Awards Board. Linda Pearn is retired from Plant Science Dept,
Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences.
Jean Pomo: Treasurer, Sales and Distribution. Jean was appointed to The Prairie Garden Committee in December 1996 taking over the duties of Treasurer, Sales and Book Distribution from Roger Brown. The 1997 issue "Special Feature - Propagation" served as her introduction to the invoicing, packaging and mailing out of thousands of the newly printed book on an annual basis. In addition to these duties, Jean serves as a member of The Prairie Garden Executive. Her capable handling of all of the financial details for TPG (responsible for year-end Financial Statement) ensures a smooth and efficient operation. A business college graduate with several years experience in the Automobile Insurance Industry, Jean, with her husband, Andy, gardens organically. Both are Obedience & Tracking instructors and have titled several of their German Shepherds in obedience and tracking competitions.
Frances A. Wershler, Editor 1990 to 2002 issues
Fran was the Editor of The Prairie Garden for 13 years, before "retiring" to Associate Editor status in 2002. Her winning smile and confident manner speak to the joy she brings to the topic of gardening. Within the wide-ranging hobby of gardening, Fran concentrates on roses and lilies. A graduate of the Home Economics Faculty of the University of Manitoba, she worked for many years as a home economist for the Manitoba Department of Agriculture. Her variety of skills have made Fran a sought after judge of horticulture, food and clothing at summer fairs. She is involved with horticultural groups and activities in the St. James area of Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she gardens with her husband Darcy. She is a regular contributor to The Prairie Garden and an avid gardener.
Susanne Olver, Horticulturalist
Ontario Diploma of Horticulture, University of Guelph, and member of the Order of St. John Ambulance.
Trained as a horticulturist in Frankfurt, Germany, Susanne worked for 30 years at the University of Manitoba as a supervisor of the Department of Botany greenhouses. She has lectured across Manitoba and for Continuing Education U of M and was a frequent guest of CBC Information Radio. Other interests include reading, training, and showing prize winning German Shepherd dogs, therapy dog work, and music. Suzanne has been an active member of The Prairie Garden since 1976.
Andy Tekauz. Andy is a Research Scientist - Plant Pathologist of Crop Production Systems (Sustainable Production Systems) with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Plant Science, University of Manitoba. Andy has several research publications. His expertise is in disease surveys, chemical control, cultivar evaluation ,epidemiology, fusarium, fusarium head blight, biological control, oats, cereal leaf diseases, wheat, disease resistance, barley and plant diseases.
Sandy Venton has been gardening for over 50 years. Martagon lilies are her passion. She is the secretary of the North American Lily Society and the Manitoba Regional Lily Society, a lily judge, and is studying to be a Master Gardener. She lives to garden.
Warren Otto has been involved in a number of capacities related to horticulture education for almost 20 years. He served as administrator of the Prairie Horticulture Certificate at the University of Manitoba from 1997 until 2010, and currently teaches Botanical Latin for the Master Gardener Program at Assiniboine Community College. When not engaged in activities related to his children, or on the home front, he is pursuing a Master of Arts in Military History.
Jeannie Gilbert is a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and adjunct professor at the University of Manitoba. She studies the epidemiology of fusarium head blight (FHB) and evaluates wheat lines and germplasm for reaction to FHB and leaf spot diseases. She has several research publications.
Carla Zelmer is a research associate with the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Agricultural & Food Sciences. She has written many research articles, teaches in the Master Gardener Program and enjoys photography.
Roger Brown, Past Co-Chair
Roger has recently left the Prairie Garden Committee, but still attends some meetings. He is one of its pioneers having been with it since the 1970's. Born in Britain, Roger comes from a heritage of garden experts. He is a knowledgeable plantsman and landscape designer. While being modest, he cheerfully admits to his 30 year tenure as Superintendent of Government Grounds for the Province of Manitoba. Yes, he supervised the care and development of Manitoba's beautiful and extensive Legislative grounds in downtown Winnipeg. During his career, he was simultaneously involved in various leadership roles with both The Prairie Garden publication and the Manitoba Horticultural Association. He is involved with these two organizations to this day. Roger has also been involved in leading garden tours, is a personable speaker, and is knowledgeable about existing horticultural organizations and groups on the Prairies.
Richard Denesiuk, Editor
Richard is the latest The Prairie Garden's editor starting in March, 2007. He brings organizational and computer skills to the committee used to collect and manage the raw materials to produce next year's The Prairie Garden. Raised in Winnipeg, he has worked with Creative Retirement Manitoba for over 20 years as their Information Systems manager. He enjoys gardening, photography, computers and music in Winnipeg, MB.
Gary Platford, Past Chair (resigned May, 2009)
He had been on The Prairie Garden Committee since the early 1970s and has been Co-Chair or Chair since 1989/90, when he shared the Chair position with Charles Thomsen. Prof. Thomsen stepped down in 1993, and Gary took over as full Chair up until 2002/3, when Roger Brown stepped in to Co-Chair with Gary. Gary retired from Manitoba Agriculture and Food in 2000 where he was provincial plant pathologist for 29 years. He is currently a consultant in plant pathology with P&D Agro Consulting Inc. and is a regular contributor of articles about plant pathology and disease prevention for The Prairie Garden.
Carla Hrycyna, Guest editor, The 2010 Prairie Garden - Annuals & Biennials. Carla president and co-owner of St. Mary’s Nursery & Garden Centre Ltd. Fifteen years of retail greenhouse management blends nicely with her natural flair for landscape design. Carla is the primary grower for St. Mary’s Nursery. She has been with the committe since 2008.
Philip Ronald Guest Editor, The 2009 Prairie Graden - Deciduous Shrubs: of Jeffries Nurseries in Portage la Prairie, MB, was raised on the Canadian prairies and educated in plant breeding and horticulture at the University of Manitoba and University of Saskatchewan. Philip completed his Ph.D. in 2000 as part of the Native Fruit Program at the University of Saskatchewan investigating saskatoon berry host response to an important fungal disease.
Jim Kohut, Guest Editor for The 2007 Prairie Garden 2007: The Edible Landscape. (resigned December, 2009) Jim is the inspiration and visionary behind Northscaping.com. An engineering technologist and software developer by trade, he is also an accomplished public speaker, having appeared on national television and presented at major conventions and seminars across North America. He is a self-taught landscape designer and hobby gardener who has designed and installed numerous landscapes in the harsh zone 3 environment of the eastern Prairies. A seasoned landscaping and gardening writer, he has written numerous articles for the Northscaping Info Zone, he has a regular column in Northern Gardener magazine. He also sits on the Board of Directors for Trees! Winnipeg.