The green thumbs of local residents, and the tourist attractions of the Estevan area, were on display on July 18.
About 35 members of the Saskatchewan Horticultural Association (SHA) toured gardens and other sites in the southeast. They used a bus to go from location to location.
They visited the pierced rock formations at Roche Percee, which were absolutely amazing to view, according to tour coordinator Denise Mlazgar. Then they went to Westmoreland Coal's Estevan mine sites, and the Shand Power Station's Greenhouse.
“They certainly are doing a good job of filling a niche, especially now with the PFRA (Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration) gone in Indian Head,” Mlazgar said.
Other stops brought them to the new community garden in northwest Estevan, and various individual gardens in the city. Mlazgar was particularly impressed with what she saw at the community garden.
“There are some impressive plants,” Mlazgar said. “They've done a really marvellous job.”
She was surprised that the community garden had such impressive vegetables growing in just their first year.
The horticulture society approached the community garden association about the possibility of visiting the site, and other gardens in the city.
Community garden committee chair Chantelle Dubreuil was pleased that they were included on the SHA's tour.
"It was unexpected, but it sure was a pleasant idea," said Dubreuil.
Once the SHA members finished their tours, they watched a performance of The Marvellous Wonderettes at the Souris Valley Theatre, and spent the night in Estevan.
Mlazgar said they decided to bring their tour to the southeast because they try to cover some of the different regions in the province each year. Visiting a different area in Saskatchewan on an annual basis allows their members to witness a variety of gardening practices.
The SHA members who were in Estevan came from different horticultural societies in Saskatchewan and even Manitoba.
“They want to be able to see some different gardens, and to be able to experience some of Saskatchewan,” said Mlazgar. “We try to do a combination of sites that are unique to the area, as well as the gardens. It's mostly about connecting societies from around the province.”
The following day, they ventured to Weyburn and Windthorst, and then disbursed and returned to their homes.