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The Horticultural Societies



To the Honourable Jas. S. Duff, Minister of Agriculture.

SIR-I have the honour herewith to present the Sixth Annual Report of the Horticultural Societies of Ontario for the year 1911. Included in it are the addresses and reports presented at the Annual Convention of the Ontario Horticultural Association held in Toronto on November 15th and 16th, 1911, and also comparative statements of the Legislative Grants and membership for the last three years of all the Societies in Ontario, together with their receipts and expenditures for the year commencing November 1st, 1910, and ending October 31st, 1911. There has been a very satisfactory increase in the number of Societies organized during the year and a large growth in membership.

I have the honour to be, Sir,

Faithfully yours,



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Directors: District 1, F. B. BOWDEN, Vankleek Hill; 2, J. S. MOORCRAFT, Bowmanville; 3, J. H. BENNETT, Barrie; 4, J. O. McCULLOCH, Hamilton; 5, Thos. Cottle, Clinton; 6, G. W. TEBBS, Hespeler; 7, W. W. GAMMAGE, London; 8, J. H. MCKAY, Windsor. Honorary Directors: W. B. BURGOYNE, St. Catharines; PROF. W. T. MACOUN, Ottawa; PROF. H. L. HUTT, Guelph; MAJOR H. J. SNELGROVE, Toronto; R. B. WHYTE, Ottawa. Auditors: RODERICK CAMERON AND MISS M. E. BLACKLOCK, Toronto. Representative to Canadian National Exhibition: MAJOR H. J. SNELGROVE. Representatives to American Civic Association: W. B. BURGOYNE; J. LOCKIE WILSON. Committee on Nomenclature: R. CAMERON, Toronto; JOHN CAVERS, Oakville; H. B. COWAN, Peterborough; PROF. H. L. HUTT, Guelph; PROF. W. T. MACOUN, Ottawa.

Committee on Novelties: PROF. W. T. MACOUN, Ottawa; WM. HUNT, Guelph; MISS BLACKLOCK, Toronto; R. CAMERON, Toronto.

The Sixth Annual Convention of the Ontario Horticultural Association was held in the City Hall, Toronto, on Thursday and Friday, November 16th and 17th, 1911. There was a splendid attendance of delegates from all over the Province.



Addressing you for the second time as President of the Ontario Horticultural Association, I return my sincere thanks to the members who elected me to that position and wish to express the high recognition 1 have of that honour. It is the highest position any amateur horticulturist can aspire to in Ontario. In the remarks I made last year I endeavoured to impress upon you the fact that this Association was entitled to more loyal support from the individual Societies than we got. Only a little more than half of the Societies paid the small fee of $2.00 a year. In what I am going to say to-day, I am going to take another line, which I think is just as important and as interesting, and that is the obligation that exists on the part of the individual Societies to the community. Twenty years as a

Director of one of the most successful Societies in the Province should enable me to speak with some authority on the best way a Society can fulfil its duty. A Society that does not recognize that it has obligations to the community outside of its members is neglecting the most important part of its work. Most of our Societies have carried on their work during the past year in the usual way. Your Board of Directors which met this morning passed a resolution that we should have a competition for all the Horticultural Societies of the Province, awarding cash and medals for the best essay on a given subject. The Board have decided that we recommend to our successors that a prize be donated by the Association open to all the Province. In that way by taking one plant each year we ought to get a very important fund of information on that individual flower. If we carried that on for several years we would have a mass of information we would not get in any other way. A large number of members should tell us what they know, even if their information is not complete. It leads to discussion and increased interest. Giving prizes for essays is a line of work that all Societies should engage in. You would find it very interesting. In our Flower Guild at Ottawa last year we had an essaywriting competition and it was surprising what very good papers were sent in by young children. Another form of work is holding meetings in gardens. There is no Society that has not two or three gardens in which to hold meetings. of the whole Society. In Perth they carry that out every year and it is a very important work, and one that costs nothing, and that is a very strong point in its favor.

Some of the more energetic Societies have been trying to interest school children in Horticultural work and a few are undertaking civic improvement. The most radical departure from the usual routine was the publication of a Year Book by the Toronto, Society, a very creditable and valuable book, and the publication by the Ottawa Society of the "Ontario Horticulturist." This has been a great success in many ways. It has printed in it most of the papers read at our meetings and contains much valuable information for our members, but it has been a serious tax on the Editorial Committee and the funds. As far as I know, these are the only Societies doing this kind of work. It is of great value and well worthy

of our careful consideration. The smallest Society in the Province has done some work that is deserving of mention; the officers published the reports of their proceedings and the papers read at their meetings. If this plan were copied, we should soon accumulate a fund of horticultural knowledge that is now lost. Selections from these reports might well be published by the Association and scattered over the whole Province. The kind of work the Societies are undertaking is laid down in the Act, and, as you are all familiar with that, I need not go over it. The only stipulation is that no Society shall spend more than half its funds in any one line of work. The activities of Societies may be divided into work for the benefit of members only and that for the community at large. That for the members consists of:

1. The distribution of seeds and plants as premiums. This is a valuable work but apt to be overdone.

2. Assisting in the distribution of Horticultural Literature, such as Nicholson's and American Cyclopaedia.

3. Holding lectures and discussions, as far as possible using local talent.

4. Offering prizes for essays.

5. Holding garden meetings. (Note what has been done at Perth.)

6. Exhibitions.

Primarily all the above work is for the benefit of members but some of it incidentally benefits the community. Public work may consist of planting the school-grounds, and beautifying public buildings and streets. Windsor is a good example of the latter. This can be furthered by offering prizes for window boxes, flower beds, verandahs and gardens of different kinds. There is much room for educational work with children. There is a widespread ignorance on the subject of horticulture, even among members of the Societies. Only a very small proportion have a really intelligent interest in the subject.

In connection with the public work, it is not the intention of the Government that each individual member should get his share of the grant. That work consists chiefly in planting school grounds. It does not cost much money and only requires a little care and supervision. Every village and town Society should decorate the school grounds. In the town of Windsor they have 175 flower beds planted, and it is a valuable work. The offering of prizes for window boxes and verandah gardens is also very valuable work; it not only benefits the members who compete in that but the whole community. In the City of Ottawa we have been working for 20 years in that direction. I have had a good deal of experience in garden competition, and, in most places it is just as well not to offer prizes for a complete garden. The dense ignorance displayed by the public in horticultural matters is well known to us. How little intelligent knowledge and interest there is in horticulture! In not over 10 per cent of the Societies in the Province-not excepting Ottawa-do they take an intelligent interest in their work. That is a very lamentable state of affairs and one we should use all our energies to correct. In England it is different; the ordinary workingman has an intelligent knowledge of horticulture. I have been at our Exhibition here and I did not see one person with a note-book. I heard one say, "What is the name of that?" and the other did not know. I have seen at one Exhibition in England hundreds of people with note-books, discussing intelligently what they were looking at. We must try to remedy the state of affairs in Canada. Educational work among children, in my opinion, will do this. We have been trying for years to educate the older people, and, while we have had some success, it is far short of what we hoped for. We

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