Brockville Horticultural Society

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The Brockville & District Horticultural Society was first formed in 1905. We are in District 3 of the OHA (Frontenac, Hastings, Leeds, Lennox & Addington, Prince Edward counties)


Did you know – a brief history of the BHS

Excerpts from a newsletter in 2004
By: David A. Mackenzie

The Brockville area was originally settled by loyalists in 1784 and agriculture began almost immediately.  By 1792 Upper Canada had its first agricultural society and in 1830 the Leeds County Agricultural Society was formed with the Honourable Charles Jones as president. From that time forward, there have been various varieties of garden clubs in existence in this area. 

The Society was founded in 1905.  Newspaper accounts list J.P. Grant, F.A. Hollingsworth, William Harris, Charles Hay, Josephine Cossitt and Rev. Frank Sanders as presidents of the Horticultural Society prior to its modern re-organization.  

The Society was organized into its present form in 1934 at a meeting held in the Brockville Public Library.  The patrons were Mrs. G.T. Fulford, Senator A.C. Hardy, The Honourable H.A. Stewart, Dr. H.A. Cook, MLA and S.A. Jackson. The Society continued to be active during the ‘dirty thirties’ but suspended activities during the war despite the strong local attention being given to ‘Victory Gardens’ at that time.

Activities were not reorganized until 1954 when the group recommenced with a membership of about 50 people.  The club thrived and became involved from that time with public plantings and flower shows.  There was a ‘Rose Show’ generally held in June and a ‘Fall Show’ that featured both flowers and vegetables and was generally held in late August or early September. 

A junior division was established and these young people organized a walk in which over $4000 was raised to beautify Centeen Park.  The Society also planted a fragrance garden and installed benches in Hardy Park where the members also planted trees to replace diseased elms. 

By Canada’s Centennial in 1967 the Society could boast almost 400 members and as a special centennial effort, club members planted 8 ‘Almey’ flowering crab apple trees and 72 Miss Canada roses in St. Lawrence Park, and over 3800 tulips followed by annuals in Hardy Park.  At this time the Society also provided roses for several Brockville churches. 

As part of Communities in Blooms efforts the Society has planted flowering crab apple trees and flowering shrubs (lilacs, etc.) along Brock Trail adjacent to Buell Creek and has purchased many daffodils for the planting, as a part of the general effort to make a ‘daffodil capital’ of this area.  

Society members continue to plant and maintain planters at the Brockville General Hospital.  In 2015 and 2017 respectively, the Society installed a small perennial garden at Rotary Park and a pollinator garden on the Brock Trail which they also maintain on an ongoing basis.

Last Updated: 2018-02-08