HONEYWOOD HERITAGE NURSERY
The Honeywood Nursery is a Provincial Heritage Property located approximately 6.5 kilometres south of the Village of Parkside in the Rural Municipality of Leask No. 464. The 65 hectare property features a log house, an office, packing sheds, a wood-frame greenhouse, gardens, groves, and orchards featuring a wide variety of trees, shrubs, plants, flowers. The designated property also includes 20 hectares of farm land and 12 hectares of forest in its natural state.
The heritage value of the Honeywood Nursery lies in its association with the development of horticulture in Saskatchewan and the work of pioneering plant breeder, Dr. A.J. (Bert) Porter. Originally a school teacher, Bert Porter began selling nursery stock door to door for Prairie Nurseries of Estevan in 1933 to supplement his teaching salary. Within a few years, Porter was selling ornamentals, fruit stock and fresh fruit which he grew on his family’s homestead near Parkside. Despite the fact that he had no formal horticultural training, over the following decades Porter developed some of the first fruit varieties and ornamental plants capable of thriving on the prairies. Porter was best-known as a hybridizer of lilies, winning numerous awards and recognition for his work from the Saskatchewan Horticultural Association, the Manitoba Horticultural Society, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, the North American Lily Society and several other Canadian and international organizations. Examples of many of the plants and lilies he developed still thrive on the grounds and are physical reminders of his legacy and life-long commitment to the propagation of plants and fruit species on the prairies.
Honeywood Nursery is also significant because it is one of the few remaining early-20th century nurseries in Saskatchewan. From its small beginnings, Honeywood grew by the mid-1980s, to become a 32-hectare operation. The nursery’s extensive mail-order business supplied a wide range of quality hardy plant material to families across Saskatchewan. The nursery also supplied trees and plants that were used to grow fruits and vegetables, an important source of food for many farm families. During its 65 years in operation, Honeywood produced plants, bulbs and saplings which beautified farmyards and gardens across Saskatchewan, Canada and around the world.
Source: Province of Saskatchewan, Notice of Intention to Designate as Provincial Heritage Property under the Heritage Property Act, December 6, 2006 and the Order to Designate as Provincial Heritage Property under the Heritage Property Act, March 21, 2007.
The heritage value of the Honeywood Nursery resides in the character-defining elements associated with Dr. A.J. (Bert) Porter, including the log house; examples of the various lilies, trees, shrubs and other plants developed at Honeywood; those features common to early 20th century nurseries, including office, packing shed, greenhouse and planting beds and orchards; and, the Nursery's rural setting overall.