OKC’s garden tour gives ideas to put into action

Hopefully you had a great Memorial Day weekend and got to spend a little time working in your garden between the family activities and the visits to pay your respects at the cemetery. We owe so much to those who have preceded us and  served this grand country in our military as they worked to establish and protect our liberties, sometimes sacrificing their life and limb for our benefit. We also owe a great debt of gratitude to our family members, friends and fellow citizens that have preceded us and worked tirelessly to figure out new ways to work with nature, to harness energy, to create new products and services to enrich our lives. Each generation has worked hard to improve the life of the next generation and to give us a chance to live an easier, fuller and more satisfying life. That effort even applies to the yard and garden where there has been a continuous effort to discover new plants, breed new varieties, learn the best production techniques and to share that information to produce food, energy, shelter and beauty for others.

These days management gurus call it continuous improvement but that is what healthy civilizations or countries do naturally. There is a general commitment to explore, learn, do better and work for a better life for those that come after us. Thank goodness for our ancestors and their commitment to learn, share, plant trees and prepare for the future. Hopefully future generations will look back on our time and see that we contributed to this ongoing gift of learning and improving.

The weather has been fairly kind to us this spring and we have been enjoying beautiful flower displays from most all of our plants and most crops are growing very well. This is still a great time to plant most all kinds of container grown trees, shrubs and flowers. As we deal with hotter temperatures you will need to water a little deeper and more often after you plant to help the plants get well established than was required with earlier spring plantings. You can still be very successful and get lots of food, pleasure and beauty by planting now.          

This is a good time to feed your lawn and flowers before entering the heat of summer. It is a great time to mulch your flowerbeds with natural bark, hulls or compost materials to reduce watering, keep the soil temperature cooler and reduce weed problems. You can really add pizzazz to your porch, patio or add design flair to flowerbeds by potting up large pots, urns or your own unique containers with those special plants or combinations of plants you choose to make a design statement at your home. Container gardening really allows you to design and decorate with plants.

One of the highlights on the garden calendar each year is the annual Oklahoma Horticulture Society Garden Tour for Connoisseurs that will be held this coming Saturday and is your chance to visit seven very special Oklahoma City private gardens. Every year the Horticulture Society selects a different neighborhood and provides a chance to see some very special gardens. This year the gardens are all within a couple of miles of Northwest 50th and North May Avenue. Tickets are $12.00 in advance at local garden centers or $15.00 on the day of the tour purchased at any of the individual gardens. This is the main fundraiser for the Oklahoma Horticulture Society and is used to support horticulture scholarships for 4-H and FFA Members and for horticulture students at OSU Stillwater, OSU Oklahoma City and Tulsa Community College. The tour sites will be open from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM and are a wonderful opportunity to see common and unusual plants in real Oklahoma Gardens and to get lots of design ideas from real Oklahoma gardeners while supporting a good cause.

As a member of the Horticulture Society board I guarantee you will enjoy the tour and we will deeply appreciate your support and the chance to encourage more young people to explore horticulture. Come out and enjoy the Garden Tour this weekend and then go buy some of the new plants you enjoy on the tour to add to your yard or container gardens.

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