Hermine brings soaking rains in time for garden tour

All of the attention was on east coast hurricanes and suddenly the effects of Hurricane Hermine from the gulf was falling all around us. In Oklahoma things can change dramatically and quickly from an incredibly hot, dry and punishing July and August to pouring rain falling in early September courtesy of Hermine.

It is better to get several smaller soaking rains where the earth and our gardens can really absorb the water and get full benefit of the moisture but we were in such desperate need of moisture that we will take it any way we can get it. Let’s hope this moisture and the cooler temperatures are enough to save many of the trees, shrubs and other plants that have been under such extreme stress and dropping leaves in recent weeks.

This heat has clearly shown the risk to 2, 3 and 4 year old tree plantings that don’t get proper watering in the summer heat. Many folks do a good job of watering that first year but forget to keep supplementing the water in the summer dry season the next few years when the tree is still growing fast and still growing deeper roots.

This Saturday, September 18 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM is your chance to participate in the annual Garden Tour for Connoisseurs, year in and year out the best garden tour in Oklahoma. It is put on by the Oklahoma Horticulture Society as a fundraiser for their scholarship and speaker funds. It is a self guided tour of 7 great Oklahoma City gardens.

Visit the amazing Koi ponds, garden paths, iris and day lily gardens of Hugh and Jennifer Stout; the wildflower gardens and country hideaway of Dallas and Bob Gwin; the secluded collection of trees, spruces, atlas cedars and hostas in the multilevel landscape of Kim and Mickey Sullivan, the impressionist garden of herbs, perennials, pools, pines and magnolias of Kitty and Dick Champlin in Belle Isle. Enjoy the water features and over 40 varieties of trees and shrubs at the Cheryl McIntosh home in Cobblestone; the amazing outdoor kitchen, terraces and lush Quail Creek landscape of Susan and Ted Campbell, and finally enjoy the garden art, great container gardens and beautiful gardens of Lynn and John Robberson.

Tickets can be purchased at any of the above gardens on the day of the tour for $15.00. Full tour details and addresses are available at www.okhort.org. You can buy advanced tickets for $12.00 at Farmers Grain in Edmond, Horn Seed, Wilshire Garden Market, at both TLC and both Precure Nursery locations in Oklahoma City and The Greenhouse and K & K Nursery in Norman or at Full Circle Book Store.

I hope you can attend, as it is always a great experience with wonderful garden hosts and helpful Oklahoma Horticulture Society Volunteers at every stop. By attending you will help sponsor horticulture awards for 4-H and FFA Youth and horticulture scholarships at OSU-OKC, Tulsa Community College and OSU- Stillwater.

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