By Michael Hunter
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Garfield County Master Gardeners take great pride in presenting the annual community Garden Tour of Enid highlighting local creative residential garden spaces and providing an open gardening forum with their owners.
Listing the traditional duties taking place in the garden during the month of May is lengthy with this year seeing almost double duty. With mild winter conditions once again this year, the ongoing drought that has recently had an interruption with rainfall, and our unseasonable spring weather conditions, almost reversing at times, this month has been anything but Oklahoma normal. Conditions within the last week have promoted a bursting forth of lush color from all directions in local gardens. This year appears to be another exceptional year in the making, even with the less-than-cooperating weather conditions.
The Garden Tour of Enid Friday and Saturday has two community roles — education and philanthropy. Attending the tour allows visitors the opportunity to learn about plants and view design concepts. Funds raised by the Garden Tour of Enid support the Ron Robinson Memorial Horticulture Scholarship given to a student yearly attending Oklahoma State University. Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Center gardens again will be included on this year’s tour. Fine examples of Oklahoma Proven perennials, annuals, shrubs and trees can be seen within that landscape.
Tour locations are: Diane and Ford, 3619 Willow Lake Lane; Sandy and Truman Landwehr, 3805 Willow Lake Lane; Phyllis and Charles Coup, 3809 Willow Lake Lane; Linda and Ron Licklider, 905 Compound; Magdalena and Jose Alvarado, Alvarado Ranch, 3326 N. Washington; and Extension Center, 316 E. Oxford.
Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Center location also will feature a plant sale, garden boutique shop featuring Master Gardener gloves for sale and complimentary Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Center educational materials. Visitors will enjoy live musical entertainment at several of the gardens Friday by Jay Bowers, Those Guys, and the duet of Allen and Buller. The Birdhouse Man will display unique birdhouses both days at the Alvarado Ranch. Gaillardia Pottery will display items at the Coup and Landwehr gardens both days. A complimentary beverage will be offered both days at the Ford garden, and ice cold bottled water will be on sale both days at the Licklider garden.
Gardens selected each year for the tour present a variety of gardening lifestyles and degrees of development. This year’s selected gardens allow visitors to review elements of managing the requirements of a walled garden, including a garden developed over several acres. Personal lifestyle can guide a gardener with direction for construction size and with the choice of materials including plants. The Licklider garden offers a more planned arrangement with specific permanent plantings and those that can be changed for variety in beds along with decorative planters. Fine examples can be seen in the use of trained boxwood hedges throughout and a series of splendid magnolia trees with an Espalier-style trained growth along the main courtyard wall. Hardscape stone pathway pavers create an ancient feel to this city garden retreat with both unique carved stone features and specially selected plantings.
The four additional gardens allow interesting design options with socializing areas, waterfalls, trees, shrubs, plants and large growing containers. The Alvarado Ranch and Ford gardens, with their extended spaces, allow for walking and sizeable vegetable plantings. The Coup and Landwehr gardens are examples of a team effort by four neighbors who have created a lake resort setting in their own side-by-side backyards. All of these gardens provide outstanding ideas for waterside entertainment with one, including creative container plantings, found at the Coup garden. Tour visitors will view ideas at all of the gardens with architectural pieces, water features, seating areas, walkway materials, arbors, specialized growth of shrubs, mulching and a large-scale example of sustainable reuse of trees. Remember to take notes along the tour with regard to how varieties of plants are used in color and in textures of foliage, and what types of plants require sun or shade.
You can phone the OSU Extension Office at 237-1228, fax questions to 242-1955, go to the website at http://oces.okstate.edu/garfield/master-gardener-annual-garden-tour, email questions to Rick Nelson, ag educator, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or drop by the Extension office, 316 E. Oxford, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for ticket information. Take time during this annual garden opportunity to enjoy experiencing some of the exceptional garden spaces that are cultivated in Enid. Speak with these enthusiastic local gardeners about their gardens and learn of their individual experiences. Visitors are also encouraged to bring questions of any special concerns they may have regarding their own gardens.
Hunter is a member of Garfield County Master Gardeners.