The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Ag

May 24, 2014

Tour offers garden inspirations

ENID, Okla. — Garfield County Master Gardeners take pride in presenting the annual Garden Tour of Enid on June 6-7 at the start of the summer season.

This event highlights creative garden spaces and provides an interactive gardening forum for attendees with both the residential tour gardeners and Master Gardeners of the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.       

The traditional gardener work for the month of May is lengthy and involved. Once again the Oklahoma weather has been anything but traditional in the usual sense of weather models. The ongoing drought has continued with little moisture from winter snowfall or spring rainfall to date.

The unseasonable spring weather conditions recently, almost reversing at times these past 30 days, have been challenging to area gardeners in completing their seasonal preparations. Coolers conditions within the last week have promoted a bursting forth of lush color from all directions in local gardens. What a great year it has been for those with lush green fescue lawns. This year appears to be another exceptional one in the making even with the less than cooperating weather conditions.

The Garden Tour of Enid has two community roles with both education and philanthropy. Attending the tour allows visitors the opportunity to learn about plants, trees, and view design concepts. Funds raised by the tour support the Ron Robinson Memorial Horticulture Scholarship given to a student yearly attending Oklahoma State University. The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Center demonstration garden and arboretum at 316 E. Oxford will be included on this year’s tour. Fine examples of Oklahoma Proven perennials, annuals, shrubs and trees can be viewed there.  

The Extension location will feature a plant sale and garden boutique shop featuring the popular Master Gardener gloves for sale, along with complimentary Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Center educational materials. Visitors will enjoy live musical entertainment at selected garden locations the evening of June 6 with the Allen and Buller musical duet, soloist Jay Bowers, soloist Greg Stong and Those Guys. The Birdhouse Man and Gaillardia Pottery will display unique garden decor items for sale on both days of the tour. Complimentary flavored water will be offered at the Loaves & Fishes Faith Farm, and bottled water will be on sale both days at selected garden locations.

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 and requirements of a working community food pantry produce garden found at the Loaves & Fishes Faith Farm, 820 W. Cherokee, and a garden developed by Linda Record and Alan Sayre in part to assist in backyard flood control at 1802 Quailwood Drive.

Personal lifestyle can guide a gardener with direction for construction size and with the choice of materials, including trees and plants. At 4001 Driftwood Drive, Lynette and Tom Luttrell’s garden offers a planned arrangement inspired by the owner’s travels to the northwestern United States with specific permanent evergreen tree plantings and those plants that can be changed for variety in beds along with decorative planters. Fine container garden examples can be seen at 2615 Wildwood Drive (Sharon and Dan Melrose), with the colorful choice of 15-year growth Bougainvillea’s throughout their backyard park environment. A unique tour location will be 1806 Mockingbird Lane (Laura Miller). The center courtyard garden, which the home wraps around, has been lovingly restored and tended to, with several original garden features of this mid-century home recently restored.           

All six garden tour locations will offer interesting design ideas for a variety of lifestyles. The tour locations of 1802 Quailwood Drive, 4001 Driftwood, 2615 Wildwood Drive and 1806 Mockingbird Lane offer extended living spaces that allow for walking the lawns and sizeable areas for enjoying the options of both outdoor dining and play.

The 316 E. Oxford and 820 W. Cherokee Avenue gardens are true examples of volunteer team efforts by civic-minded gardeners who have created both community produce production and educational purposed gardens. Tour visitors will be able to view interesting choices of architectural pieces, water features, seating areas, walkway materials, arbors, specialized growth of shrubs and mulching. Remember to take notes along the tour with regard to how varieties of plants are used in color and in textures of foliage, not to forget also, what types of plants require sun or shade.  

Those interested in attending the Garden Tour of Enid 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 rick.nelson@okstate.edu, or drop by the Extension Office at 316 E. Oxford from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Visitors are encouraged to bring questions they may have regarding their own gardens.

Hunter is a member of Garfield County Master Gardeners.

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