'Van Gogh' sunflower. I got the seeds from Renee's Seeds. She sent them to me to try. I like them.
I feel a post percolating about the fires and rebirth, but having just returned from GWA, I’m too tired to write it today. My home and garden were spared–the fire was several miles away–but many were not so lucky.
Below are two recent posts from Fiskars and Lowe’s. If you visit my Lowe’s post and leave a comment, I’ll give you a big hug next time I see you. Of course, I’d hug you anyway.
Recently, Cheryl over at The Prairie Maid suggested a new meme called Oklahoma, You’re Doing Fine.On the last Friday of each month, Oklahoma bloggers will write about why it’s great to be an Oklahoman. This month’s topic is Growin Up Okie.
For me, Growin’ up Okie meant:
Feeling self conscious about my accent, and so I practiced speaking like a news announcer. I’ve quit that. Thank goodness.
Going to church. My parents didn’t attend, but the church bus picked up my sister and me without fail. I broke bread with the Baptists, the Methodists (where I was baptized), the Presbyterians, and Assembly of God. I finally found my church home after I grew up, but I’m thankful for all the devout folks who ministered to me as a child. I’m Catholic, but I have friends of all faiths. I think it’s the Okie’s love of faith, justice, and forging one’s own path which makes our friendships flourish. In other words, there’s a lot we agree upon. The rest we let go.
Playing softball. I was the roving shortstop for my team, and we played together from the time I was nine years old until I was fifteen. Although I wasn’t a superstar hitter, I was a pretty good fielder, and we didn’t need to look or act like professionals. Kids do now, and it’s something to ponder.
Riding in the back of pickup trucks. Don’t let my kids see this one, but riding in the back of my coach’s old pickup truck with the wind blowing through my hair was a true joy.
Tripping down to the creek and catching crawdads.
Walking to Shepherd’s Mall; trying on prom dresses at The Jade; shopping at Street’s; and having just enough money to eat at McDonald’s.
Being a Madison Magpie in elementary school (they’ve since changed the name. It wasn’t PC. I was a little kid and thought it was only a bird.); a Polk ????? in fifth grade when I was bused across town; a Taft Royal (whatever that is) in middle school; and a Northwest Classen Knight in high school. One of my girlfriends painted her room purple with gold trim. That was a tad bit excessive, but I still love purple and gold. Thirty years? Say it ain’t so!
Living through busing and The Finger Plan. Good idea to integrate the schools, but busing kids all over town, not so much. Still, we all lived through it, and my, how times have changed. The Diva has a friendship rainbow of beautiful young women. I’m so proud of them all.
WatchingForeman Scotty. Yes, I got to be on his show, but I didn’t get to ride the pony. The birthday girl did. I was only four, so I didn’t understand.
Listening to Ronnie Kaye on KOMA radio, requesting song and recording them on our cassette players. I bet we drove him nuts. Sorry Ronnie.
Watching the vintage, OKC downtown be torn down during “urban renewal.” What a mistake that was, but we learned from it and when on to MAPS, we did it right. I love Bricktown.
Being one of the editors of my high school yearbook. My teacher, Liz Burdette, inspired me to go to OU, get a journalism degree and become a writer. Thank you Mrs. Burdette. I still have the thesaurus you gave me. It sits in an honored position above my desk.
Mrs. Burdette, who was probably talking with the yearbook publisher. You can see we had five days left.
Thanks for traveling with me down Oklahoma memory lane. I can’t wait to hear what others have posted about their experiences. Visit Cheryl by clicking on the little button below.
Orignally published in the Spring 2008 OHS Horticulture Horizons newsletter.
As avid gardeners, we search out the newest and best each spring, and we are tantalized by those plants with large advertising budgets: the “new and improved” hybrids, some of which do great here; others, quickly die. For example: does anyone remember Coreopsis ‘Limerock Ruby?’ In my garden, it was beautiful throughout spring, but when summer’s heat hit, like a tumbleweed, ‘Limerock Ruby’ shriveled up and blew away.
This spring I converted four, large beds from mostly vegetables over to perennials and shrubs. Because of this, I became more aware of those plants I rely upon as backbones of my garden. These are the plants I reach for and divide every time I need something for a new space. Assured that they will perform, I place them first and then surround them with their highly touted, but possibly less hardy companions. Most are perennials, but I’ve also thrown in a few shrubs.
Rosa 'The Fairy'
An entire article could be written on roses, but I’ll only touch on a few.Not the Hybrid Teas which almost require rarified air to breathe, but instead the landscape shrubs, the antiques your grandmother grew, and the new disease resistant varieties. The Knockout® brand of roses has become an industry within itself and is available in the original red, Double Red, Pink, Double Pink, Rainbow, and Blushing. My current favorites are Double Knockout® (red,) Rainbow Knockout® and Carefree Sunshine®; a lovely yellow. All have virtually no blackspot. ‘The Fairy’, an older beauty, is a delicate pink rose covered in blooms from April to September. ‘Carefree Beauty,’ a/k/a Katy Road Pink is another easy growing rose hybridized by Dr. Griffith Buck, from Iowa State University, who knew a thing or two about disease resistance and heat and cold tolerance.
I use certain shrubs again and again including Spiraeajaponica ‘Magic Carpet’ with its multi-colored foliage and Spiraea thunbergii ‘Ogon’, which blooms white in spring.The leaves of ‘Ogon’ remain a lovely yellow, with new growth tinged in gold all summer.
Rhapsody in Pink crapemyrtle
In Oklahoma, you can’t forget crapemyrtles.I planted two Rhapsody in Pink® crapemyrtles in the new beds because of their dark purple foliage and sterile growth habit which should create more pink blooms than ever. I also like some of Dr. Carl Whitcomb’s other varieties like Pink Velour®, Dynamite® and Tightwad Red®, a small red shrub.
Phlox paniculata, a passalong heirloom
Tall garden phlox, Phlox paniculata, is another plant which holds its own in the border.You can obtain a small specimen of any of the basic colors like purple, bright pink or white, and by summer, you will have a blooming plant.By the next year, you should be able to divide it.Garden phlox require little care other than good air circulation to prevent mildew and blood meal or another nitrogen source in early spring. Goldenrod, Solidago sp., takes the garden into fall with brilliant color, and it’s an important nectar source for multitudes of insects.I like its bright yellow plumes, but I also enjoy the wildlife show.Because it blooms the same time as ragweed, goldenrod often is incorrectly blamed for sinusitis problems at that time of the year.I especially like the variety known as showy goldenrod. True perennial geraniums, commonly known as cranesbills, like ‘Biokovo’, ‘Johnson’s Blue’ and ‘Brookside’ soften my garden with their foliage and sprawling growth habit.Bloody cranesbill also sports bright, purple blooms on gray green foliage. Daisies are wonderful in a mixed border. The cultivar ‘Becky’ grows on strong, sturdy stems.It is easily divided and used throughout the garden as a mid-sized plant.
'Alaska' Shasta daisies
Although this list contains some newer varieties, many of these plants are considered passalongs, and they’re another great reason to join a garden club like the Oklahoma Horticulture Society.Not only do you meet wonderful people who are as passionate about gardening as you are, but they are generous with their plant overflow and their knowledge.
“Clouds of insects danced and buzzed in the golden autumn light, and the air was full of the piping of the song-birds. Long, glinting dragonflies shot across the path, or hung tremulous with gauzy wings and gleaming bodies.” by Sir Author Conan Doyle
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