Last weekend, Bill and I went to Tulsa for the Audubon Society’s fall garden tour that featured native plants. There were also four native plant vendors, so while we were there, I bought more native plants for the meadow. These included: Veronicastrum virginicum, culver root, Ratibida pinnata, gray-headed Coneflower, and Liatris elegans, elegant liatris.
Speaking of the meadow, my presence up there spreading seed and planting is a huge source of curiosity for my neighbors. I’ve been approached a couple of times and asked if I was okay. When I told the first woman I was photographing native flowers, she looked at me as if I were crazy.
Perhaps, I am.
Another time, a man stopped and asked if he needed to dispatch a snake for me. Such is life in rural Oklahoma.
The Tulsa Botanic Garden
No trip to Tulsa is complete without also seeing the progress at the Tulsa Botanic Garden. It was fun to see how much it had grown. If you go, make sure you get online tickets ahead of time because they are limiting visitor numbers during COVID. They also require masks.
A closeup of Narrowleaf ironweed, ‘Iron Butterfly’ (I think) at TBG. Narrowleaf ironweed, ‘Iron Butterfly’ (I think) at TBG. Bill and I in our masks. You have to wear a mask and get an appointment to go to the botanic garden right now. Acalypha hispida, chenille plant, on the terraces. Crotons at the entrance of the children’s garden at TBG. They are so bright and pretty. Great summer to fall plant for containers too. False vervain in the Tandy terraces.
The Tulsa Botanic Garden looked great. The floral terraces are my favorite part of the garden, but they are the most established too.
Yes, more native plants
This fall, I expanded one garden bed that is right outside my kitchen door. I find it an eternal quest to add more butterfly plants while keeping things somewhat orderly. For that section of the garden, I bought Conoclinium greggii, Gregg’s mistflower, Agastache ‘Blue Fortune’ and two more Eutrochium ‘Phantom’ Joe Pye weed. I like the latter because it’s shorter and seems to work for pollinators just as well as the taller ‘Little Joe’ I have planted at the back of another border.
We recently hired a crew to help with the lawn. Four guys can do in two hours what took us all weekend. They mow, weed-eat, edge, and blow off the paths. Our yard has never looked better, and our gratitude for their help is immense.
This is what the expanded area looked like after the guys worked on placing the stones. I like how it’s on the edge of the brick sidewalk. Expanded garden border after I dug out all of the Bermuda grass and topped with shredded leaves and leaf mold. Expanded border with plants from
Tulsa placed in it.
Plus, they’re really nice guys. I mentioned I wanted to move the rock border and expand into the lawn, and they offered to move it for me. They finished in 20 minutes, and I removed the Bermuda grass with a garden fork. Removing Bermuda is really hard work which is why most people just kill it with grass killer or glyphosate. I could have asked the guys to remove the grass, but I like doing it, and I want to plant sooner than later. If you spray, it takes longer to plant, and you’ve also sprayed. I don’t like to spray.
I also found more elegant liatris at Bustani Plant Farm along with several native grasses including: Schizachyrium scoparium, little bluestem, Andropogon ternarius, split-beard bluestem, and Andropogon gerardii ‘Blackhawks,’ a dark bluestem that is patented. I put it in my expanded border. I hope it likes it there. It would be great to have a dark grass that is perennial.
Happy First Day of Fall everyone!