Oklahoma Gardening School 2018 Announced by Myriad Gardens

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Oklahoma City, OK — Myriad Botanical Gardens’ annual Oklahoma Gardening School is the state’s premier annual horticultural symposium designed for home gardeners and professional horticulturists, garden designers and landscape architects. “Designs to Nurture Nature and Ourselves” is the theme for the event on Saturday, March 10, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Devon Energy auditorium.

Whatever land we may have, from a city balcony to a suburban backyard to a ranch, we have a gift and responsibility to make the world more beautiful and healthy through our efforts. The results provide a healthier, more beautiful and healing life for ourselves, wildlife, nature and future generations. Speakers will inspire us as they demonstrate how to design a landscape that nurtures our souls through beauty and relaxation. We will learn how to create spaces that are caring and thoughtfully planned so they serve as wildlife habitats and strengthen the ecological health of our communities.

Cost is $40 for Myriad Gardens’ members; $70 nonmembers; $25 for students with ID. You can purchase lunch for $14 or have it on your own. Register online at myriadgardens.org.

Oklahoma Gardening School is sponsored by TLC Garden Center, Grooms Irrigation, American Plant Products, Calvert’s Plant Interiors, High Caliper Growing/Smart Pot, Minick Materials, Plant Wisdom and Red Dirt Plants.

Schedule of the day

8–9am Breakfast and Registration

9–9:10am Welcome by Maureen Heffernan, Executive Director and Dr. Ann Fleener, Director of Education

9:10am “Designs to Nurture our Land and Ourselves” by Dr. Kathleen Wolf

Join Dr. Wolf as she reminds us of the incredible benefits we discover when we care for our land, ourselves and our communities. You will learn how the ‘re-wilding’ of cities creates better wildlife and human habitats. She’ll discuss the evidence of benefits, 40 years in the making, and share how strategic design can achieve beautiful spaces that nurture you and nature.

10:10–10:30am Break

10:30am “The Humane Gardener: Nurturing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife” by Nancy Lawson

In this myth-busting talk, Nancy will teach how common growing methods unnecessarily divide the natural world and encourage misperceptions about the wild species living among us. Nancy will share practical ways to put humane gardening philosophies into action by protecting an array of animals, eliminating unintended hazards to wildlife, nurturing plants that provide food and shelter, and humanely resolving conflicts with mammals and other commonly misunderstood creatures.

11:30am–1pm Lunch at Myriad Botanical Gardens Park House Event Center or on your own

1pm “Tough Oklahoma Plants for Your Backyard Retreat” by Adam Sarmiento

Finding plants that will create a beautiful garden, are good for the earth and wildlife and that withstand the Oklahoma climate can be challenging. Adam Sarmiento, a true Oklahoma plant expert, will share some of his favorite plants, from tender perennials to towering trees. Adam will have you so excited about plants, you’ll want to run home and get started.

2–2:15pm Break

2:15pm “Organic Gardening: For the Sake of Nature and Yourself” by Elia Woods

Organic gardening cherishes the web of relationships that sustains life. With over 30 years’ experience as a home gardener and urban farmer, Lia relies on natural systems to grow productive, beautiful, earth-friendly gardens that nourish us in body and soul. Lia will discuss soil health, pests and diseases, water conservation, simple composting methods, and other elements of growing a successful garden.

3:15–3:45pm Q&A, Wrap Up and Book Signings

About the speakers

Nancy Lawson is the author of The Humane Gardener: Nurturing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife and a columnist for All Animals magazine. She is our keynote speaker. A frequent speaker on garden ecology, she founded Humane Gardener, an outreach initiative dedicated to animal-friendly landscaping methods. Lawson’s book and wildlife habitat have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Oprah Magazine, and other media outlets. She previously led the creative teams behind the award-winning magazines of The Humane Society of the United States.

Kathleen Wolf, Writer and Professor, University of Washington (Seattle), collaborator on Open Spaces, Sacred Places. Dr. Kathleen Wolf is a Research Social Scientist with the College of the Environment at the University of Washington (Seattle), and is also a research associate with the Pacific Northwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service. Her research focus is the human dimensions of urban forestry and urban ecosystems, particularly human health. Another interest is the translation of scientific evidence for use in local government policy and planning. You can view her research at www.naturewithin.info; and the Green Cities: Good Health project at: www.greenhealth.washington.edu

After training in organic agriculture Adam Sarmiento began applying ecological and organic concepts to landscaping in 1998. His design/build firm Eco Landscaping focuses on ecologically beneficial, utilitarian spaces that celebrate the regional character of Oklahoma. The company has been featured in 405 magazine and The Norman Transcript. His writings have been published in Oklahoma Gardener and The Gaillardia. His landscape designs have been awarded Norman’s “Water’s Worth It” award and have been utilized by numerous area schools. Adam also gives presentations and workshops on native plants, mini-farming, and ecological gardening. He has served as the vice president of the Oklahoma Native Plant Society.

Elia Woods is co-founder and farm manager of CommonWealth Urban Farms. She is also coordinator of the Central Park Community Garden, and has been a home gardener for over 30 years. Elia’s first attempt at gardening when she was twenty years old was a complete failure, and she’s been happily making mistakes and learning ever since. Elia received the Community Catalyst Award from Transition OKC in 2015, and the OKC Human Rights Day Award in 2016.

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