By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Oklahoma City, OK — Hosted by Myriad Botanical Gardens, the Oklahoma Gardening School, is the state’s premier annual horticultural symposium. The event is designed for home gardeners and professional horticulturists, garden designers and landscape architects.
The 2019 symposium will take place on Saturday, March 9 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Devon Auditorium, 333 West Sheridan and Hudson, to the west of the Devon Energy Tower in downtown Oklahoma City. Breakfast and registration will begin at 8 a.m.
Presented by Meinders Foundation and Devon Energy, this year’s theme is “Growing Beautiful, Successful and Low-Maintenance Herb Gardens.”
Guest speakers will demonstrate how to grow purposeful herb gardens through adaptive designs, proper plant selection, and precise cultivation and maintenance practices. Their illustrated talks and Q&A discussions will help participants learn how to create, and maintain, more sustainable gardens in Oklahoma.
Featured speakers are Matthew Benson, Holly Shimizu, Lori Coats, and Jenny Wegley.
Benson is a writer, photographer, author and organic farmer whose work focuses on issues of food, sustainability, and organics. Owner of Stonegate Farm in New York’s Hudson River Valley, Matthew cultivates organic vegetables, historic fruit, raw honey, and medicinal flowers and herbs. His farm has been featured in The New York Times, Better Homes & Gardens, Organic Gardening, and the television show This Old House, among others.
From Glen Echo, Maryland, Holly Shimizu is a nationally recognized horticulturist with a specialty in herbs and herb gardens. She was the first curator of The National Herb Garden at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C., executive director of the U.S. Botanic Garden, and for more than 10 years was a host of the popular Victory Garden on PBS.
Jenny Wegley is vice president of horticulture operations at Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Recognized as one of 40 industry professionals under the age of 40 who help determine the future of horticulture, Wegley’s creativity and knowledge of plant trials have circulated in numerous industry publications throughout her career.
Lori Coats is an Oklahoma Master Gardener who has been featured in Oklahoma Gardener Magazine and Edible OKC Magazine. A Tuttle native, she is an herbalist who owns My Raggedy Herbs, a teaching garden that demonstrates backyard kitchen gardening for medicinal and culinary purposes.
Lunch will be held in the Park House Event Center at Myriad Gardens where an Herb Market will be presented by Bill Farris, owner and operator of Prairie Wind Nursery in Norman. Optional box lunches can be purchased for $15.
The event will close with a Q&A session and book signing event.
Sponsors include: TLC Garden Center, Grooms Irrigation; American Plant Products, Calvert’s Plant Interiors, Kitty and Richard Champlin, Minick Materials, Total Environment and Plant Wisdom Garden Center. In-kind sponsors are AC Hotel by Marriott OKC Bricktown and Holiday Inn Express-Bricktown.
Cost is $40 for Gardens members, $70 nonmembers and $25 students (with ID). Register online at myriadgardens.org. Registration deadline is Tuesday, March 5. For questions call 405-445-7080.
The complete event schedule is available online.