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Garden clubs offer tips for horticulture, design

Oklahoma garden clubs provide outlets for growing plants, flowers, friendships.
by Paula Burkes Published: January 7, 2013

A sidelined hiker, Diana Treat, of Oklahoma City, yearned for a way to recreate the natural beauty that she for years had found on trails across the Sooner state. Linda Lawson, of Norman, sought hands-on youth programs for her children when they were young and involved in Camp Fire USA. Kathie Smathers, of Mustang, simply wanted to make her own Christmas wreath.

All three found what they were looking for — in Oklahoma garden clubs.

Treat is a member of the Apogon Iris Garden Club, Oklahoma City's oldest. Smathers serves as president of the Viola Garden Club in Oklahoma City, which she joined five years ago. And Lawson participates in several — the Flora Belle Garden Club in Norman, the Gladiolas Garden Club in Cushing and the American Begonia Society.

The three gardeners recently intersected at the “Christmas in the City Holiday Flower Show” on Dec. 15 at Will Rogers Garden Exhibition Center, 3400 NW 36. The standard show was presented by the Oklahoma Council of Nationally Accredited Flower Show Judges and led by Treat, an accredited judge and grand master gardener.

“I have a passion for working with flowers and plants, and love floral design,” said Smathers, who takes advantage of many of the design workshops, which are taught at the center every month and offered free to the public.

Along with wreath-making, Smathers said she's learned how to create an ikebana Japanese style dish garden and condition plant material before making flower arrangements so they last longer.

She's also taken advantage of the Oklahoma City Council of Garden Clubs' periodic plant sales, in which members share plants from their yards. “We enjoy helping each other improve our own yards and also beautify the community,” Smathers said.

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by Paula Burkes
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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