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Oklahoma County Master Gardeners are growing fun

Anne Griswold, of Edmond, Oklahoma, a master gardener, talks about how that program helped her achieve the flower garden she continuously enjoys.
by Bryan Painter Published: July 14, 2013

It's amazing what has grown out of a logo on a shirt.

Anne Griswold was nearing the end of 34 years as a nurse for a surgeon when one day she noticed the logo of “Master Gardener” on a patient's shirt.

At that time Griswold's Edmond backyard “was bare and none.” She and husband, Ben, had a few plants here and there, but it consisted mainly of Bermuda grass. Now 10 years after retiring, she loves to give visitors a tour of that backyard. She'll point out white daisies, rosemary, the lemon mint and the Texas Star hibiscus.

And that's just halfway down the east fence.

Today there's very little Bermuda grass because other than the swimming pool, the majority of the yard is home to lots and lots of color. As a result, Griswold has a smile that blooms year-round.

And she thanks the Oklahoma County Master Gardener program for planting and nurturing that smile.

Upon retiring, she inquired about and was accepted into the master gardener program. She started by learning and then progressed into helping others and receiving a continuing education at the same time.

“The course took a year and I thought it was just phenomenal because I knew very little about gardening and soil, mulch and being a plant detective when something goes wrong,” she said. “As long as you stay in the organization, the more friends you develop and the more they teach each other.

“I would just highly recommend it to anyone even if you're not a gardener, because you will be a gardener.”

A reflection

Griswold wanted her garden to be a reflection of her personality.

“I'm not one for perfect manicured yards,” she said. “I like a yard that is comfortable where you've got serenity, color and charm.

“Plants are wonderful and I love them. I love digging in the dirt. But it's the little things I add to it, the garden art, that make this a reflection of me.”

She has the black-eyed Susan, coneflowers and much more.

But garden art? Well, that's the pink bowling ball, the white chandelier hanging in the tree and the purple old bicycle. It's the Halloween lights in the chiminea and it's the chicken coop.

And then there's the tree that has taken on a new life.

“This was a little maple and it is not going to make it,” she said. “I just didn't have the heart to get rid of it, so it is now a chime tree where I hang these chimes.”

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by Bryan Painter
Assistant Local Editor
Bryan Painter, assistant local editor, has 31 years’ experience in journalism, including 22 years with the state's largest newspaper, The Oklahoman. In that time he has covered such events as the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah...
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