Today’s garden tour is coming from Oklahoma, where my cousin Elizabeth gardens. Let’s see what she has to say about gardening on the Great Plains!
+Where do you garden and what is your climate like?
I garden in central Oklahoma, in the USDA Zone 7a. The climate is classified as humid subtropical and our growing season is pretty lengthy. Winters tend to be on the milder side, though from the last few you might have a hard time believing that. Oklahoma rarely does anything in the middle of the road. It seems like we’re always really far on one end or the other as far as temperatures go. However, we’re described as a “temperate” region.
+When did you first start gardening? How long have you been gardening at your current residence?
I was exposed to gardening from an early age, but the first thing I grew myself was a marigold in a Nature’s Nursery necklace made by Mattel in 1994. I’ve lived in my current home for 8 years now and the first thing I did when I moved in was plant tomatoes. It’s an addiction! For the record, the second thing I planted was a geranium.
+Which plants have been your favorite to grow? Most difficult?
Any major plant losses that have bummed you out? My favorites have been tomatoes, but I have faced difficulties with them almost every year. I don’t know if there are more pests in this general area or what, but I was used to seeing my parents and grandparents just set tomatoes out and not worry at all about anything getting them. There have been a couple years where the aphids got me and last year I was no match for the spider mites. Drought has also been a major problem. This year was the first time I came face to face with a squash vine borer. That looks like it’s under control at the moment…or at least I am winning for now.
+What plants would you like to have in your garden if you could?
A lemon or avocado would be delightful. While we’re talking about trees, it’s my dream to live in a pecan grove. That’s a real possibility, considering my location. Maybe someday!
+Anything new and exciting growing this season?
I am taking my first stab at tomatillos this year!
+Have you grown any edibles and if so what has been your favorite?
Ha! I mostly grow edibles. I’ve got a pretty utilitarian philosophy when it comes to gardening, so I like things that are going to be of use (either to myself or the surrounding ecosystem).
+Share anything else exciting in the yard! Two big changes in the yard this year.
One – I built my first raised bed for vegetables. It has worked like a dream. I constructed it out of cement blocks and I’ve topped them with paving stones to give it a more natural look. Much more pleasing to look at now! Two – I planted a bed full of things to feed my butterfly and hummingbird population. An armadillo attack has set me back a bit, but I’m pretty happy with the outcome.
Something I am working on establishing soon is a moon garden on the west/southwest side of my house. It was recently cleared (it had previously been fenced in by the former owner as a yard specifically for a small dog) and now I have this large area to plant in. It could be tricky because of the proximity to a telephone pole. I’m hoping to make it a nice place to enjoy the dwindling light in the evening hours, full of moonflowers and four o’clocks. The fence lining the space is already covered with honeysuckle. *sigh* I get a thrill just thinking about it!