Generations of OKC garden clubs share knowledge of what grows at the annual Garden Festival in the Park

Great State

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The ponds, walkways, and flower gardens at Will Rogers Park people enjoy in May were all part of a dairy farm in 1912 when the city purchased it.

The park was laid out in 1932 and named for Will Rogers in 1936.

Johnita Turner’s six grown children know they can usually find her here especially this time of year.

“I’ve always been a gardener,” she smiles.

She plays a big part in organizing the Oklahoma Council of Gardening Clubs.

Turner says she also learns a little something about it every chance she gets.

“You just can’t come here and not learn something about gardening.”

She argues this park has never looked better.

Some of the early flowers are still blooming.

Everything is green.

Volunteers have all the beds cleared of weeds just in time for the park’s annual Garden Festival, a one-day event where just about all the different flower, plant, and art organization in the city sets up exhibits or sells cuttings of plants they know will grow in this climate.

“We have anything you might want to see out here that might have to do with gardens.”

There was a time when Johnita would challenge herself with some exotic plant and try to be the only to be able to grow it.

She learned her lesson a long time ago.

“If nobody else is growing it, I can’t grow it either,” she confides.

Generations of flower clubs before here have come and gone learning the same thing.

At this crossroads of America, not so far east or west, not north or south, there are lots of green and flowery things that grow just fine.

All you have to do is look around, or find someone to help you dig.

The 31st annual Garden Festival in the Park is set for Saturday, May 15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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