The Cleveland County Master Gardeners hosted their annual Garden Party and Plant Sale recently at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds, 615 E. Robinson St., Norman. Despite cooler weather the turnout exceeded expectations this year.
“We had wonderful turnout,” Master Gardener Nancy Logan said. “We have fewer than 30 plants left after the sale. We had a lot of returning customers.”
The COVID-19 pandemic derailed the party for the past two years and the master gardeners were excited to be back.
“Our sales increased significantly this year, and we appreciate everyone coming out in the bad weather and supporting us,” Logan said.
The plant sale is a fundraiser for the Cleveland County Master Gardeners, supporting their educational outreach and the demonstration garden at the fairgrounds.
“This was amazing for us because any funds we use come from this plant sale,” Master Gardener Lois Cox said. “A garden is expensive and this will allow us to expand what we do for the public.”
They also use the money to support a $1,000 horticulture scholarship.
“In addition to the plant sales, people gave donations,” Logan said. “It was very successful for us.”
The Master Gardeners had 576 gallon pots of perennials and 660 pots of annuals.
“We also had fig trees and we sold every one of those,” Logan said. “We’ve had them in the past and they are beautiful. One of the varieties is very hardy in Oklahoma and the other is a good container plant.”
The garden party portion of the event is a gift to the community and includes a combination of adult and children’s activities.
“We had face painting and rock painting for the kids. They could create a a rock critter and they could also plant a pot of cat grass,” Cox said. “We had Gertrude Gardener walking around handing out stickers to the kids. We’ll also had a walking tree late in the day, but she was affected by the wind.”
Children’s activities included origami, pinecone bird feeders to take home and a scavenger hunt through the demonstration garden.
“We also always have a vermiculture demonstration of how to create a worm hotel,” Cox said.
Other adult demonstrations that day included monarchs and pollinators in the garden, how to use decorative grasses in the home garden and a Native American medicinal garden.
“All of our plants are grown with a lot of care and a lot of love,” Logan said.
After the two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the money raised on on Saturday was badly needed to support the demonstration garden, the scholarship fund and the educational pursuits of the Cleveland County Master Gardeners.