NORMAN — Blooms and garden bounty are already starting to emerge this spring from the Cleveland County Master Gardeners Association’s demonstration garden.
Area gardeners can draw inspiration and learn from the many themed gardens, ranging from a butterfly garden to a water-smart, xeriscaped garden to an Oklahoma Proven garden, featuring plants and bushes that have been tested and proven to flourish in the state’s often tough hot-and-cold climate extremes.
The third-of-an-acre CCMGA demo garden is west of the parking lot at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds on East Robinson Street, just east of Porter Avenue. It’s the group’s centerpiece project. CCMGA is part of Oklahoma State University’s Extension service as a land-grant university.
Free garden tours are given by Master Gardeners from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesdays and Saturdays, starting in April and running through October while the Cleveland County Farmers Market is open.
“Many people don’t even know the demo garden is there,” said Patricia Welty, this year’s CCMGA garden coordinator. “It’s a hidden jewel.”
The demo garden is a model for Master Gardener programs in many other counties.
“We are the envy of a lot of (Master Gardener) programs,” said Tracey Payton Miller, Cleveland County Extension educator. “They come here to see what we’ve done and how to get started.”
Plants are being grown in the garden’s greenhouse for a plant sale, planned April 12, which helps sustain the CCMGA’s garden activities.
“We have been busy since January raising perennials and annuals,” Welty said.
New this season in the demo garden will be the continued development of an ambitious Native American Medicinal Garden in the shape of a dream catcher around a stone bubbler. Grants and in-kind donations are being sought by that CCMGA committee to create the next phase of the garden.