If you have not yet had the opportunity to visit The Botanic Garden at Oklahoma State University this season, mark your calendar for Sept. 29. The 17th annual GardenFest will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Laura Payne, volunteer coordinator for The Botanic Garden at OSU, said there will be something for everyone this year.
“We’ll have educational opportunities, live music, children’s activities, pony rides and food trucks. It’ll be a great day at the garden,” Payne said. “We’ve had quite a bit of rain lately, so everything is lush and green and looks great.”
For those interested in growing industrial hemp, or simply learning more about it, you are in luck. Tracey Payton-Miller, assistant professor at Langston University, will be on hand to discuss the Industrial Hemp Pilot Program and passage of HB 2913. Oklahoma is one of 40 states where hemp is allowed to be grown. It is a zero-waste product included in more than 30,000 different products, such as food, cosmetics, clothing, building material and more. Come learn about the history and basics of hemp. Payton-Miller will be speaking from 11 a.m. to noon in the Educational Center.
Payne said GardenFest is a great way for families to spend the day together. There are lots of children’s activities planned on the Event Lawn, including face painting and crafts with The Botanic Garden Ambassadors. The Payne County Master Gardeners also will be on hand to answer your gardening questions.
“Because of the generous sponsorship from B & L Heating, we’ll have Pony Tails on hand offering free pony rides for the kids from 10 a.m. to noon,” she said. “If you’re interested in balloon sculpting, Audrey Beckworth Tucker will be there from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Event Lawn. Also, we’ll have several stations from OSU Cooperative Extension’s Farm to You exhibit in the west end of the Educational Center. Each station allows participation in activities designed to teach about the relationships between agriculture, food and health.”
Oklahoma City family band Casey and Minna Biggs will play a unique mix of folk classics on acoustic guitar and fiddle, with a few surprises thrown in. They will perform from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Laura’s Bandstand.
As always, a popular aspect of GardenFest will be the various vendors on site. This year’s event will feature more than 40 vendors who will be offering a wide variety of items, including jewelry, children’s books, handcrafted soaps, makeup, cleaning products, baked goods and more.
In addition to all the fun and educational activities, attendees will have an opportunity to purchase mums and pumpkins. The plant sale will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“These plants will make a great addition to your fall landscape,” Payne said. “Proceeds help us continue to provide events and improvements to the garden.”
Following the GardenFest activities, the Oklahoma Horticultural Society is hosting guest speaker Brian Kanotz, of King’s Mums in Tulsa, to talk about specialty mums. He is a professional horticulturist with years of experience at public gardens. Everyone is welcome to attend this presentation in the Educational Center.
For more information about GardenFest, please contact Payne at email@example.com or visit The Botanic Garden at OSU’s website at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow the garden on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheBotanicGarden.
“If you haven’t been to the garden for a while, or if you’ve never been, GardenFest is a wonderful opportunity to come visit,” Payne said. “You’ll probably get some great ideas for your own landscape, too.”
Story by Trisha Gedon