Oklahoma Gardening School taking place March 10

  • Saturday, March 10, 9am-4pm
  • Devon Auditorium
  • Myriad Gardens’ members $40; Nonmembers $70; Students $25 (Become a member today and save!)
  • Box lunches are available for $14

Presenting Sponsors

  • Devon Energy Corp.
  • Meinders Foundation


Oklahoma Gardening School, the state’s premier annual horticultural symposium designed for home gardeners and professional horticulturists, garden designers and landscape architects will be held Saturday, March 10 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Devon Energy Auditorium. This year’s theme, “Designs to Nurture Nature and Ourselves,” features a line-up of speakers who will demonstrate how to design a nurturing landscape for wildlife and ourselves.

Organized and hosted each year by Myriad Botanical Gardens, cost is $40 for Gardens members; $70 nonmembers; $25 for students. A box lunch is available for $14 or have lunch on your own. Register online at myriadgardens.org.


The Schedule

8-9am Breakfast and Registration

9-9:10am Welcome. Make your way into the beautiful Devon Auditorium and enjoy a welcome from Executive Director Maureen Heffernan.

9:10-10:10am “Designs to Nurture our Land and Ourselves”
Kathleen Wolf, writer and professor, University of Washington, collaborator on Open Spaces, Sacred Spaces

Wolf will explore how the “re-wilding” of cities creates better wildlife and human habitats and share how strategic co-design for co-benefits can achieve the places, both wild and sacred, that nurture ourselves and nature.

10:10-10:30am Break

 10:30-11:30am “The Humane Gardener: Nurturing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife”
Nancy Lawson, writer and naturalist, author of The Humane Gardener

Lawson will teach how common growing methods divide the natural world into false dichotomies and perpetuate misperceptions about the wild species living among us, share practical ways to put humane gardening philosophies into action by protecting wild nurseries of animals large and small, eliminating unintended hazards to wildlife, nurturing plants that provide food and shelter, and humanely resolving conflicts with mammals and other commonly misunderstood creatures.

11:30am-1pm  Box Lunch at Myriad Botanical Gardens Park House Event Center or on your own

1-2pm “Tough Oklahoma Plants That Will Nurture You”
Adam Sarmiento, plantsman and designer, Founder of Eco Landscaping

Finding plants that will create a beautiful garden, are good for the earth and wildlife and can withstand the Oklahoma climate can be a tall order. Sarmiento, a true encyclopedia of Oklahoma plants, will share some of his favorite plants, from tender perennials to towering trees.

2-2:15pm  Break

2:15-3:15pm “Organic Gardening: For the Sake of Nature and Yourself”
Ella Woods, gardener and co-founder of CommonWealth Urban Farms

Organic gardening cherishes the web of relationships that sustains life. With more than 30 years’ experience as a home gardener and urban farmer, Woods relies on natural systems to grow productive, beautiful, earth-friendly gardens that nourish body and soul. She will discuss soil health, pests and diseases, water conservation, simple composting methods, and other elements of growing a successful garden.

3:15-3:45pm Q&A, Wrap Up and Book Signings



About the speakers

Nancy Lawson is the author of The Humane Gardener: Nurturing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife and a columnist for All Animals magazine. She is the Oklahoma Gardening School keynote speaker. A frequent speaker on garden ecology, she founded Humane Gardener, an outreach initiative dedicated to animal-friendly landscaping methods. Lawson’s book and wildlife habitat have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Oprah Magazine, and other media outlets. She previously led the creative teams behind the award-winning magazines of The Humane Society of the United States.

Kathleen Wolf, writer and professor, University of Washington (Seattle), collaborator on Open Spaces, Sacred Places. Wolf is a research social scientist with the College of the Environment at the University of Washington (Seattle), and is also a research associate with the Pacific Northwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service. Her research focus is the human dimensions of urban forestry and urban ecosystems, particularly human health. Another interest is the translation of scientific evidence for use in local government policy and planning. You can view her research at www.naturewithin.info; and the Green Cities: Good Health project at: www.greenhealth.washington.edu

After training in organic agriculture Adam Sarmiento began applying ecological and organic concepts to landscaping in 1998. His design/build firm Eco Landscaping focuses on ecologically beneficial, utilitarian spaces that celebrate the regional character of Oklahoma. The company has been featured in 405 magazine and The Norman Transcript. His writings have been published in Oklahoma Gardener and The Gaillardia. His landscape designs have been awarded Norman’s “Water’s Worth It” award and have been utilized by numerous area schools. Sarmiento also gives presentations and workshops on native plants, mini-farming, and ecological gardening. He has served as the vice president of the Oklahoma Native Plant Society.

Elia Woods is co-founder and farm manager of CommonWealth Urban Farms. She is also coordinator of the Central Park Community Garden, and has been a home gardener for more than 30 years. Her first attempt at gardening when she was 20 years old was a complete failure, and she’s been happily making mistakes and learning ever since. Woods received the Community Catalyst Award from Transition OKC in 2015, and the OKC Human Rights Day Award in 2016.