By: Joshua Danker-Dake | Category: Lawn & Garden | Issue: May 2010
Ronnie Ashford, Greg Slief, Joe Dutton and Susanne Thompson welcome you to the Green Country Water Garden Society’s 18th annual Pond Tour, taking place June 26 and 27.
Lush and beautiful gardens full of flowers, ponds, streams, butterflies, hummingbirds and wildlife await you. On Saturday, June 26 and Sunday, June 27, the Green Country Water Garden Society (GCWGS) is hosting its 18th annual Pond Tour.
The Pond Tour is a two-day event where GCWGS members open their ponds and gardens to the public. It’s a self-guided tour at your leisure – you can come and go as you please, as frequently and as often as you please. “It’s a great tour,” says Susanne Thompson, president of GCWGS. “You can go at your own pace, talk to the gardeners, take pictures and ask questions.” Admission for the entire weekend is $5. Kids 12 and under get in free. Tickets and maps are available at any pond on the tour. The ticket books feature maps to every house on the tour, and the GCWGS puts signage on the nearby main streets for ease of access.
“We’ll have about 20 homes on the tour this year,” says Thompson. “The ponds vary in size and no two look alike.” The Pond Tour is a popular event – last year, the GCWGS sold a thousand tickets. “People come from Oklahoma City, Arkansas and Kansas City for the Pond Tour,” Thompson says.
The Green Country Water Garden Society, founded in 1991 to promote interest, appreciation and enjoyment of ponds and wildlife throughout northeast Oklahoma, is an all-volunteer affiliate of the Tulsa Garden Center. “We’re a group of people who love water gardening, and who want to share our gardens and ponds with others,” says Thompson.
The GCWGS provides scholarships for horticulture students, and supports the interns at the Tulsa Garden Center’s Linnaeus Teaching Gardens. GCWGS also maintains the teaching pond at Kendall-Whittier Elementary School. Proceeds from the Pond Tour will go to support these programs.
The group is always looking for new members, whether you already have a water garden or are interested in starting your own. Annual GCWGS membership is $20 per family. Members receive a monthly newsletter, discounts at participating area merchants, the opportunity to exchange plants and fish with other members during the annual Plant Swap, and consultation with experienced water gardeners.
GCWGS members meet at 6:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every month at the Tulsa Garden Center, 2436 S. Peoria. “We have a social time, and we bring in professors, aquaculture specialists and gardeners to speak with the group about different how-to aspects of water gardening, including water plants, fish, and keeping your water garden healthy,” says Thompson. “Visitors are always welcome.”
Putting in your own water garden might seem like a daunting challenge, but GCWGS is there to help you every step of the way. “A water garden is nice because you can do it in stages,” says water gardener and GCWGS member Ronnie Ashford. “I started small and gradually expanded. It brings such wonderful wildlife and gorgeous songbirds – the birds just love the running water to bathe in.” The Pond Tour is a particularly good opportunity to get ideas, input and answers from some of Tulsa’s most seasoned water gardening veterans.
“The Pond Tour is a great time to come out and enjoy the plants, water, fish, birds and wildlife,” says Ronnie.
The Green Country Water Garden Society’s Pond Tour is Saturday, June 26 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, June 27 from noon to 6 p.m. For tickets or more information on the GCWGS, call Susanne Thompson at (918) 584-3765 or visit them on the web at www.gcwgs.com. You can also find them on Facebook.