By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Lawn & Garden | Issue: June 2007
Tulsa Garden Center and Tulsa Garden Club representatives stand in front of the Municipal Rose Garden’s oldest rose, the Sister Teresa, which was planted in 1954 and was the first rose to bloom this year. Representatives (left to right) include Paula Johnson, Pat Sutton, Peggy Helmerich, Mary Ann Summerfield and Thom Golden.
In honor of its recent donation of $80,000 to the Tulsa Parks Department, the Tulsa Garden Club was honored by the Tulsa Garden Center with a ceremony to dedicate 544 new roses in the Tulsa Municipal Rose Garden. Some of those in attendance at the dedication ceremony included Thom Golden, executive director of the Tulsa Garden Center, Cheryl Johnson, administrative assistant at the Tulsa Garden Center, Pat Sutton, president of Tulsa Garden Club, Mary Ann Summerfield, director of Tulsa Parks and Recreation, and Peggy Helmerich and Paula Johnson, members of the Rose Committee.
The rose project was financed by a portion of the donation, which included the purchase of new roses, improvement of the soil and the planting of the roses. As a part of the project, all diseased, under-performing and no longer commercially-circulated roses were removed from the garden. Added to trellises in the rose garden were 19 clematis plants. The refurbishment of the Tulsa Municipal Garden collection has been designated as an official project of the Oklahoma Centennial.
Tulsa Garden Center Executive Director Thom Golden thanked the Tulsa Garden Club and announced that the new roses would be a main attraction in the Tulsa Municipal Rose Garden for generations. He also thanked the club for helping to make Tulsa such a special place with its unique rose garden. “One of the leading locations for Tulsans to take visitors is the Tulsa Municipal Rose Garden at the Tulsa Garden Center,” Golden added.
“To date, 544 roses have been planted, and 60 more are on order,” Sutton said. For a donation of $20, area residents may purchase roses in memory of loved ones. The donation includes the cost of planting, adding fresh soil and maintaining the plant for a year.
Summerfield, director of Tulsa Parks and Recreation said at the event, “On behalf of the city of Tulsa, I want to thank the Tulsa Garden Club for its generous donation. The Garden Club has been supporting and funding improvements to the Woodward Park Rose Garden since 1935. It has been an amazing partnership.”
The first terrace of the Tulsa Municipal Rose Garden was constructed by hand labor and horse teams in 1934 and 1935. With the support of the Tulsa Garden Club, four other terraces have been added; the last one was completed in 1961. Today the Rose Garden contains approximately 5,000 roses and many evergreen shrubs, perennials and other flowering plants. The roses generally bloom from May until November, peaking mid-May through June and again in October.
The Tulsa Garden Club planted the first roses in 1935 and continues to supply new and replacement plants for the garden. Over the years, the club has furnished over 6,000 roses. The Tulsa Garden Club has been a nationally-recognized, award-winning organization for its civic beautification contributions. Visit the Tulsa Municipal Rose Garden this summer for a unique experience.
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.