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By Garden of Cross Timbers

Hello, I am Becky Carlberg, gardening enthusiast from Southeast Oklahoma. I have degrees in Biology from Eastern Oklahoma State College and Oklahoma State University. Teaching, research work, and competing in art shows then followed. I earned my ...

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Garden of Cross Timbers

Hello, I am Becky Carlberg, gardening enthusiast from Southeast Oklahoma. I have degrees in Biology from Eastern Oklahoma State College and Oklahoma State University. Teaching, research work, and competing in art shows then followed. I earned my Master’s Degree in Plant Pathology from OSU and continued graduate work on a Doctorate of Botany at the University of Oklahoma.

With my family, we twice had an opportunity to live in Europe. We were in England for five years and then later in Germany for seven years. It was an excellent education for our sons. I returned to gardening, writing and art, became a Master Gardener, as well as an Oklahoma certified Master Naturalist. I am the gardener in charge of the Shawnee Japanese Peace Garden, a member of the Deep Fork Audubon Society, and now call my five acre Backyard Wildlife Habitat and Oklahoma Wildscape outside Shawnee home.

My name is Linda Workman Smith. The first step of my gardening journey began in the hills northwest of Van Buren, Arkansas, where my parents—both from farming families—raised seven children.

This is not to say that I’ve always had a love for gardening although over the years I’ve managed to keep my hands in the dirt. In 2000, my husband’s employment brought us to Shawnee where we settled on two acres west of town. Being unemployed for the first time in many years—and planning to stay that way—I started gardening on a small scale.

I have been a member of the Multi-County Master Gardener Association for several years and thoroughly enjoy being in the organization. I now have many flower beds and I’ve expanded my gardens to include lots of vegetable varieties, several fruit trees, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and grapes. Every year I try to plant something different. I don’t grow a lot of any one thing, but a little bit of lots of things!

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Perseid Meteor Shower
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Perseid Meteor Shower
By Garden of Cross Timbers
Aug. 12, 2013 5:47 p.m.



August 12th 2013 Blog

Becky Emerson Carlberg

How’s the weather for you this August?  If I did not know any better, I would say we were in May.  More rain predicted the next few days, unfortunately for the Perseid meteor shower.  I jumped the gun and went out at 4:45am on Sunday (August 10th) to search the hazy, humid sky for fast bright moving objects. 

It is rough to rise and get going (notice I did not use the word shine) at this time of the morning, but once outside, my world turned into a magical place.  I could see clouds to the west, but overhead the sky was murky with stars.  The quiet darkness enveloped me and I became aware of the texture of the road, the humid warm air that could barely stir a single leaf blade and a sweet odor that increased as I walked down the road.  The remaining Gaura growing close to the barbed wire fences, spared from the roadside mowers, was in bloom.  The delicate scent was so pleasant to experience, but I immediately knew when I came to the bridge over a small creek.  A thick, musty smell rose from the damp earth and water below. 

I crossed the bridge and began to climb the hill.  There it was, my first meteor streaking across the blackness!  It was bold and bright and noisy.  Well, the meteor was quiet, but the tree frogs in the oaks that flanked the road were chirping and singing rambunctious melodies and love songs.  Each tree had an entire chorus and I felt I was passing between fierce frog arias volleying from one side of the road to the other.  I continued my travels beyond the woods and over the hill.  As the frog cacophony grew dim, the night again became quiet.  I could hear owls hooting to each other in the distance.  Four more shooting stars were seen the next half hour.  Two were short and sweet, one was very faint, and the last appeared as a dot that increased in intensity for several seconds as it came directly toward me, but suddenly, without warning, abruptly vanished. But…..

Our side of the earth was turning to face the sun and the sky began to lighten. My stars faded from sight as daylight arrived.   It was worth the loss of sleep to see the annual celestial event.

Tomato Alert:  Finally, tomatoes are developing on my tomato plants.  Green peppers grace the pepper plants.  The okra is history.  The pocket gophers laugh underground as I stare into the raised bed that now has scarlet sage.  They do not seem to like the sage.  I half way expect to see a menu, written in gopherese, come floating to the surface requesting particular veggies for the fall.  I’ll have to work fast.

The Tulsa Master Gardeners recommend putting in your fall vegetable garden now.  Hedges and shrubs can be pruned in mid-August, but do not prune spring blooming shrubs, like azaleas.  Discontinue dead-heading roses by mid-August to help the plants become winter hardy.  Watch out for spider mites if the approaching autumn comes in dry.

Or, if your yard is like mine, keep the lawnmower gassed up and ready.  Our mower can’t believe the workout it has had through July and into August.  It has been fondly reminiscing about its long holiday last year of total relaxation with no activity month after month.  Even in “normal” years, when you think of August, you think of dog days, heat, south winds and bright blue sunny skies.  As any Oklahoman you meet will tell you, “It’s Oklahoma.  Just wait a few minutes and the weather will change”.   Was this the mantra for the tornado family that visited Oklahoma in May? 

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