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Tulsa Blooms

Tulsa Garden Club promotes the love of gardening

In the late 1920s, Tulsa, known as the Oil Capital of the World, was thriving. Route 66 was being built and aviation was a growing sector of the economy. The oil boom promoted the growth of numerous businesses attracting people from all over the country. The Tulsa landscape, however, was not conducive to the gardens they were accustomed to growing. 

In October of 1929, a group of 23 ladies, mostly wives of prominent businessmen, formed a Club to help neighbors with their gardens. This newly formed Tulsa Garden Club would become an important part of Tulsa's history in presenting beautiful gardens, promoting a fellowship of gardening enthusiasts and forming a civic duty of giving back to the community.

This year, the Club has faced the "unique challenge of how to survive and thrive during a pandemic," says Brenda Michael-Haggard, past president of the club. How would they attract new members, raise funds for civic obligations and provide the teaching aspect of gardening, since most activities are based on group activities?

With careful planning of current and future objectives, the club decided to "drill down their message that they are here for the community,' says Michael-Haggard and then announced their 91-Year Kick-off.

Civic Responsibility 

"The main objective," says Michael-Haggard, "is to support the club's current programs." Causes include endowment funds for student education. Oklahoma State University Foundation manages the club's endowment funding multiple student scholarships and Tulsa Community College Foundation manages the endowment for TCC's Second Chance program. The program provides inmates of the Dick Conner Correctional Center with horticultural education so "when they leave, they have job opportunities," explains Michael-Haggard.

The Tulsa Garden Club has teamed up with the Gathering Place, Up with Trees and many other causes through their membership in the local, district, regional and national garden clubs. 

The Club is also involved in the upkeep of Tulsa Garden Centers' historic Tulsa Rose Garden and is currently raising funds to restore and diversify the rose gardens to their original design and glory. 

Membership

If you have a love of gardening, consider joining the Tulsa Garden Club. New members are 'welcomed, supported and guided with orientation materials, activities and ongoing mentoring.' Monthly lunch and learns are held and you can also plug into study groups and participate on various committees.

Members have access to comprehensive and intensive learning because of the cub's affiliation with the local to national garden clubs. Resources include landscape, environmental and sustainable objectives, gardening, design, flower shows and much more. 

How you can help

This season the holiday fundraiser, the main event for raising monies for the endowment programs, is going virtual with Mum's the Word: No Place Like Home, a stay-at-home VIP event held Nov. 16-18. Visit TulsaGardenClub.org/holiday-fundraiser for more information.

Plans are being finalized for the flower show in March of 2021 and the garden tour in May of 2021. 

The future

The Club is currently integrating technology and virtual learning such as YouTube videos for all things gardening, including teaching, learning and floral arrangement. Visit their website for exciting updates on the new technology and the concept of marrying the past with the future to provide the best education and resources for the area's garden enthusiasts.

The Tulsa Garden Club is refreshed and reenergized with a new logo design, invigorating in-person and virtual programs and events and looks forward to launching its centennial decade. 

To learn more about the Tulsa Garden Club, become a member or donate to a Tulsa tradition visit TulsaGardenClub.org.

  • Brenda Michael-Haggard shows the new logo to Tulsa Garden Club  board members during a recent meeting in the backyard gardens of member Linda Newton
  • Tulsa Garden Club board members enjoy lunch and a meeting in the beautiful gardens of member Linda Newton
  • The man cave garden in T
  • Linda Newton presents an award at a recent Tulsa Gardeb Club board meeting in her backyard garden