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 ...
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!
By Linda Workman Smith
May 15, 2013—Daybreak—A typical middle class family home (on 2 acres of paradise) at the outskirts of small town America.
Our heroine rushes through her galley style kitchen, down two steps into her mud room/laundry area. She pauses briefly looking straight ahead and thinks to herself, “Those dirty clothes will still be here when I get back.” Anxious to accomplish her project of the day, she opens the door into the garage, scoops up two containers of dog food, turns, steps back into the laundry area and avoids looking to her right. She continues walking, out through the back door, and dumps the dog food into individual containers for her faithful companions, Luther and Gracie. Returns scoops to the garage, steps back into the laundry area—very deliberately NOT looking to the right at the growing pile of dirty laundry. Once again, steps outside the back door, takes a deep breath and lets her eyes take in her own personal utopia. She lingers there momentarily listening to the sounds of birds going about their morning business; in the background she hears the crunching noises of her faithful companions at their breakfast repast.
With a serene smile on her face, our heroine thinks how fortunate she is, having had the resources to create this backyard oasis. She feels a nudge on her right hand, knows it’s Luther after some affection. As she obliges, Gracie gobbles the last of her food then checks to see if Luther per chance left a morsel in his bowl.
Scene two—opens in this same spot:
As our heroine’s gaze sweeps across her back yard, her serene smile slowly fades when her eyes come to rest on a large grouping of potted plants. Taking custody of them several days previous she had been tasked with their care until such time they could be planted at the extension office. Today was the big day! Our heroine—along with several other master gardeners—will deliver a multitude of plant materials to the site. Some will be planted in the newly constructed bed surrounding the OSU sign on MacArthur; others will be used in landscaping around the office building. Whipping out her cell phone, our heroine checks the time and quickly springs into action. Locating a wheel barrow (which can be quite a time consuming endeavor in paradise) she fills it with several plants. Out through the side gate—where her trusty ’94 Ford Ranger is backed in and ready—she begins loading plants.
Stay tuned. And as always,