An exceptionally good day

    Today I traveled to Tulsa with my friend Rachel for a day of shopping for garden plants. I met her in Seminole and from there we drove on to Tulsa stopping first at Juniper Hill Farm in Bixby — Bixby is a Tulsa suburb famous for two things: its legendary sod farms on the fertile banks of the Arkansas river and the Bixby Travel Agency, one of the many victims of the notorious prank caller Roy D. Mercer.

    Here’s Rachel in front of the farm entrance

    Juniper Hill had an incredible selection of bedding plants, but my main interest there was herbs. They had a good selection of healthy herb plants including mint, basil, rosemary, cilantro, lavender, camomile. . . you name it they had it.

    Here’s a shot of one of their flower green houses

    I ended up buying basil, mint, strawberry, and marigold plants there. — I know, I know, I could have grown most of that from seed but I’m starting late this year. Next year I’ll be set up with plant lights to start stuff indoors myself.

    Our next stop was Conrad’s, a very cool produce market coupled with good greenhouses full of vegetable and flower plants (also located in Bixby). I was blown away by the selection and prices here. I got a bunch of stuff here including more basil (this time I got Thai Basil, the same kind served as a condinment at Vietnamese Pho noodle shops), more strawberries, begonias, some cool looking plants with colorful leaves (I forgot their name… but they grow in the shade), and a bunch of other stuff. (I’ll have to make a list tomorrow when I plant the stuff).

    Our third stop was Darrel’s. Darrel runs a small organic farm that specializes in raising free range chickens for their eggs, heirloom tomato and pepper plants, along with a hodgepodge of other stuff.

    the chickens

    another shot from Darrel’s

    Darrel was a super-nice guy who believed in hospitality. He offered us soft drinks and fired off jokes from the moment we got there. (What I got kick out of was that most of the guys that worked there had long Mennonite-style beards. The beards would have looked like the kind old hippies have except they were too tidy to be the Jerry Garcia type of beard.)

    I ended up buying 10 tomato plants (all heirlooms), 2 pepper plants, and 2 bags of cotton burr compost.

    Rachel’s very full car

    Before leaving Tulsa I saw sights that few would believe unless they saw it for themselves… Oral Roberts’ famous 40 foot tall praying hands statute at ORU and the “TV Guide Building.” (I’m not pulling your leg on either account. Mighty creepy I say.)

    On the cruise back to Seminole we stopped in Stroud to take pictures of “Parker’s Pawn & Family Shop.” We didn’t go in to meet the owner of the establishment, but whoever he/she is, they definitely have a gift for pithy roadside philosophy…

    Overall it was a lovely day. Oklahoma is so pretty in the spring.

    Now the fun begins — planting all of these beautiful plants. (I’ll post pictures once I get them planted.)