Shedding light on shade gardening

Trisha Gedon OSU Communications
Creating successful shade gardens is the topic of the Oklahoma Horticultural Society’s Annual Meeting slated Feb. 9 in Tulsa and Feb. 10 in Oklahoma City. Steve Huddleston, senior horticulturist at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, will serve as keynote speaker. Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma gardeners know what a challenge it can be to create beautiful landscapes during an Oklahoma summer.

Gardening enthusiasts can gain insight on what it takes to be successful during the Oklahoma Horticultural Society’s Annual Meetings in February, said Lou Anella, director of The Botanic Garden at Oklahoma State University, and professor in OSU’s Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. Anella also serves as president of OHS. Two meetings are scheduled Feb. 9 and Feb. 10 and are free and open to the public.

“The topic of this year’s state meeting will be Shade Gardening. This is a popular topic because there’s nothing harder to do than garden in the heat and the shade,” Anella said. “Heat-loving plants are usually full sun plants and shade plants aren’t typically adapted to the heat. When you combine heat and shade, gardening can be tough.”

The Feb. 9 meeting will take place at the Helmerich Horticulture Center, 2435 S. Peoria Ave., Tulsa, at 6:30 p.m. The second meeting is slated Feb. 10 at the Oklahoma County OSU Cooperative Extension Office, 2500 NE 63rd St., Oklahoma City at 2 p.m.

This year’s keynote speaker will be OSU alumnus Steve Huddleston, senior horticulturist at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden where he helps manage the 110-acre garden. In addition, he gives a weekly report on Neil Sperry’s lawn and garden show on radio station WBAP and writes for Sperry’s “Gardens” magazine, as well as “Mansfield Magazine.”

“Steve will help us navigate through that difficult terrain of successful gardening in the shade,” Anella said.

The OHS was formed in 1970 to further the appreciation of gardening and horticulture throughout Oklahoma, as well as recognize and promote excellence in gardening across the United States.

Anella said OHS members enjoy numerous benefits, including gaining knowledge about flowers, trees, shrubs, fruits and vegetables. Members also learn more about plants that are adapted to Oklahoma’s climate.

“Monthly OHS meetings bring members together for educational presentations and fellowship,” he said. “The OHS hosts a lecture series that brings in world renown horticulturists and authors to Oklahoma for seminars that are free and open to the public. It’s a great way to help spread the word about the benefits of gardening and horticulture.”

For more information about the OHS state meetings or becoming a member, please call 405-696-3079 or email For more information about the OHS, visit the organization’s website at The Tulsa OHS meeting is sponsored by the Tulsa Garden Center at Woodward Park.