Local green thumb gives readers a glimpse of her backyard oasis

Local green thumb gives readers a glimpse of her backyard oasis

Pawhuska and Osage County are blessed to have so many talented and creative individuals. The number of blue ribbons awarded during the recent County fair is testimony to that. Today’s column is about one such individual who also happens to be one of Pawhuska’s most distinct historians. That remarkable person is Geraldine Enyart.

When Geraldine worked for Mary Lowry, her creative window displays became legendary. Following retirement, she continues to share her creative talents wherever needed and with such enthusiasm that she brings joy to everyone lucky enough to work with or around her. For several years, I have wanted to tour this remarkable woman’s home and gardens. My desire became more intense after accompanying Geraldine on several Red Hat Society shopping sprees where some of her purchases were a little out of the ordinary, such as a chandelier that had seen better days.

My long-awaited tour was a delightful experience and far exceeded my expectations. A quick run through of Geraldine’s home reflected exquisite taste. Each room was decorated with love and a story surrounded each carefully placed item. Her backyard is reminiscent of an English garden, overflowing with assorted greenery, flowers and art.

Leading to the gardens, Geraldine’s back deck is filled with a gigantic fern, caladiums, split-leaf begonias, New Guinea impatiens and more. She explained, “I began my caladiums by purchasing two $2.59 packages containing three leaves and placed them in large containers.” She applies this same practice of using large containers when purchasing hanging baskets which typically contain three plants of the same variety. “I divide these plants and replant into separate containers which enables the plants room to grow. Otherwise, they get root bound in their original packaging.”

Amid the vast variety of foliage is a small skinny tomato vine that has provided an abundance of fresh tomatoes all summer. Swedish ivy, sweet potatoes, dianthus, monkey grass, honeysuckle and hostas are among Geraldine’s garden favorites. To ensure her garden survives Oklahoma’s unpredictible winters, Geraldine said she preserves a sample of each species. Her nearly six-foot canas are preserved by cutting them down each fall, laying the clippings back on top, and covering with leaves. Shoot renewal begins in the spring.

As we toured her garden, I saw Geraldine’s rescued chandelier had acquired a new purpose as a garden ornament. A rustic carved fence post would soon be renewed with a fresh coat of chartreuse paint. Geraldine is especially proud of two garden additions by artist son Sie Junior.

The first is Herman, a six-foot anatomically correct male, Sie made out of car parts while attending high school in Norman. The second is a bullet-ridden barrel, used in the rifle range at Pawhuska’s former brick plant. “Sie carried this all the way back to his art class in Norman,” said Geraldine. Now holding assorted bamboo shoots, Geraldine said she used the barrel in her living room for a long time with a candle in its center.

“It was the best baby sitter in the world – children loved watching the lighted reflections fly about on the wall. My garden is filled with years of memories and keeps me busy. It is a fun place and I love it.”