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Top five indoor activities for a gardener

For all of the gardeners in Oklahoma, it has been a rough year to say the least. Keeping weeds and pests at bay is usually challenging enough, but now it has become a full-time job just to keep the plants alive. If we can just make it through August, cooler temperatures will come--we hope! Until then, here are some suggestions to keep you cool and occupied.

Plan a work schedule for the fall. Decide what big projects you are putting off because of the heat. Whether it is digging out the hole for a water garden or installing a rock patio, now is a great time to make a list of the tasks you need to get done. When making the list, be sure to check what supplies are needed. Purchase the supplies ahead of time to spread out the expenses and eliminate a big bill on the day of installation. By doing this ahead of time the project will be more enjoyable.

Have your friends over for some cold drinks. This creates an excellent opportunity to discuss the successes and challenges that the group has faced in each of their gardens. Learn which plants they loved this year and the ones that will be exiled from the garden forever. Encourage them to bring pictures of their plants and even plant lists to share if they have them.

Do your homework. Spend an afternoon at the public library or the Extension office doing some research on those plants that just aren't performing like you wish they would. There are endless resources at your disposal, and what better time to use them than when it is 100 + degrees outside.

Visit a conservatory. There are several botanical gardens to visit and tour. The Myriad Botanical Garden in Downtown Oklahoma City has an extensive collection of plants. Now is a great time to go enjoy the climate controlled environment. You could even plan a road-trip with some friends down to the Dallas / Ft. Worth area. Both of those cities have exceptional gardens to visit.

Dream big! There are many times when I catch myself day dreaming about the potential of my garden. Which plants should I buy, where should they be planted, and what colors are available? There are so many options and possibilities. Draw sketches of the yard and toy around with different combinations. Colored pencils are a great way to preview how the colors will work together. So get out those catalogs and make your plant wish list.

Sooner than we realize--it will be time for fall planting. But in the meantime, keep those plants watered and hang in there!

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