Volunteers of all ages and abilities are invited to Lendonwood Gardens to help “Wake Up the Garden” on Saturday, March 26, in the first large-group workday since the pandemic began. The annual spring workday, sometimes drawing up to 70 people, helps get the botanical garden ready for the tourist season.
“It’s not necessary to be an experienced gardener for volunteers to make a huge difference at Lendonwood,” said Jim Reynolds, coordinator of the workday. “There’s a wide variety of tasks, from light to heavy-duty. We’ll match up teams of people with the appropriate level of chores.
“Besides that, it’s a lot of fun,” Reynolds said. In the past two years of Covid-19, garden workday chores were trimmed down and spread over several days, with small teams working on limited projects.
“But everyone has missed the big workdays, in which volunteers gathered on a single day and completed multiple projects for the garden.”
Pre-pandemic, the event typically drew members of Grove Rotary, youth groups, church groups, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, business employees and other community-minded volunteers. Some companies encouraged staff members to become involved in community service, like Lendonwood’s workdays.
As a result of trimmed-down workdays, some chores went undone and the garden’s “to-do” list has grown.
“As we started planning this year’s Spring Workday, Covid cases appeared to be declining, so we decided to try a regular “Wake Up the Garden,” said Jim Corbridge, Lendonwood president. “We’re fortunate that our jobs are outdoors and there’s plenty of space to practice social distancing. And, of course, we’ll be monitoring Covid trends as the date approaches.”
Specific projects will include such jobs as clearing beds of downed limbs, staining bridge decks, planting new plants, repairing fence roofing, spreading mulch, weeding, repairing signs, painting, clearing leaves from the stream, repairing cobblestone pathways, and many other tasks.
Volunteers are asked to gather at 8:30 a.m. by the barn at the back of the garden for donuts and coffee. Supplies for the various projects will be available on site, although volunteers should bring their gloves and wear comfortable work clothes.
Lunch will be provided, including fresh-grilled hot dogs, baked beans, chips and cookies. The workday usually concludes at about 2 p.m., but any amount of volunteer time is appreciated, Corbridge said.
Each year, Lendonwood draws several thousand tourists, coming to see colorful azaleas, rhododendrons, Japanese maples, daylilies, hostas, dogwoods, peonies and many more plantings. Popular stops include the Oklahoma Garden, featuring plants that thrive in the state’s variable climate. Other highlights are the Japanese Pavilion, koi pond, Monarch Waystation, Hummingbird Garden and the Angel of Hope Statue and Garden.
In case of inclement weather, “Wake Up the Garden” will be held on Saturday, April 2.
For more information about the March 26 workday, contact Lendonwood Gardens at 918-786-2938.