Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

April 24, 2013

‘Dirt therapy’ yields colorful results

TAHLEQUAH — Ask a flower gardener why she spends countless hours outside in the dirt, and rarely will the end product be the first answer she gives.

Spring is in full swing, and local flora enthusiasts have already spent months scouting catalogues and planning their gardens for the summer season.

Local resident Cathy Cott finds the hobby eases tension.

“I call gardening ‘dirt therapy,’” said Cott. “I have friends - and a husband - who view it as hard work, but I never feel that way. I get dirty, and hot and tired, but I’m always happy when I’m digging in the dirt, yanking out weeds, and planting flowers.”

Pam Moore, also a local gardening enthusiast, believes her love of the hobby is genetic.

“I garden because I come from a long line of maniacal, genetically-programmed gardeners who cannot not garden,” said Moore. “Long before spring arrives, I am thinking about the coming gardening year and I am always optimistic, kind of like a gambler. I always believe that the coming season will have perfect weather. You can see the disconnect in my thinking; after all, I am living in Oklahoma.”

Cott said gardening in Oklahoma often present a challenge.

“I’m a little behind this year because of the unpredictable cold snaps that keep popping up,” said Cott. “So far, I haven’t lost anything, but that’s mainly due to my husband’s help in covering plants when they predict cold morning temperatures. I usually begin putting out any annuals like petunias, impatiens, and other flower bed mainstays about now. I have several flats of plants in my garage and on my back deck, waiting for things to normalize.”

Moore considers herself a “lazy gardener,” if such a thing exists. She’s also aware that in Cherokee County, it’s hard to find soil that isn’t laden with rocks.

“I am a lazy gardener in that I grow things that grow themselves, the easier the better,” said Moore. “So, I have learned what plants do best with rock mulch - again, this is gardening in Cherokee County where rocks are the main crop. My favorite plants that do best with rock mulch are Grosso lavender, rosemary and fennel. I like the look of these plants in my garden, and fennel is something I’m learning to cook with this year.”

This year, a friend of Moore’s has convinced her to move her compost bins to the center of her raised beds to get more nutrients to the plants.

“So far, this looks like a promising practice for coming years,” said Moore. “I just purchased some mints and lemon-flavored plants to play around with making some herbal teas this year. These are lemon balm, lemon verbena and lemon thyme. I also added orange mint and chocolate mint. They are interesting flavors for tea.”

Cott has no favorites with it comes to flowering plants.

“I love all types and colors,” said Cott. “My sentimental favorite is the easy-to-grow morning glory. They were my dad’s favorite flower and hummingbirds, bees, and other pollinators love them. When you look down into the center of a morning glory it seems to have its own light source from deep within. Maybe that’s why they’re glorious.”

Cott also likes to try her hand at new varieties.

“When I find a new flower I’ve never seen before, I love to give it a try,” she said. “I cruise the only-mostly-dead racks at nurseries and garden centers for plants that have been forgotten or mistreated. I inspect them for any sign of life, and many times I save expensive perennials that [are costly] and buy them for pennies. This enables me to buy a lot more plants than I could or would at the regular price. I recently bought two blueberry bushes to try my hand at something edible. They were 60 percent off.”

Gardeners often share the love of their hobby with others.

“I love to share seeds and starts with people,” said Cott. “I mailed out a bunch of deep purple morning glory seeds to friends and family recently, and still have a bunch more in bags. I have shared daisy starts with my kids, and have a pretty good growth of phlox and herbs I can start sharing as well. The last two summers’ off-the-chart heat and drought conditions have really hurt my gardens, but I’m gradually restoring them.”

Moore’s seed collection is limited, but precious.


To see the complete version of this article, subscribe to the Daily Press e-edition by following the link below.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered every day to your home or office.

Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition. It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

Text Only
Local News
  • rf-poker-run-main.jpg Poker run

    Fundraiser was in the cards for local philanthropic group

    It was perfect weather, with temperatures in the high 80s Saturday, as boaters filled their vessels with friends for a fun afternoon on Lake Tenkiller. A crowd gathered at Cookson Bend Marina, and folks lined up to support a local charity event.
    As fundraisers go, the Beta Sigma Phi Mu Omega Poker Run last Saturday could be considered huge success, as nearly $9,000 was collected.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • bilbrey-anthony.jpg Man arrested for blackmailing woman for sex

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies put a man behind bars Monday night after he allegedly tried to blackmail a woman by threatening to post nude photos of her on the Internet if she did not meet him for sex.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peach_photo_2.jpg Peach crop lean, but fruit still available

    Summer is all about peaches in Porter – especially at Livesay Orchard.
    The Livesay Orchard is still busy a week after Porter’s annual peach festival. The orchard’s crop this year was cut in half from what had previously been expected, according to Kent Livesay, one of the owners of the orchard.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • jackson-jaymee.jpg Tot’s injuries prompt abuse charges for two local residents

    A Tahlequah couple was formally charged Tuesday with child neglect and child abuse after an 18-month-old girl was found with a number of injuries.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • proctor-micah.jpg Pair accused of threatening man

    Two men behind bars at the Cherokee County Detention Center are accused of wielding a knife and gun and assaulting a man at a trailer park on West Keetoowah Sunday afternoon.
    Tahlequah Officer Reed Felts spoke with Reinaldo Flores, who told officers he heard a knock on his door and went to answer it.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Reach Higher an innovative approach to college

    The “Reach Higher” degree completion program is helping many Oklahoma students go back to school without drastically changing their lives.
    “This program is designed for working adults,” said Tim McElroy, program coordinator at the NSU- Muskogee campus.

    July 30, 2014

  • City attorney, others questioned chamber use of tourism tax

    Letters written in 2006 by City Attorney Park Medearis to former city councilor and Tahlequah Area Tourism Council board member Jack Spears suggest money from a hotel-motel tax could be disbursed through an agent other than the Chamber of Commerce, without voter approval.

    July 30, 2014

  • Hulbert council discusses Internet service

    During a meeting Tuesday night, members of the Hulbert Town Council discussed the possibility of Lake Region Electric Cooperative’s extending its cable and Internet service.

    July 30, 2014

  • ts-marching-MAIN.jpg Marching in step

    Tahlequah High School Orange Express Marching Band kicks off 2014 season with summer drills.

    The Tahlequah High School Orange Express Marching Band has added 30-35 freshmen to its roster this year, and drills began for the newest members last Thursday.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • studie-roberta.jpg Woman accused of stealing cash, taking it to casino

    A 35-year-old Tahlequah woman is free on bond after she allegedly took $1,200 from a man who had been jailed for old warrants.
    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies said they spoke with Jason Jones last week after Jones was arrested by park rangers for the outstanding warrants. Jones said he came to Oklahoma to see family, and when he was arrested, he left his wallet and cash with one of his daughters.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo


Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA