We rounded 3,000 miles during our brief time in Oklahoma. It felt good to be in the same place for a few days, surrounded by old friends and not-seen-enough-family. We ate, recharged and drank a lot of coffee on some long mornings. The big event we came for was the wedding of Jay’s cousin.

The wedding was classic and timeless, with hints of the south. The reception was held outside at her family’s home in McAlester, a much greener and hillier part of the state. There is a long, country road leading up to the house that runs through a fantastic oak grove.

Our view from the large deck was of rolling hills of farmland below. The sunset brilliantly later in the evening and we held mint juleps while we danced under strings of white lights. What a treat for us after a long journey and a fantastic way to appreciate the landscape.

After the wedding fun, it was time for Jay to fly back to New York for work. I spent the last day in Oklahoma with my mother-in-law at the Oklahoma State University’s Botanical Garden. Every time I meet a new tree species, I feel like I am meeting a new friend. There were several new friends made that day including the American Sycamore, Chinese Parasol Tree, and Lacebark Elms.

Mostly we focused on the flowering shrubs, like this Oakleaf Hydrangea. My mother-in-law is looking for help adding flowers to her shady backyard. The first step for me is finding out what is native and what non-natives grow well in the area. This means less maintenance and soil amendments.

The next morning it was time to be back on the road south to Texas…

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