Turning Disaster Into Beauty

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The tornado that blustered through Sapulpa last May ripped up five of avid gardener Liz Morrow’s trees in her front and side yard due to the soggy ground from previous rain. She paid to get one removed and friends helped remove another. But, parts of three trees remain and what she is doing with them has people talking.

The two large remaining trees in Liz’s front yard were uprooted yet remain alive. She said the first thing she did after the tornado was to dig up plants she didn’t want to be damaged in the weeks of clean-up that were to follow. It’s been a process, but Liz has everything back in place and it’s quite a sight to behold.

Amongst the garden are lilies from her mother’s garden from the fifties. They didn’t have to travel far because Liz grew up across the street. She has fond memories of sitting on the curb playing in the water from the natural springs in her neighborhood behind the Sapulpa High School. Five years ago, she purchased what used to the Tucker house at 1306 East Thompson Avenue, across from where she grew up. She has been transforming the yard ever since.

When you look closer, there are a few surprises: a solar birdbath fountain to keep the mosquitoes at bay, cats sleeping among the foliage, pots of flowers in unsuspecting places and the word “faith” sitting on the largest of the downed trees.

Liz’s garden is a full sensory experience with beautiful colors to witness, birds to hear, soft Lamb’s Ear and other plants to feel, and she offered this reporter’s youngest daughter rosemary, thyme, chamomile, lemongrass and, mint for her to smell. She loves to talk about her garden. “Have you ever met a gardener who doesn’t love to talk gardening?” she quipped, after about an hour of visiting.

She laughed saying she has a pile of about twenty business cards in the house from people advertising their business of tree work, thinking she needs help. A diverse set of people stop and visit with her about the new addition to her landscape, almost everyone liking it. She enjoys the architectural detail it brings from her vantage point on the front porch where she loves to sit.

Last fall, she was amazed at the number of Monarch Butterflies that visited her milkweed plants and she’s excited to see them again this year. Because it’s the beginning of spring, not everything is in full bloom, so the look of her yard will change often through the coming months.

It’s encouraging when someone takes something negative and turns it into something unique and unexpected. Feel free to drive by and see for yourself, you’ll probably get a wave from Liz.

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Brooke DeLong

Brooke DeLong

Brooke DeLong has a degree in Naturopathy and is passionate about educating and inspiring people. She is a wife and mom to four awesome kids.

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