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Gardening in America
Cann Gardens at Ponca City

by Nancy Fletcher


     When you enter Ponca City you have had to drop off the Interstate 35 and drive east to to come into town. The drive through the tank farm which is actually Conoco-Phillips Oil company is the same as any oil field town where the refineries are up and running at full tilt. Crude to gasoline and other by-products are the purpose of these companies.

      Turn left on 77 highway going north and this will take you past the local Dixie Dog burger place. On the right hand in a matter of minutes the beauty of the Cann Gardens are visible to the driver.  The grounds come right up to fourteenth street but the old restored home of the Cann family is back off the road about a block.

      Each year, like any garden,  the Cann Gardens are becoming more and more beautiful. There are winding walk ways, archways with climbing vines and such beautiful beds of blooming flowers. However, the area around the house itself is  the most pleasant. We happened to walk up on a wedding one morning. The sudden appearance of the small group of people who were so carefully hidden from the road was unequaled in a delight for the senses. The feeling was one of reverence and joy. It was altogether soothing to the spirit and a return to another time of respect for a ceremony as old as any known tradition.

      Mr. and Mrs. Cann who owned the home where the gardens surround it were the benefactors of this space. The place donated to the city has its own support built in to it by the arrangement of the Cann family.  I know little about the man other than what my mother has told me. She said he was a wise road commissioner who paid the farmer or owner of the land to take care of the easement along the front of his property next to the road. This was a wonderful way of keeping the shoulders of the road clean and well mown which is something that doesn't happen today. To think the Canns are still contributing to this society here even after their death so many years ago is, indeed, a wonderful thought.

       Saturday June 5, 2004 will see another herb festival celebrated on the rolling lawns of the Cann Gardens here in Ponca. Each booth will be a treat of interesting lore, useful products tied up with the understanding and learning  of  so many different plants. It is not possible to walk past the booths without coming away much wiser and with a deeper appreciation of something mystical as well as most beneficial. If we could play music to agree with the mood it might be, “Are yah goin' to Scarborough Fair?  Parsely, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. Remember me to one who lives there, for he was a true love of mine.”

Here is the Url about the gardens: http://www.onlineshops.com/herbfest/more.htm


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