National Garden Clubs | 2014 Annual Convention

Black gold and red earth: 2014 Annual Convention

2014 NGC Annual Convention April 30 - May 3 | Norman, Oklahoma

Join us in Norman, Oklahoma April 30 - May 3, 2014 for NGC's 85th Annual Convention. Our theme this year is Black Gold and Red Earth; signifying the rich heritage and history in the state of Oklahoma. The convention includes meetings, seminars, tours and a speaker series. Attendees share in the opportunity to visit and network with fellow Garden Club members.

You can register online with a secure credit card payment, or you can print and mail our registration form with along your payment. Registration deadline is March 29, 2014 and no refunds after this date. Registrations received after March 29, 2014 will incur a $50.00 late fee.

Click here to register online.

Click here to download a registration form (for printing and mailing).

Quick Look: Convention Schedule

Tuesday, April 29

  • Registration & Credentials Open
  • Office and Floral Room Available

Wednesday, April 30

  • Registration & Credentials Open
  • Office and Floral Room Available
  • Education & Commercial Exhibits Setup
  • Luncheon: PH&E, Organizational & Finance Committees
  • Meetings: Finance, FS Handbook, Organizational Study, Scholarhship, PH&E

Thursday, May 1

  • Registration & Credentials Open
  • Office and Floral Room Available
  • Education & Commercial Exhibits Setup
  • Luncheon: Executive & Flower Show Committees
  • Meetings: Executive, Projects, Schools, Membership, International
  • Cocktail Reception (cash bar) & NGC Life Member Banquet

Friday, May 2

  • Registration & Credentials Open
  • Office, Floral Room and Storage Area Available
  • Breakfast: Region Directors & State Presidents
  • Education & Commercial Exhibits Open
  • Opening Luncheon
  • Seminar A: National Flower Arrangers
  • seminar B: Murphy Farms Organic Gardening
  • Board of Directors and Business Meetings
  • Cocktail Reception (cash bar) & Design Banquet

Saturday, May 3

  • Office, Floral Room and Storage Area Available
  • Breakfast: 8 Regional Breakfasts
  • Education & Commercial Exhibits Open
  • General Business Sessions Continue
  • Luncheon: Awards of Excellence
  • Final Business Session
  • Seminar C: Parliamentary Procedure
  • seminar D: Wings and Fauna Over Oklahoma
  • seminar E: Oklahoma City Memorial Survivor Tree
  • Cocktail Reception (cash bar) & Awards Banquet & 85th NGC Celebration
  • Education & Commercial Exhibits Tear Down

Quick Look: Seminars

Seminar A: Friday May 2, 2014 | 3:40-5:15pm

Behind the Scenes of WAFA-DC Floating on Constitution Lake by Jim Johnson

The National Flower Arrangers is delighted to present Jim Johnson's PowerPoint presentation. Get a bird's-eye view of what is involved in the making of a spectacular floral event. Mr. Johnson will discuss the ins-and-outs of working in Washington, D.C. and the use of water to display floral designs.

Seminar B: Friday May 2, 2014 | 3:40-5:15pm

Organic Gardening by Murphy Farms

We are thrilled to have Elizabeth and her daughters come to our Convention and talk about their gardens. They have quite a following with standing room only lines at the Lawton Farmer's Market each summer. Tour the website links to see what you will hear in their Seminar.

Elisabeth Murphy has been farming full-time for over 7 years. She retired from Baylor Medical Center after 17 years of service as a Physician Assistant with surgical specialty. In 2006, she decided to buy a farm and move from the rush of Dallas, TX to Oklahoma and begin her adventure as a farmer with her two daughters, Myiul and Mina.

"I decided to start an orchard with 300 peach and apple trees and a small garden. It blossomed to over 1,800 peach trees, 5 acres of vegetables, and 3 greenhouses, where we grow hydroponic lettuce, fish and vegetables. I ran the farm with just the two girls and we were nicknamed: '3-girls farmin' from the neighbors. However, Myiul left for college [OSU agriculture major] and Mina tried to help as much as she could. I hired two farm hands to help with the chores."

Future plans are to build a store on the farm for customers to visit and buy fresh peaches and vegetables. We also would like to have greenhouse tours for schools to educate students on hydroponic/aquaponic growing.
Tour the website:

Seminar C: Saturday May 3, 2014 | 3:20-4:15pm

Nominations and Elections by Joan H. Corbisiero, PRP

Mrs. Corbisiero is the 'National Garden Clubs' Parliamentarian since 2007, has been a regular presenter of parliamentary workshops at NGC conventions. Joan discovered the parliamentary world after a lifetime of activity in not-for-profit organizations, sparked primarily by her passion for horticulture. She is currently a member of three local parliamentary units or chapters in New York; is President of the Parliamentarians of Greater NY, a unit of NAP; and is a frequent educator at parliamentary seminars.

Seminar D: Friday May 2, 2014 | Saturday May 3, 2014 | 3:20-4:15pm

Wings & Fauna Over Oklahoma & Beyond by Mark Howery

Mark Howery is a wildlife biologist and director of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. He has an undergraduate degree in Zoology from the University of Oklahoma and a Masters Degree from The University of Southern Florida, in Tampa. Mark is a member of Audubon Society, a member of the American Ornithological Union and also serves as a National Committee Chairman for American Begonia Society. Mark's Seminar will highlight native flowers and plants that attract birds to Oklahoma.

Seminar E: Friday May 2, 2014 | 4:15-5:15pm

Oklahoma City Memorial Survivor Tree by Mark Bays

Mr. Bays, Agriculture Urban Forestry Coordinator, will share a very powerful eleven-minute video that talks about the spiritual meaning of the Survivor Tree, with interviews of victims' families, survivors and people visiting the Memorial.

Mark has been with Oklahoma Forestry Services for 22 years, where he has been helping communities and individuals across the state appreciate the value, benefits and services trees provide. He helps Oklahoma solve tough environmental issues through proper tree planting and maintenance programs.

Since the spring of 1996, Mark and others within Forestry Services and the tree-care industry have been directly involved with Oklahoma City Memorial Foundation and the recovery efforts centering on improving the health of the Survivor Tree. The native American elm was less than a hundred yards from where the bomb was detonated and is the closest living tree that took the full force of the bomb.

Mark's favorite quote: The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.

Quick Look: Tours

Wednesday April 30

  • Tour A: Historic Guthrie, Oklahoma | 8am-4pm
    (lunch included)
  • Tour B: National Weather Station | 8am-Noon
    (lunch at Cafe)
  • Tour C: Sam Noble Museum | 1pm-4pm

Thursday May 1

  • Tour D: Governor's Mansion and OKC Bricktown | 8am-4pm
    (shopping & lunch not included)
  • Tour E: Red Earth Museum with Native American Dancer | 8am-Noon
    (box lunch included)
  • Tour F: Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art | 1pm-4pm

Friday May 2

  • Tour G: Governor's Mansion and OKC Bricktown | 8am-4pm
    (lunch at Bricktown)
  • Tour H: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum | 8am-4pm
    Guest/Spouse (lunch at Cafe)

Saturday May 3

  • Tour I: Cedar Valley Golf Club | 8am-4pm
    Guest/Spouse (includes green fees, cart and lunch)

Quick Look: Speaker Series

Thursday May 1 | Life Member Banquet

Argus Hamilton, the funniest topical comedian in America

Mr. Hamilton is a regular entertainer in the OKC area where he was raised. Who is Argus Hamilton, and why is everybody quoting him? Meet the funniest topical comedian in America, the man Robin Williams once called 'the Will Rogers of the Baby Boom." Argus Hamilton's daily column of jokes on the news, now carried in over 100 newspapers across the United States, is also read and heard by millions on the Internet and on radio stations across the country. Argus performs at corporate, political and charity events around the country. When he's in Los Angeles, he can be seen working out the latest material nightly at The Comedy Store in Hollywood.

Argus was honored by Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry as the official comedian of the Oklahoma Centennial and appeared with the governor in the 2007 Tournament of Roses Parade. You can read Argus Hamilton's outrageously funny humor column on the Internet six days a week - yes, six days a week ["Unbelievable," says] at

Friday May 2 | Opening Luncheon

Window Box Gardening with Gladys Nokes and Margaret Smith

Mrs. Nokes and Mrs. Smith will present a Horticulture Program during the Opening Luncheon. They use their unique comedy and theatre background to present wonderfully entertaining programs. You will never plant a container garden again without remembering this lesson!

Smith 'n Nokes "Uncommon Comedy" Team first took the stage 15 years ago. Gladys Nokes and Margaret Smith have been performing together since that time at venues of all kinds, including the Oklahoma Garden Club, Inc. 2011 Convention in Alva, Ok. "To hear laughter and see smiles is the true joy of what we do. It is a blessing to be able to perform together and we look forward to each and every time we take the stage." Theme Inspired Comedy, Drama and Music are the trademarks of this duo.

Friday May 2 | Design Banquet

"Designing with Jim" by
James L. Johnson, AAF, AIFD, TMFA Distinguished Lecturer Emeritus

Jim has taught classes and given keynote design presentations throughout the US, and in Canada, Germany, Holland, Korea, Mexico, and Argentina. He is co-author of the Texas Design Seminar, an accredited design program developed in conjunction with Texas Garden Clubs, Inc. for Flower Show Judges. He has authored five of twelve courses in the nationally acclaimed Professional Certified Florist program, and he is co-author of Flowers: Creative Design, the definitive book on floral design in the United States. Johnson has received many awards, including the Texas A&M Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award in Teaching, the Texas A&M College of Agriculture Honor Professor Award, the 2000 Frances Jones Poetker Award, given by the American Horticulture Society, and the AIFD Award for Distinguished Service to the Floral Industry.

In 2008, Jim was designated a National Honorary Member of National Garden Clubs, Inc. He is currently President of the Texas Floral Endowment.

Quick Look: Hotel and Transportation

You must make your own room reservations and transportation arrangements.

Dates and Location

NGC 85th Annual Convention: May 1-3, 2014
Embassy Suites Norman Hotel & Conference Center
2501 Conference Dr.
Norman, OK 73069


You must contact the hotel directly to make your room reservation:
website: Embassy Suites Norman Hotel & Conference Center
Phone: 405-364-8040 or 800-Embassy
Use group code "NGC" for special room rate of $135 per night.

Overflow Hotel

If there is no room at the Embassy Suites, we have made arrangements for you to stay close by at the Hilton Garden Inn in Norman, Oklahoma. The Embassy Suites will provide a shuttle service to and from the Hilton Garden Inn.

Hilton Garden Inn Norman
700 Copperfield
Norman, OK 73072
Phone: (405) 579-0100
Fax: (405) 579-1414


Airport: Will Rodgers Airport in Oklahoma City
There is no shuttle between hotel and airport
You must make your own transportation arrangements

Airport Express - phone 405-681-3311
Rates: 1 person $38 / 2 persons $40 / 3+ people $14 each

Independent Cab - phone 405-603-4222
A1 Taxi - phone 405-321-3111
Yellow Cab - phone 405-232-6161
Castle Cab - phone 405-595-5999

Taxi rates (approximate, rates may vary)
1 person $40 / 2 persons $45 / 3+ people $50


Document Downloads

Click for detailed Convention Schedule

Click for detailed Seminar Series Info

Click for detailed Tour Info

Click for detailed Speaker Series Info