Tulsa Botanic Garden offers more than just plants
TULSA, OKLA. – Tulsa Botanic Garden is an evolving public garden located on 170 acres northwest of downtown Tulsa.
The Botanic Garden has developed 60 acres of the property into gardens and facilities surrounding the property’s 7-acre lake. The remaining 110 acres conserve native flora and fauna of Cross Timbers forest and prairie. Tulsa Botanic Garden is a dynamic public garden home to an ever-changing collection of plants, art and architecture. Year-round plantings provide colorful blooms from spring through fall. There are six main areas in the garden.
The Children’s Discovery Garden contains almost 2 acres featuring a fantastical garden environment. The garden offers experience-based learning opportunities for children and families. The 20-foot hand-sculpted Spring Giant is the guardian of the Children’s Discovery Garden.
The Children’s Discovery Garden showcases native Oklahoma species, including leopard frogs, map turtles, raccoons and green sunfish. Sculptures by local artists complement the garden. The Education Wagon covers tree anatomy and can be adapted for students in PreK-3 to adults. Seasonal Scavenger hunts are available at the Botanic Garden’s front desk. The Treefort can be used as an outdoor classroom.
The A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Floral Terraces display 8,000 permanent plants, including trees, shrubs, ornamental grasses, roses and perennials set in terraced beds. The peak of the terraced gardens offers a unique view of downtown Tulsa.
Just west of the top of the A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Floral Terraces is the Persimmon Grove. The Persimmon Grove opens into the garden’s 110 acres of year-round natural beauty.
The unique Cross Timbers ecoregion offers native flora and fauna where the tallgrass prairies from the west meet the eastern deciduous forest. The convergence of these two habitats contains wildflowers, migrating birds, butterflies and majestic grasses.
Some of the oldest plantings surround the Botanic Garden’s 7-acre lake and may be seen by following the Lakeside Promenade. The Lakeside Promenade displays those plants in a succession of unique planting beds.
Follow the Sarah G. Allison Lake Trail to visit the Tandy Floral Terraces and the Lakeside Promenade.
Two gardens are under construction.
Groundbreaking for the Bumgarner Lotus Pool began in February 2022 and is scheduled for completion this year. It will contain a new Art Deco bridge which will allow visitors a short walk to admire aquatic lilies, iris and lotus. The Stanford Family Liberty Garden, also started in February 2022, and is expected to be completed this year, is a ceremonial civic space. With an elegant garden setting in the center of the Tulsa Botanic Garden, this space is designed to offer a place to celebrate and share patriotism as a unifying force for the diverse citizenry of the United States.
Learning opportunities at the Botanic Garden are available for adults and children. Adult workshops, classes and plant walks, which cover a wide range of topics, are suited for beginners to even the most seasoned gardeners. Thirty- to 60-minute monthly walking tours are given in March through June and again in September through November. Hands-on programs and activities for kids and families are available throughout the year. Visitors can bring their canine companions to explore the garden on certain days. Field trips are welcome at the garden. Pre-K through college students can experience the garden through hands-on learning.
Events are offered throughout the year and may be found on the Botanic Garden calendar available online. Classes and workshops range from story times to how to infuse cocktails with botanicals. Annual festivals at the Botanic Garden begin with a celebration of spring. Lasting for four to eight weeks, the celebration showcases the largest spring bulb display in the state of Oklahoma, with 200,000 daffodils, orchids and tulips. Band and Blooms, Autumn in the Botanic Garden, Scarecrows In the Garden, Boo-tanical, Botanic Garden of Lights and the Botanic Garden annual fundraiser Beaujolais are some of the other annual events at the Botanic Garden.
The garden provides a wonderful backdrop for private, corporate or nonprofit events. The Mabee Grange offers an inviting venue for groups with distinctive architecture, unique lighting, a large event space and covered patio on one side of the building. Spectacular views make the Botanic Garden perfect for proposals, weddings, receptions, and other event opportunities.
Plant sales are available at multiple times during the year. Plants for sale can include some of the newest and rarest varieties of houseplants, annuals, perennials, shrubs, trees and bulbs.
When visiting, guests are reminded to bring a hat and sunscreen, wear comfortable shoes and to dress for the weather. Picnic tables in the Great Lawn behind the Visitors Center are perfect for a picnic lunch. Be sure to check the Botanic Garden website for open hours, admission prices, guidelines for guest visits and other important information before visiting.