Children’s Discovery Garden at the Tulsa Botanic Garden
Tulsa proper is the proud home to lovely iconic outdoor spaces, which have been adored by my family for decades. To name a few of our favorites, there’s the Tulsa Garden Center and its fragrant roses, Woodward Park and its azaleas galore and Centennial Park with its fountains and downtown backdrop. But there’s a relatively new kid in town and it, too, will cater to the garden lover and budding botanist in you and your kids. The Tulsa Botanic Garden stands apart from the others due to its size, rural surroundings and feature gardens.
Only eight miles northwest of Tulsa, ornamental plants, trees, shrubs and perennials (mostly native to Oklahoma) are prevalent. This spring alone over 100,000 bulbs will bloom across the stunning landscape.
Flora and fauna plus trails and water features have been planted on over 170 acres. There’s a four-acre formal garden fragrant with flowers. Plus, the brand new, two-acre Children’s Discovery Garden will be completed and open on May 15, 2016. The entry art and other sculptures within the garden were created by local artist Lisa Regan, the Garden Deva. The Stream Valley is the focal point, featuring the 15-foot Spring Giant, a ginormous stone and cement sculpture with a funky water feature. Visitors can enter the giant’s face through a hidden grotto.
The “Meadow” includes trails through grass and flowers highlighted by larger-then-life whirligigs. “The insect whirligigs [are] installed,” said Lori Hutson, spokesperson for Tulsa Botanic Garden. “They look amazing – there’s a wheel kids can move to make them spin. Other areas within the Children’s Discovery Garden are the Children’s Amphitheater and a small Sensory Garden.”
A grove of post oaks cradles the “Tree Fort,” which includes a rope bridge and Oak Thrones, and is the highest point in the Children’s Garden.
Perhaps the Tulsa Botanic Garden said it best last month on one of its Facebook posts: “The ‘best seat’ isn’t always ‘in the house.’ Take a break for spring and get outside!”