Many public gardens have been closed for the season or have adapted new visitor guidelines to open safely during the pandemic. As April arrives, several regional garden destinations usher in the season with special blooming-related events, demonstrations and activities.
The Botanic Garden at Oklahoma State University is over an hour’s drive from Tulsa but offers a world of horticulture and gardening ideas in its 100 acres. As the studio for the OETA “Oklahoma Gardening” TV show, the garden features several installations that demonstrate what people can do in their own backyards. Several trails traverse the grounds, which are open daily at its Highway 51 entrance from 6 a.m.-8 p.m. Visitors can walk through the Treewalk Village, a multi-phase project that includes elevated walkways through established trees. Visits to the garden are free of charge.
3300 W. Sixth St., Stillwater
Many know the Myriad Botanical Gardens for its iconic Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory, which is home to 750 varieties of tropical and desert plants, a waterfall and sky bridge. Crystal Bridge will close this month for a nearly two-year renovation. But, don’t worry. The 15-acre gardens, nestled in the center of downtown Oklahoma City, also boast a playground, children’s garden, splash pad, ornamental gardens, an off-leash dog park as well as a large lawn that hosts numerous free, public events like yoga classes.
On May 8, Myriad puts on the OKC Flower and Garden Festival, an annual event featuring vendors selling herbs, flowers, produce, pottery, jewelry, pollinator plants and numerous Oklahoma-garden staples.
301 W. Reno Ave., Oklahoma City
Located in downtown Wichita, Botanica is 17 acres of demonstration gardens and amenities open year-round. It’s also open late Tuesday and Thursday nights, April through September. Kids are bound to be enchanted in the Downing Children’s Garden, home to an iridescent rainbow sculpture, treehouses, a splash station and a musical maze.
More than 150 plant varieties are featured in the Chinese Garden of Friendship, and the nearby Rose Wind Pavilion was created in Song Dynasty architectural style. April 10, 17 and 24 mark the garden’s Tulip Festival, which celebrates the flowering of more than 66,000 tulips, as well as live music, carousel rides and a petting zoo.
701 Amidon St., Wichita, Kansas | botanica.org
Powell Gardens is Kansas City’s botanical garden founded in 1988 that encompasses more than 175 acres open to the public. During Bloom Fest, hosted on Thursdays-Sundays from April 15-May 9, guests to Powell Gardens can see botanical displays and inventive floral designs inspired by the art collection of the nearby Nelson Atkins Museum.
Workshops, a spring market, an art fair and other family-friendly activities are planned. While visiting Powell Gardens, be sure to catch the 42-foot diameter interactive water feature in the Fountain Garden. Surrounded by hydrangeas, cannas and bountiful annual plantings, the fountain’s 56 spray heads create the impression of an opening flower.
1609 N.W. Highway 50, Kingsville, Missouri
Don’t forget to visit Tulsa Botanic Garden for Tulsa Botanic Blooms, ongoing through April 18. More than 120,000 tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, crocuses and other spring-flowering bulbs will be on display in an art-deco inspired design in the A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Floral Terraces.