By: Joshua Danker-Dake | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: June 2008
The Tulsa Garden Center volunteers are thrilled to be celebrating the second anniversary of the Linnaeus Teaching Garden. (L to R): Mary Adams, Penny Johnston and Winnie Lichtenwalter.
The Tulsa Garden Center’s Linnaeus Teaching Garden, located in Woodward Park, is one of Tulsa’s most beautiful hidden gems. Saturday, June 7, the center will celebrate the second anniversary of this wonderful garden.
The purpose of the Linnaeus Teaching Garden is to inspire and teach the public, providing new ideas in landscaping, water gardens, herb gardens, annuals and perennials.
“The Linnaeus Garden is one of a kind in Oklahoma,” said Barry Fugatt, director of horticulture for the Tulsa Garden Center. “If you haven’t seen it, you’re going to be impressed.” The garden has 500 species of plants and over 12,000 plants total.
“I don’t know where else you can find a garden this well-built, well-planted and well-maintained,” added Fugatt. It is valued at over two million dollars.
The garden is unique in dedication as well as in content. “The garden receives no taxpayer money,” said Fugatt. “We partner with industry – everything is donated.”
Many of these donations can help you come up with great ideas for your own garden. For example, 24 different kinds of hard surfaces pave the walkways of the Linnaeus Garden. You can see how they each look and find what might be right for you.
It’s difficult to find a garden that receives as much care as this one. “Our labor force is made up of 217 volunteers who have each been through 12 weeks of training,” said Fugatt. Volunteers are trained in the culture of trees, shrubs, annuals and perennials, in garden design, and in many other areas. “This is their garden,” continued Fugatt. “They really have ownership of it.”
The second anniversary celebration, which is free to the public, will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 7. The first 500 visitors will receive a free shrub. The celebration’s guest speaker is Linda Guy from the Carolina Nursery. Guy travels the world collecting plant specimens and creating new hybrids, and she will discuss the process in which plants go from the wild to your home. A 100-foot tent will house hardscaping, nursery, nightscaping and many other kinds of vendors. Refreshments will also be available. The first anniversary celebration attracted over two thousand people. “We want to celebrate the garden,” said Fugatt. “We also want to thank the public, the donors and the City of Tulsa.”
The Linnaeus Teaching Garden is named for eighteenth-century Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus, considered the father of botany. He is well-known for popularizing the binary Latin naming system for plants and animals.
The Linnaeus Teaching Garden will feature several expanded programs in the future. A children’s program will offer seminars in the summer, and a training program for public and private school teachers will focus on the science of the garden. There will also be a heart therapy program for those recovering from heart attacks. Cancer patients are encouraged to attend as well, as plants have been shown to contribute to emotional and physical healing.
The Tulsa Garden Center and the Linnaeus Teaching Garden are open Tuesday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. For more information on the Tulsa Garden Center or its programs, or about becoming a volunteer, go online to www.tulsagardencenter.com.