By: Lori Hutson | Category: Lawn & Garden | Issue: February 2013
The 25-year master plan for Oklahoma Centennial Botanical Garden.
The Oklahoma Centennial Botanical Garden recently unveiled its new 25-year master plan and officially launched Phase II of the Garden’s development.
The announcement follows a year’s worth of careful work, with input from garden board members and staff who worked with landscape architects, interpretive specialists and consultants nationally known in botanical garden planning. With this master plan, the Garden aims to build a first-class botanical garden for Tulsa, Green Country and all of Oklahoma.
“We are proud to present this imaginative and bold new vision for the Garden,” OCBG CEO Todd Lasseigne said. “This plan is full of excitement, creative spirit and timeless beauty. We are all excited as to the future of the Botanical Garden.”
The 25-year plan envisions a series of gardens encircling Centennial Lake, the crown jewel of the Garden’s Phase I development, which was completed in 2009. In overall theme, the master plan leaves the natural areas natural, while calling for the development of those parts of property that are ecologically less sensitive.
The Lakeside Promenade, the Garden’s central walk, will feature a parade of color, textures, patterns and fragrance. From there, visitors will experience unique and exciting gardens including:
Ornamental Gardens, a showcase attraction encompassing over 2 acres of terraced gardens with stone retaining walls, cascading water features, and choice and select ornamental plants suited for Oklahoma gardens; Edible Gardens (3.2 acres) telling the story of food crops and their origins throughout the world; and Inspiration Gardens (2.6 acres), which will demonstrate best techniques for home gardeners and serve as an ever-changing trial garden area to test plants for Oklahoma.
“This new plan will bring to Tulsa a truly special, uniquely-Oklahoma botanical garden, one that everyone will cherish,” Lasseigne said. “The diversity of gardens, styles, and future programs will make this Garden appeal to all people — men and women, young and old — who enjoy beauty and nature.”
Other gardens planned include: Oklahoma Gardens
(4.6 acres), which will showcase native flora from throughout the state while celebrating the rich relationships between Oklahoma’s peoples and the land; Asian Garden (2.3 acres), which will interpret the unique Cross Timbers landscape using time-honored eastern design principles and plantings; and a Children’s Garden, providing experience-based learning opportunities set in a fantastical "wonderland" environment filled with beautiful plants and interactive exhibits.
“The Board of Directors and staff of the Oklahoma Centennial Botanical Garden have set forth a visionary master plan for a botanical garden in Tulsa,” said Tary Arterburn, principal of Studio Outside and one of the landscape architects who worked on the plan. “It is one that strives to be unique and destination-oriented and will make the city proud of its presence as a high-quality venue for residents and visitors to the area. It will add to the already significant museums and public institutions that call Tulsa home. Tulsa's rich history of gardening will be celebrated in a grand way through the development of the Garden as envisioned.”
Arterburn and fellow landscape architect Tres Fromme of 3 Fromme Design have extensive experience with public gardens including Desert Botanical Garden (Phoenix, Ariz.), Atlanta Botanical Garden, Bok Tower Gardens (Lake Wales, Fla.) and Red Butte Garden (Salt Lake City).
“This plan is a true synthesis of a bounty of ideas and thoughts,” Lasseigne said. “We celebrate the future and invite anyone and everyone to join us on the journey ahead.”