The Tulsa Garden Center is home to the Linnaeus Teaching Garden, a multi-purpose garden that includes a classroom as well as many programs and gardens for numerous visitors to admire.
June 2016: Mark your calendar to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Linnaeus Teaching Garden, a project of the Tulsa Garden Center, on June 4, 2016.
Starting at 9 a.m., the first 400 visitors to the Linnaeus 10th Anniversary Celebration will receive a free one-gallon Nantucket Blue Hydrangea – a $20 value. This repeat blooming hydrangea, is particularly suited to urban gardens since it only grows 2 ½ to 3 ½ feet tall and wide. It will produce blooms throughout the season.
Neslon Darden, sales manager of industry giants Proven Winners and EuroAmerican, will be speaking on “New Varieties and Must Have’s from Proven Winners and EuroAmerican at 10:30 a.m. in the Tulsa Garden Center auditorium. Following the lecture, Linnaeus Garden volunteers will be selling varieties of hot and new annuals, some of which will be made available for the first time in Oklahoma. Light refreshments and lots of free gardening advice and literature will be available throughout the day until 1 p.m.
Ten short years ago, a grassy playing field in a corner of Woodward Park was transformed into the Linnaeus Teaching Garden. It was proposed to be a first class demonstration garden, entirely staffed by volunteers with plant materials and hardscape donated by industry. It was envisioned as an idea-generator for urban dwellers to create their own personal outdoor space, reflecting their likes and needs.
The Tulsa Park Department agreed to set aside a small three acre plot for the Linnaeus Teaching Garden, a project of the Tulsa Garden Center, with the understanding that the program would be entirely responsible for the creation of the garden and the annual planting, maintenance and upkeep. To accomplish this, a volunteer program was established in which volunteers would receive 12 weeks intensive training in exchange for working 50 volunteer hours in the next year. Over the 10 years of its existence, this volunteer group has grown to over 300 dedicated Linnaeus Gardeners.
The Linnaeus Teaching Garden has developed an active children’s program, which includes Little Green Thumbs and Story Time in the Garden; a teaching program for science teachers, in conjunction with the University of Tulsa - Sensational Science; a guided tour program and a self-guided audio tour.
The most utilized aspect of the Linnaeus Teaching Garden is the garden itself. Visitors report that they make multiple visits to the Garden, to see what’s new, what’s blooming or fruiting and often to just appreciate the beauty of nature.
Active gardens include an entry garden, a fountain garden with a reflecting pool and black basalt sentinel rocks, an herb garden reminiscent of the Anne Hathaway Herb Garden in Woodward Park, a fruit and vegetable Garden, a boulder garden which surrounds the water garden, and a large water garden, home to a large family of colorful Koi, which children delight in feeding.
The Linnaeus Teaching Garden is justifiably proud of its industry affiliations. Just last year it was named an All-American display garden with all plant materials provided by major plant producers at no cost.
See more about Ten Years of Growth: