Need fresh air? Try the botanic garden

Robert Smith
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

If the combination of getting a little light exercise (i.e. walking), breathing fresh air and keeping a safe distance from the rest of humanity sounds good to you, you may want to try the Tulsa Botanic Garden.

The garden, located northwest of Tulsa in the Osage hills, reopened Monday to the general public and offers a variety of visual treats for an economical price. The general admission price for persons aged 13 and older is $8 apiece. Tickets for children ages 3-12 are $4 each. The garden is now open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, but visitors will need to buy tickets in advance. You can make your purchase online.

Lori Hutson, director of Communications and Outreach for the garden, explained there is a wide variety of flowers and other plants available for visitors to view right now.

“We have all kinds of different lillies that are starting to bloom,” Hutson said. If, however, your taste runs more to the exotic, you may want to check out the carnivorous plants that are blooming in bog bowls in the Children’s Discovery Garden. Venus fly traps and other flesh eating plants are looking for their next meals.

The botanic garden closed March 17 because of the novel coronavirus and began reopening May 21-31, with access for members. This week marks its return to accessibility for the entire community, though with limited numbers of people admitted.

Hutson noted the garden’s mid-March closure came as spring bulbs, including large numbers of tulips, were blooming. The garden cut spring flowers and took them to area hospitals as gifts.

“It was nice because it was very beautiful,” she said. “I think it was a feel-good moment for everybody all around.”

A botanic garden in Maine has replicated the idea, cutting and donating daffodils, Hutson said. The folks in Maine got the idea from the Tulsa Botanic Garden, she said.

Summer annual flowers have been planted at Tulsa Botanic Garden, most of them of more tropical varieties, and perennials — such as roses, day lillies and magnolias — are also busily blooming.

“The fragrance right now is pretty incredible,” Hutson said. “We’ve already had a nice spring for gardeners and plants.”

To prepare for your trip to the garden, visit tulsabotanic.org and review everything from descriptions of different gardens to a roundup of botanic garden etiquette.