Use Left & Right Arrows To Walk with us on a photo tour through the Linnaeus Garden.
The Entry Garden welcomes visitors into the Linnaeus Teaching Garden.
All areas are accessible via ramps as well as steps.
100 year-old Eastern Red Cedars (right) stand like sentinels in what was once a grassy, bare space.
The Entry Garden is populated with flowers, shrubs and ground covers that thrive in dappled shade.
See what you can find hidden in our Discovery Tree created by chainsaw sculptor Clayton Coss.
The Linnaeus Teaching Garden is named after Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), the "Father of Botany", most honored for his revolutionary naming system of genus and species.
Linnaeus is holding Gaillardia or Indian Blanket, Oklahoma's state wildflower.
The 6'5" full-figure sculpture of Carl Linnaeus was created by Tulsa sculptor Rosalind Cook.
The deck overlook is right around the corner. Tables, chairs, shade and cool breezes make this a popular place to relax.
The overlook is the highest point in the garden, providing great views.
From here, descend toward the Visitor's Center and Greenhouse via the stairs to the right.
Or choose the handicap-accessible pathway through the Memorial Arch to your left.
Enter the Boulder Garden which encompasses ponds, three waterfalls and over 4,000 trees, shrubs and flowers.
In addition to plant material and water features, visual interest is added by numerous large boulders.
Children love the footbridge where they can feed the koi.
Explore our greenhouse where you will find succulents, lemon trees, seedlings and other plants that need special protection.
A stone arch dedicated to our late "Friend of the Linnaeus Garden", Walt Helmerich, forms the entrance to the Vegetable Garden.
The Vegetable Garden demonstrates how to achieve maximum design impact and vegetable production in small urban spaces.
Raised beds in the central portion provide well-drained areas for all kinds of vegetables.
So much to explore! A passage-way in the south end of the Vegetable Garden leads to the Fountain Garden.
Cool waters cascade over basalt rocks into the reflecting pool.
The flower beds along the long axis display the exuberance of an English cottage garden.
Next door, our Herb Garden appeals to all five senses. A visitor enjoys the heady scent of the Chocolate Flower.
Herbs such as basil, soft Lamb's Ear, and echinacea are planted along each border and center of the Herb Garden which includes an outdoor fireplace and kitchen.
The Visitor's Center is easy to find. It's big and red and looks like a barn - which is what it was many years ago.
Please stop in and sign our visitor registry sometime during your tour of the garden.
Inside is a special Kids' Corner with activities for children. You'll also find Linnaeus Gardeners ready to help with any questions.
Outside and to the south is the Peggy Helmerich Classroom designed to match the Visitor's Center.
Many of our Linnaeus seminars are held in this classroom.
Right across the street is our Butterfly Garden.
Continue up the drive (right) noticing roses and other sun-loving plants on your way to the test beds.
Finally you have arrived at our test beds of annuals. Every year we try the newest cultivars, from impatiens to sun coleus.
And this brings you back to where you started, at the front steps of the Entry Garden.
Use left & right arrows to learn more about each section of the garden
Entry Garden Tour
The standing stones area of the Entry Garden is a sunny spot planted with graceful grasses and colorful annuals. A handicap-accessible entry ramp is available to the left.
The Entry Garden was planned as an inviting and impressive approach to the heart of the Linnaeus Garden. Designers capitalized on the 100 year-old cedars that were windbreaks on the farm that once graced this area.
Tulsa chainsaw artist Clayton Coss turned a cedar that succumbed to ice storm damage into our Tree of Discovery. Ella looks for squirrels, frogs, and other hidden surprises.
The Entry Garden’s design uses the key elements of rhythm and repetition, both of which can be seen in the saddle wall, a European design similar to that found in Linnaeus’ times (1700’s).
Repetition also takes place in the beams, pergolas, and benches that lead the eye to the bronze statue of Carl Linnaeus, the “Father of Botany”.
Art students come frequently to the Linnaeus Garden for inspiration. Our plantings also repeat, in form and color.
The Entry Garden contains most of our shade-loving ground covers and annuals. Here we look in the opposite direction toward the entrance.
Visitors can explore what plants work best in dappled shade and woodland forest settings.
Boulder/Water Garden Tour
The Boulder Garden emphasizes the creative placement of real stones – 300 tons of stone brought in from Leonard, OK.
Although the Boulder Garden appears to be in full-sun, it is actually made up of several micro-environments such as shady areas behind boulders, wet areas and dry slopes. Each presents its gardening challenge.
The garden has evolved over time. In 2013, Tulsa Stone and Brick Works built our Gothic-style Memorial Arch. It commemorates our Linnaeus Gardener volunteers who have passed away.
There are more than 4,000 exciting perennials, annuals, trees and shrubs in the Boulder Garden. Gifts made to the garden such as a Japanese Shinto lantern and “Lily”, our alabaster statue, add interest.
The Water Garden, the heart of the Boulder Garden, is designed to fit naturally into the surrounding landscape. It holds 15,000 gallons of water, with three major waterfall complexes.
Water plants are more than decorations. They provide protection for fish and other aquatic life, and help reduce algae bloom and evaporation. Their bushy roots collect silt and small debris.
A bog area naturally filters the water. It works with several biofalls and skimmers to keep the water clean and the fish and plants happy.
The Water Garden contains koi of all sizes, shapes, and colors. They provide hours of enjoyment as they swim through the clear waters.
Vegetable Garden Tour
The Vegetable Garden demonstrates how to achieve maximum design impact and vegetable production in small urban spaces.
The north fence is planted with strawberries, snap peas and other climbers and also supports an espaliered Asian Pear tree.
Pots throughout the Vegetable Garden contain everything from colorful chard and sunflowers to unusual plants such as cotton and sorghum. Vegetables grow over our cattle panel arch.
Raised beds in the central portion provide well-drained areas for all kinds of vegetables. The plant selection changes continually as the seasons progress, from spring lettuce through summer tomatoes.
Chemical fertilizers and sprays are not used; we rely instead on the planting of disease and insect-resistant varieties and other techniques such as releasing beneficial insects like Ladybugs.
Linnaeus Gardeners love to share their knowledge. There are always volunteers in the Garden who will be happy to show you around and answer your questions.
Mulch is used extensively to conserve water and act as soil enrichment. Linnaeus Gardeners add cotton hull mulch to a raised bed.
The growing medium in our beds is mostly mushroom compost which has been further enriched with compost from our on-site recycling bins Find them in the back north-east corner.
Visitor's Center Tour
The Linnaeus Visitor Center, also known as “The Barn”, (shown here during construction in 2005) is the oldest remaining building on the site of the David Travis Estate.
The Barn has served many functions during its nearly 100 years of existence. Originally it was simply a barn, built of long, straight-grained yellow pine in the style of the period; it housed the livestock of the property.
It evolved as a center to care for estate machinery, then Park Department equipment and supplies. It acquired modern wiring, a concrete floor in place of the dirt-and-straw, and plumbing for restrooms and a kitchen.
When the Barn became the home for the Linnaeus Teaching Garden in 2005, the pace of change quickened. Decay was repaired and space carved out for computers, reference material and office for our Director of Horticulture, Barry Fugatt.
Cooling and insulation were provided thru the generosity of our late benefactor, Mr. Walter Helmerich. Cedar paneling that slopes across the interior walls was installed by Linnaeus Gardeners.
The Visitor’s Center became the central hub of the Linnaeus Teaching Garden, a clean and attractive space which retains the rustic feel of a barn. Upstairs, the former hayloft is now a modest work space, storage area, and office.
Visitors can find arts and crafts made with botanical themes by our very own Linnaeus Gardeners, a Kids’ Corner of books and activities that can be borrowed and taken into the garden, and friendly Linnaeus Gardeners available to answer questions.
If you find the doors closed, give them a tug. The Barn is always open when the Garden is open.
A 6’5″ full figure bronze sculpture of Carl Linnaeus created by Tulsa sculptor Rosalind Cook greets visitors at the center of the Grand Pavilion. It is made of bronze and weighs over 1,000 pounds.
Rosalind and Barry Fugatt, Director of Horticulture, unveiled the statue at the Linnaeus Teaching Garden opening ceremony in 2006. Linnaeus is accurate down to the buttons on his suit and the buckles on his shoes.
Linnaeus is holding Gaillardia, Oklahoma’s state wildflower, (look for a ladybug) and the book in his left hand illustrates the “Twin Flower” or “Linnaeus boreallis“, which was named for him.
Set into the wall behind the statue are ten ceramic tiles by Tulsa artist Cynthia Harris. Each etching depicts a different flower in the style of Linnaeus.
Around the corner is the outdoor deck. This area overlooks much of the Linnaeus Teaching Garden and is shaded by Eastern Red Cedars.
Tables and chairs are provided for visitors to relax. The walls overlooking the Garden are designed to also serve as seating.
The flooring, made of long-lasting Trex decking, is built above ground so that the tree roots will not be damaged or the earth around them compacted.
Potted plants enhance the outdoor area. The Linnaeus Gardener Memorial Arch can be seen to the left.
The Greenhouse is used to care for and over-winter tender perennials, tropicals and succulents.
Two swamp coolers provide evaporative cooling. When temperatures get too high, roof vents open automatically.
The floor of the Greenhouse is a French drain that funnels water into the main garden system. It is very easy to keep clean.
Look for ways we propagate plants by grafting.
Or other techniques such as using a plastic tub as an inexpensive hothouse for starting plants from cuttings.
You will see many interesting plants in the Greenhouse such as this Jade plant, a pencil cactus, and orchids.
Looks like these folks enjoyed their visit.
Fountain Garden Tour
A trellis archway leads visitors from the Vegetable Garden to the formal Fountain Garden.
Water flows from basalt megaliths from the San Gabriel Mountains above Pasadena, California. They were donated and drilled by Hardscape Materials of Tulsa.
The Fountain Garden architecture is symmetrical with a central reflecting pool and a series of shallow terraces of descending heights.
Roger High School students take a break on a shaded bench. The reflecting pool is lined with gray glacier stone with beveled edges and a charcoal stucco finish.
There are over 30 species of perennials and 20 varieties of shrubs in the Fountain Garden. The profusion of flowers along the west side displays the exuberance of an English cottage garden.
Grand opening guests look over the Fountain Garden in 2006. The beds initially consisted of a clay loam, heavily compacted soil. We dug in a 3 inch layer of Back-to- Nature composted cottonseed hulls before planting.
Some years later, the Fountain Garden plantings have really matured. The fireplace of our outdoor kitchen in the adjoining Herb Garden can be seen in the background.
Linnaeus Gardeners take on maintenance chores to get the Fountain Garden ready for spring. The trellis fence leads visitors into the Herb Garden.
Herb Garden Tour
The Herb Garden features raised planting beds with herbs that appeal to all the senses such as scented, culinary, and tea-making herbs. In the back is an outdoor fireplace and kitchen.
Curator Allison Warning works with catmint, an herb that is especially pleasing to the eye. The raised beds let Allison, who has multiple sclerosis, lead an active gardening life.
The sense of touch: a Linnaeus Gardener gets ready to let guests feel the velvety softness of Lamb’s ear.
This cheerful beauty is chamomile, used to make chamomile tea, commonly drunk to help with sleep.
Hayley and her daughter Elise enjoy the scent of echinacea. Also known as purple coneflower, this plant is popularly believed to ward off infections such as the common cold.
There’s always a lot to learn at the Linnaeus Teaching Garden. On parsley, the favorite host plant of the black swallowtail butterfly, you are likely to see its caterpillar stage.
Curator Allison Warning shows visitors how you can create an ornamental topiary bush out of rosemary. The center island also features several different varieties of basil and other herbs.
Sound: a visitor relaxes in the Herb Garden and fills it with music. Herbs such as lemon grass also make pleasant sounds when stirred by a breeze.