Correction: A previous version of this story had the incorrect date for the Jenks Herb and Plant Festival. This year’s event is Saturday, April 22.
Despite colder-than-usual weather in northeastern Oklahoma this time of year, small signs of spring, like yellow daffodils and pink Ann magnolia trees, are starting to bloom across Tulsa.
If you want to experience spring in full swing, however, look no further than Tulsa Botanic Garden, 3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive.
Starting now through mid-April, guests at the Garden will be blown away by the massive number of flowers on display for the annual Tulsa Botanic Blooms celebration.
With over 200,000 blooms of several flower species, Tulsa Botanic Garden’s massive display will last for about four to six weeks. To help optimize the display time, horticulturists at the Garden selected a variety of flowers — hyacinths, daffodils, crocuses, dwarf irises and, of course, tulips — that reach their peak blooms at different times.
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“We have tons of bulbs already blooming right now, and it’s just going to keep getting better,” said Dustin Stoll, the director of horticulture at Tulsa Botanic Garden.
A team of 10 horticulturists at the Garden spent close to a month curating this year’s display of blooms, Stoll said. One of their largest concentrations of bulbs is in the Garden’s A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Floral Terraces, which this year is themed “Bedlam Bulbs.” One side of the terraces is full of crimson and cream-colored flowers, representing the University of Oklahoma, while the other side features orange, black (dark purple) and white flowers for Oklahoma State University.
Stoll said horticulturists and staff are excited watch springtime Garden visitors as they first see the large display of blooms.
“One of the most rewarding parts of working at Tulsa Botanic Garden is just hearing visitors’ reactions — when they walk up to the Garden and say they’ve never seen this many tulips in one place before, or that it’s the most beautiful place they’ve ever been to — that’s why we do what we do,” Stoll said.
In addition to Tulsa Botanic Blooms, there are plenty of other springtime events this year — plant sales, garden tours, festivals and more — to calm your spring fever.
Floral displays and tours
In addition to having one of the largest flower bulb displays in the region, the Garden has plenty of additional programming to keep you busy this spring.
Starting March 23, the Garden’s Bands & Blooms concert series will run every Thursday through May 4. From 6 to 8 p.m. each week, musicians like Annie Ellicott, Johnny Murrel and more will perform outside.
On March 25, the Garden’s annual spring cocktail party, Tiptoe in the Tulips, returns. From 5:30 to 8 p.m., guests can look forward to an evening of cocktails, hors d’oevres and live jazz performances in the Garden. Artist Pat Gordon will be in attendance to sign copies of posters featuring his painting called “Portrait of a Tulip,” which he created for Tulsa Botanic Garden.
Local artists like Josh Stout, Kelly Pennington, Monte Toon and more will be painting “en plein air,” or painting outdoors, in the Garden until 2 p.m. on April 2. Afterward, the artists will display and sell their work in a reception in the Garden’s Mabee Grange that’s open to all visitors, 2 to 4:30 p.m.
For a full list of events, visit tulsabotanic.org
Oklahoma Shows! Design-Specialty Flower Show
March 25 Tulsa Garden Center at Woodward Park, 2435 S. Peoria Ave.
Plant and flower enthusiasts are welcome to attend this special event showcasing the best in floral artistry. From 1 to 4 p.m., guests can browse floral artistry demonstrations, watch young gardeners be recognized for their entries in contests sponsored by the Tulsa Garden Club and National Garden Clubs, purchase their own plants, gardening tools and aprons, and vote for their favorite floral design on display. This event is free and open to the public. tulsagardenclub.org
Passport to Paradise Garden Tour
May 20 Locations to be announced
Tulsa Garden Club’s 72nd annual tour will offer guests a look into some of the best gardens, horticulture and landscaping design in Tulsa. Attendees on this self-paced walking tour will get a glimpse of four private homes in midtown Tulsa with exceptional yards, gardens and water features.
Tickets are available in advance on Eventbrite and can also be purchased from any Tulsa Garden Club Member or at the Tulsa Garden Center, 2435 S. Peoria Ave. tulsagardenclub.org
Festivals and plant sales
34th Annual Sand Springs Herbal Affair & Festival
April 15 Downtown Sand Springs, near East Broadway Street and Main Street
From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 15, Sand Springs’ 39th Herbal Affair & Festival will take over the city’s downtown streets. Over 100 vendors selling herbs, native, heirloom and perennial plants and more will set up booths lining the streets, along with artisans selling art, home decor, herbal products and gardening supplies. Food vendors selling barbecue, Greek, Mediterranean and Amish cuisine will be serving up dishes all day.
You won’t have to worry about carrying all of your purchases around, either: The Plant Sitters booth, run by local Catholic parishioners, will keep an eye on your buys while you continue to shop and enjoy the festival.
Over 25,000 people from all over Oklahoma are expected to attend this year’s celebration, so organizers encourage attendees to park at Charles Page High School and use the festival’s free shuttle service. sandspringsok.org/327/Festival-Information
SpringFest at Woodward Park
April 7 & 8 Teaching Garden and Arboretum at Woodward Park, 2435 S. Peoria Ave.
The SpringFest garden market benefiting Woodward Park is celebrating its 68th year. Held in the Teaching Garden and nearby Arboretum at Woodward Park, the sale will feature a wide variety of plant, cacti and flower vendors from across Tulsa and Oklahoma. Food will be available for purchase, and guests are encouraged to bring a blanket to sit on in the park while they enjoy their meals in between plant shopping.
This event, which is free and open to the public, will raise money for educational programming, beautification and preservation of all of Woodward Park’s 45 acres. tulsagardencenter.org/springfest
Lawn & Garden Spring Fling
April 22 Redbud Festival Park, 109 N. Main St., Owasso
From 1 to 4 p.m., head to Owasso’s Redbud Festival Park for a day of outdoor fun. The First Bank main stage will host gardening seminars all afternoon, and plant nurseries and other vendors will have plants and goods for sale. With crafts for kids and a variety of food trucks, this event is perfect for the whole family. cityofowasso.com
Jenks Herb and Plant Festival
The Jenks Garden Club will host the 27th annual Herb and Plant Festival on April 22 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Located in downtown Jenks, the festival will feature vendors from across the region showcasing a variety of herbs, succulents, vegetables, annuals and perennials, as well as other home and garden-related vendors. Food trucks will be on-site as well. jenksgardenclub.com
Starting April 1 Kendall Whittier Main Street, 2205 E. Admiral Blvd.
The Tulsa Farmers Market will take over the Kendall-Whittier district for the opening day of its 26th year on April 1. Local farmers, ranchers, crafters, plant and flower growers and more will have their goods available for purchase from 7 to 11 a.m. If you can’t make it on April 1, don’t worry — the market returns every Saturday. tulsafarmersmarket.org
Second Annual Native Plant Sale
May 5 & 6 Philbrook Museum of Art, 2727 S. Rockford Road
Philbrook’s second annual native plant sale returns this May. Guests can shop a curated collection of native plants that facilitate pollinator growth in northeastern Oklahoma. Be sure to bring containers for your purchases.
This two-day sale will take place from 3 to 8 p.m. May 5 and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 6. philbrook.org
Lunch and Learn with the Tulsa Master Gardeners
March 28 and April 4, 11, 18, 25 at Tulsa City-County Central Library, 400 Civic Center March 23, 30 and April 6, 13, 20, 27 at Hardesty Regional Library, 8316 E. 93rd St.
Bring your plant and gardening-related questions and join the Tulsa Master Gardeners for lunch. For the rest of March and through April, the Tulsa Master Gardeners will be hosting lunches where they’ll teach about topics like pollinator gardening, gardening in containers, planting tomatoes and other popular vegetables, herb gardening, saving heirloom seeds and growing and caring for houseplants. These lunches, hosted at two Tulsa libraries, are designed to provide knowledge and ideas for plant enthusiasts or first-time gardeners. tulsamastergardeners.org
National Audobon Society is releasing two books this April perfect for curious plant and fungi lovers.
Just ahead of peak foraging season, “National Audubon Society Complete Guide to Mushrooms of North America“ is a helpful guidebook to the wonderful world of mushrooms. The book, which will come out April 11, details 668 mushroom species and their growth habitats and seasons, spore print appearances, conservation information and much more.
Also to be released on April 11 is “National Audubon Society Wildflowers of North America,” a comprehensive guide to 853 species of wildflowers. Complete with nearly 5,200 color photographs, this catalog also details the effects of climate change and the advancements of DNA studies that have changed the flower classification process.