Stillwater News Press

Garden

February 22, 2014

Grow! 02-23-14

Botanic Garden at OSU prepares for open houses

It has been called one of the best kept secrets in Stillwater, but we’re working hard to change that. The Botanic Garden at Oklahoma State University, located west of town on the north side of State Highway 51, is beginning its series of open houses March 1, as a way to encourage visitors to the garden.

We’ll be hosting open houses from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. the first and third Saturday of each month starting March 1 through Oct. 25. It’s a great way to spend quality time with your family in a tranquil setting, while getting useful information you can incorporate into your landscape at home.

TBG at OSU is an oasis of thousands of species of herbaceous and woody plants set on 100 acres between Cow Creek and Stillwater Creek. The garden also is home to many different research plots that reflect ongoing projects by OSU professors, as well as home to the Oklahoma Gardening Studio Garden.

Visitors to the garden on open house days will be greeted by our very knowledgeable Ambassadors, who are on hand to answer any of your gardening and plant questions. The Ambassadors have a wealth of experience and information and they are looking forward to sharing it.

Something new we’re doing this year is Volunteer Service Day during the open house that falls on the third Saturday of each month beginning April 19. We’d like to invite all service groups and other volunteers to come out and work alongside our staff in the garden. If you have a group that would like to come out and volunteer, please contact Laura Payne at 405-744-4531. Individuals also are welcomed to join us.

The Oklahoma Gardening Studio Garden, located within TBG at OSU, is home to a number of themed gardens, including edible landscapes, a xeriscape demonstration garden and shade garden. In addition, there is a garden designed to attract colorful birds, butterflies and other wildlife.

Not only will those who attend our open house events see all of the beautiful gardens, plants, trees and shrubs, it also provides a chance to see some wildlife. About a year and a half ago a local Boy Scout built and installed 10 bluebird houses throughout TBG at OSU, so your chances of seeing even more birdlife are likely.

We’ll also have a variety of plants available through our “Give and Get” Plant Adoption Program. This simply means there are plants available for purchase with a suggested donation price. For that price you can purchase the plant. We offer a variety of events and activities at The Botanic Garden at OSU and this is one of the programs to help raise money to support what we do. We’ll have a selection of rare, heirloom and hard-to-find tomatoes, peppers, herbs and perennials, along with some of your other favorites. The quantities of plants offered at each open house are limited, so come out early to get the pick of the crop.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just getting started, you’ll find all kinds of tips and fun ideas at The Botanic Garden at OSU open houses. This event is free but donations are appreciated.

Kimberly Toscano is assistant extension specialist and host of the OETA television program Oklahoma Gardening, which airs at 11 a.m. Saturdays and 3:30 p.m. Sundays, and assistant director of The Botanic Garden at Oklahoma State University.

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