A Garden Within the Gardens: The Secret Garden completed

A Garden Within the Gardens: The Secret Garden completed

Artist’s rendering of the Secret Garden

 

For the past year, we have been quietly planning a new garden space within Myriad Botanical Gardens, and we are excited to spread the word. We have transformed a 7,000 square foot area from an underutilized space into a destination for picnics and quiet relaxing. The secluded and natural aspect of the space reminded us of the garden in the book The Secret Garden.

Tucked away on the northeastern corner of the grounds, the new garden will serve as an oasis between the bustle of a downtown intersection and the year-round activity of the Seasonal Plaza.

Several nooks where people can gather and relax are part of the new garden. Flagstone is set into the grass at the entrance where it slowly dwindles into lawn. The center of the garden space is opened up and the sloping grade of the lawn is friendly and welcoming. Flowering shrubs and trees have been added to the perimeter to help enclose the space.

Emphasis on seasonal plants that support wildlife will contribute to the atmosphere, with the planting palette largely focused on North American native plants that are wildlife-friendly.

The garden will serve as a demonstration garden of ornamental plants such as sassafras (Sassafras albidum), winterberry holly (Ilex verticillata), rose mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos) and American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens). The garden will include plant labels and mounted interpretive signage about ornamental and habitat-friendly plants and will include tips for selecting plants, designing ornamental gardens for seasonal interest and caring for ornamental plants.

PLANT LIST

  • Sweetspire, Itea virginica
  • Ninebark, Physocarpus opulifolius
  • Smooth hydrangea, Hydrangea arborescens Incrediball
  • Blue grama grass, Bouteloua gracilis ‘Blonde Ambition’
  • Fothergilla, Fothergilla gardenia
  • Buttonbush, Cephalanthus occidentalis
  • Smooth sumac, Rhus glabra
  • Arrowwood, Viburnum dentatum
  • Beautyberry, Callicarpa americana
  • Winterberry holly, Ilex decidua
  • Panicle hydrangea, Hydrangea paniculata ‘Quick Fire’
  • Hardy hibiscus, Hibiscus sp.
  • Autumn sage, Salvia greggii
  • Summersweet, Clethera alnifolia

Funding for the Secret Garden is provided by Oklahoma City Community Foundation and its Parks and Public Space Initiative via the Margaret Annis Boys Trust, and Kirkpatrick Family Fund.

Artist rendering of the Secret Garden, top, and newly placed stones in the new gardenscape.

Pavers in the new Secret Garden. Photo by Sean Ball.