Published on: September 23, 2015

 Schedule of events: Saturday, Oct. 3 |  Sunday, Oct. 4

Tulsa Botanic Garden will celebrate the grand opening of the A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Floral Terraces with a week of events planned for late September-early October, culminating with grand opening to the public at noon on Saturday, October 3.

Tulsa Botanic Garden members will get to preview the Garden on Friday, October 2 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday morning, Oct. 3 from 10 a.m. to noon.  

The Botanic Garden will open to the public on Saturday, Oct. 3 at noon with a ribbon-cutting celebration at 1 p.m. Garden tours, “Pop-Up Pavilion Talks”, music and family activities will be offered throughout the day until the Garden closes at 5 p.m.. The grand opening festivities will continue on Sunday, Oct. 4 with a day-long schedule including activities, music, talks and tours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The Botanic Garden will offer free admission both days.  Food and beverages will be available for purchase  both days from food trucks on site 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Over 3 acres in size the Tandy Floral Terraces will display over 8,000 plants including trees, shrubs, ornamental grasses, roses and perennials set in terraced beds on a hillside which offers views of downtown Tulsa from its peak. Another 7,000 plants currently make up the center seasonal display.

A prominent feature of the Floral Terraces is the Garden Cascade, a six-foot wide central water runnel emanating from the top of the hillside and flowing down into the lake. Seasonal color display beds, totaling 5,700 square feet, surround the water channel from top to bottom and will provide vivid swaths of color from spring bulbs, summer tropical plants or winter annuals. The Garden expects to plant approximately 100,000 bulbs this fall for spring 2016.

Visitors can explore the garden on a serpentine, ADA accessible walk winding to the Garden’s peak or through a central stairway along the Garden Cascade.  At ground level visitors can stroll through the Tuteur Allees, intimate garden areas mirrored on the outside edges of a central lawn. Tuteurs, obelisk-like garden structures, will support a variety of ornamental vines.  Large crape myrtles enclose the area.

Ascending up the hill is the Rose Terrace, featuring roses interspersed with perennials and other shrubs. A combination of shrub roses, climbing roses and “Earth Kind” ones will be complemented by other flowering plants and several small trees casting dappled shade to make this a unique and pleasant experience, unlike other traditional rose gardens.

The Perennial Terrace, highlights perennials planted in a color scheme made famous by Gertrude Jekyll, a British garden designer who created over 400 gardens in the U.K., Europe and U.S. in the mid to late 1800s and early 1900s.  At the outer edges of the Perennial Terrace will be open-air pavilions constructed with custom metal work and glass.  Secondary rills about one foot wide will start at basins at the side of each pavilion and flow down to the lake.

The Mediterranean Terrace is home to plants adapted to drier climates including the Mediterranean as well as areas of Oklahoma, Texas and the southwest.

The pinnacle of the Tandy Floral Terraces is The Square, a lawn offering scenic views of the Garden as well as downtown Tulsa.

 Lasseigne notes the importance of the design features throughout the ornamental garden. “From the beginning of this process, we recognized important elements to include – show-stopping plants, inviting water displays and most importantly design elements reflecting our community”.


Design features throughout the Tandy Floral Terraces were intentionally styled to reflect Tulsa and provide a sense of place.   Early on Garden staff took landscape architects on a tour of the area ultimately leading to custom-designed stair railings, pavilions, tuteurs (vine supports), and more that are inspired by Tulsa’s rich Art Deco architecture.

Continuing on the local theme, the terrace walls were constructed from sandstone literally dug from the site.  A blue-gray stone used as an accent band in the wall and prominently throughout the central runnel is from a quarry in Poteau, OK.

Named in recognition of a $3 million lead gift from the A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Foundation, the Floral Terraces is the first garden to go under construction in the Botanic Garden’s “Reaching for Generations” campaign. With a goal of $17.1 million, the campaign will fund construction of the first four gardens from the master plan: A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Floral Terraces, Children’s Discovery Garden (expected to open May 2016), Lotus Pool and All Season’s Garden, as well as a multi-purpose building, entry garden, production greenhouse and infrastructure.

 With the opening of the Tandy Floral Terraces, the Botanic Garden will expand their open days to Thursdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  beginning October 8, 2015. Admission charges will also begin with $5 for adults (ages 13 and up), $2 for children ages 3 to 12, free for children 2 and under.  Botanic Garden members receive free admission.