Myriad Botanical Gardens brings springtime fun

Myriad Botanical Gardens has a springtime shower worth of upcoming programming opportunities slated for the season.

“The gardens, over the last four years, has really striven to fill itself with activities of all sorts – for kids, for adults, fitness activities, fun activities, educational stuff,” said Christine Eddington, director of marketing and communications at the gardens. “Our goal is to be really programmed all the time.”

Easter extravaganza

This Easter weekend brings eggs, dogs and dinner to Myriad Gardens. Saturday morning, kids can hunt for Easter eggs and prizes, enjoy activities and visit with the Easter Bunny. Children ages 4 and under can get a head start on the egg action beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, and the more experienced hunters, ages 5 to 10, begin at 10:30 a.m.

Tinker Federal Credit Union is sponsoring the event and offering two lucky children a $200 SaveAbles Kids Club accounts.

Registration is $5 for members and $10 for nonmembers, and spaces are limited.

Once the kids have had their fill of hunting, families can bring out their pooches for the Doggie Easter Egg Hunt at 3 p.m. Our furry friends will use their finely tuned senses to find Easter eggs filled with treats and stickers and earn doggie prizes.

All dogs must be leashed and up-to-date on their vaccinations. Only one dog per person is allowed. Registration costs $10 per dog. Because spaces are limited, registration is required by Wednesday, April 1.

After all the daytime events have ended, anyone 21 and over with a chic and breezy wardrobe is invited to a Pre-Easter Spring Dinner from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Chefs and gardeners Kamala Gamble and Barbara Mock will prepare a four-course dinner from local seasonal produce. Gamble, an organic urban farmer at Guilford Gardens, will introduce each course to the guests and explain how the fresh foods were grown and how the chefs transformed them into each dish.

Food and wine will be served outdoors in the children’s garden, weather permitting.

For members of the gardens, registration costs $75 per person or $140 per couple, and for nonmembers, the prices are $80 per person and $150 per couple. This might be the perfect time to consider joining the 2,539 other members of the Myriad Botanical Gardens.

A family membership costs $65 per year and allows entrance for four adults and four children. Members can visit Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory an unlimited number of times for free, and they also gain reciprocal admission to 270 other botanical gardens around the country.

Members can attend the Charlotte’s Web-themed Spring Festival in June and the Fall Festival, Pumpkinville, for free. The gardens offers members-only parties and member discounts on classes and ice skate rentals.

The funds raised from memberships supports the gardens and allows it to offer many kinds of programming.

Plants galore

The weekend after Easter, the gardens will host its Spring Plant Sale. Attendees can browse through hundreds of locally sourced perennials, annuals, herbs and vegetables.

From hard-to-find plants for the connoisseur to indestructible plants for beginners, the sale will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 11 and 12 in the pavilion on the west side of the rolling green grounds.

Members will receive a $1 discount off every $10 they spend.

Dr. Ann Fleener, director of education at the gardens, will teach a class on gardening with worms. The kids will get to make a wormy craft and will learn about how to reduce their carbon footprints.

“The botanical education part of our mission is critical because people need plants. Earth without plants is earth without people. Plants also bring a lot of joy and color and aroma. Plants are a wonderful part of the environment. We’re pro-plant here,” Eddington said.

When earthworms eat soil, they produce vermicast, which is an organic fertilizer saturated with nutrients. As the worms work, they even reduce the contaminants in the organic material.

The vermicomposting class will take place from 11 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 18 in the children’s garden for children ages 5 to 10. Registration costs $4 for members and $6 for nonmembers. Registration is requested by April 14.

Summer tours

Toward the end of summer, gardensgoers can look forward to educational docent and self-guided walking tours of the grounds, which were made possible by a $35,000 grant from Oklahoma City Community Foundation and its Parks & Public Space Initiative.

“Those tours will do two things,” Eddington said. “They will speak to our horticultural mission and also to a component of our mission which is about fitness. On our walking tour maps, we’ll have the distances covered in that walking tour so people can incorporate that into their weekly fitness plan.”

In the midst of all of these activities, Myriad Gardens plans to replace 48 Norway Maple trees with sunscald on the Great Lawn and the grounds.

Sunscald happens to young trees with thin skin. When they absorb the heat of the sun during the day, their cells expand, but when night falls, the cells contract. Over time, this causes the cells to explode, which halts the growth on that side of the tree.

It is possible that the garden’s trees were damaged years ago in the nursery before they came to the gardens. Luckily, sunscald is not communicable to other trees, so they can be mulched or used as decorative elements around the gardens.

The damaged trees will be replaced with “Green Vase” Zelkovas, known for their vaselike shape, and other varieties of trees will be added as well.

During the rebirth of the trees in July and August, Sonic Summer Movie Nights will return to the gardens on Wednesday nights.

Learn about programming opportunities at Myriad Botanical Gardens,

Print headline: Blooming fun, Spring brings many events to the Myriad Botanical Gardens.

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