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Horticulture Stories


Stories from the park's horticulture team

Peak Cherry Blossom Season at the Park

By Chris Gabbard, Director of Horticulture

Spring is about renewal, growth, and of course, the beauty of nature. In nature, it is flowers of all kinds that are a major component to this springtime joy. Just by going outside, these flowers draw us in as we get lost in the beauty of their displays. It can be a mesmerizing experience, one that is important for the soul. Whether you’re walking nature trails, traveling along highways, or standing on a plateau looking down on a meadow, flowers can be found. We love them so much we collect them and show them in our yards and formal gardens and recreate their beauty in art. In fact, we also travel great distances just to see the most popular floriferous spectacles in the world like the vast tulip displays in the Netherlands; the bluebonnets of Texas; Canada’s lupines; the azaleas of the southeast United States; the Chelsea Flower Show in London; and of course, the magnificent flowering cherries of Japan.

To experience the display of cherry trees in Japan is remarkable; however, there are great displays to be seen in the United States, as well. In 1912, more than 3,000 trees were shipped across the Pacific Ocean to Seattle where they were transported by train to Washington, D.C. and finally arrived on March 26, 1912. These trees were planted around the Tidal Basin, and to this day approximately 3,750 trees are displayed there and millions of visitors from around the world flock to see the blooms at the National Cherry Blossom Festival every year.


Gathering Place is still a young park, but we have a breathtaking display of the flowering cherry trees that can be enjoyed right here in Tulsa! Within Chapman Adventure Playground, there is a respectable and robust display of these extraordinary trees. The park currently displays the Yoshino, Akebono, and Higan cultivars of the tree. Our horticulture team continues to plant them throughout the area, so you can expect this display to keep growing! 

Posted by Sydney Brown at 16:47