By Chris Gabbard, Director of Horticulture
Spring is the time of year when we come out of the house after a long winter to greet a new season and look for what is flowering! Nature is coming alive with fresh beauty everywhere and by taking a stroll around Gathering Place, one can experience this botanical dance firsthand. Check out our suggestions for what to look for at your next visit to the park.
Flowering bulbs are the quintessential sign that spring has arrived, and many of our gardens feature daffodils, hyacinths, tulips, and snowdrops. Most are planted in a naturalized style, so spacing is more open. They can be found throughout Chapman Adventure Playground, outside of Redbud Café, and near ONEOK Boathouse.
You can get the best olfactory experience near Redbud Café with the sweet fragrance of hyacinths. March and April are the best months to discover these beauties.
For some classic springtime scenery, look no further than Picnic Grove in Chapman Adventure Playground. Here, you’ll find yellow forsythia, a wonderful member of the olive family, putting on a great display throughout March.
In March and April, journey across the Caterpillar Bridge in Chapman Adventure Playground to discover our expansive display of Japanese flowering cherry trees.
In May, our meadows start showing color, and one of my favorites is coreopsis, which creates a pathway of yellow gold along the River Parks trail from the Sports Courts to the north of the park.
May also brings one of our most asked about shrubs to the forefront of our landscaping—the oakleaf hydrangea, which can be found in Chapman Adventure Playground! Their panicles of white flowers never cease to please, and as an added bonus, their dried seed and exfoliating bark bring interest into the fall and winter landscapes.