Linnaeus Teaching Garden

Creating space for a multitude of garden venues and features on a site less than an acre in size with significant grade change isn’t easy, but it’s fun.

Provided design and construction documents for a teaching garden to showcase multiple garden features and genres.

The Linnaeus Teaching Garden, a program of the Tulsa Garden Center, is a demonstration and teaching garden in Woodward Park staffed by well-trained volunteers who share their knowledge and love of gardening with the public. Barry Fugatt, horticultural director for the Tulsa Garden Center, who envisioned the potential for the teaching garden, invited Howell & Vancuren to assist with the gardens realization and to overcome the limited space and steep grades, while still accommodating a long list of desired features and amenities.

The design team at Howell & Vancuren and Mr. Fugatt were very intentional about providing the maximum amount of inviting and useable spaces for a wide variety of venues. Garden features include the centerpiece Linnaeus sculpture, entry colonnade, waterfalls cascading into a small pond, edible garden, greenhouse, planting displays, pergolas, an elevated deck, and a small storage building designed to reflect the character of the existing barn, which was renovated to serve as a visitors center.

Because the site is only 3/4-acres in size, this project required creative consideration to define vistas, focal elements, and intimate spaces to enhance the visitors’ experience and to achieve design program goals. One particular challenge Howell & Vancuren overcame was achieving a sense of visual cohesiveness throughout the garden while using 16 different styles of pavers and masonry wall units, which were donated by the manufacturer.

The Oklahoma Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects bestowed an Honor Award for this project.

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