There were no settlements in the area now known as Oklahoma City until April 22, 1889. That was when regions called "unassigned lands" (areas not designated for Native Americans) were made available to settlers during what was known as the "Land Run." Homesteaders numbering 10,000 claimed tracts in what would become Oklahoma City. Rapid growth in the next 10-11 years saw a doubling of the population.
Oklahoma achieved statehood November 16, 1907, when President Theodore Roosevelt issued Presidential Proclamation 780, making Oklahoma the forty-sixth state of the U.S. While Guthrie had been the capital of the territory of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City had become a major commercial and population center, with 64,000 residents by 1910. OKC boasted a trolley system, railway hub, large meatpacking plants, as well as other industry. City leaders submitted a petition to name Oklahoma City the state capital. With the support of Governor Charles N. Haskell, the matter was put to popular vote, and Oklahoma City became the new state capital on June 10, 1910.
Oklahoma City's climate is categorized as temperate humid subtropical. There are daily and seasonal variations, except for summer, which is steamy and hot consistently. Winds from the south help moderate the heat in summer, but in winter winds from the north tend to exacerbate cold spells. The typical yearly precipitation is 36.52 inches, with an average of 84 days experiencing rain or snow, which averages only 6 inches annually.
Notable gardens in Oklahoma City
For those who love growing things, we are going to take a look at two must-see stops in OKC. These botanical wonders are Will Rogers Gardens and Myriad Gardens. Follow your inner horticulturalist to these destinations for a satisfying helping of nature's bounty.
Will Rogers Gardens
Located in a city-owned park at the corner of 36th Street and Portland Avenue, Will Rogers Gardens sits on a historic oasis in the heart of the city. The site of a former dairy farm, the land was purchased by the city in 1912. Horticulturist Henry Walters started developing the area of the park that would become today's 30-acre gem. Let's take a look at some of the featured areas within the park.
Ed Lycan Conservatory
Manufactured by the esteemed Lord and Burnham, this greenhouse is considered to be the crown jewel of the Gardens. The Conservatory, which features 19th-century Victorian architecture, was moved to the Will Rogers Gardens from the site that contained the State Fair Park in 1936. Its namesake is Ed Lycan, who was the first employee hired by the state Parks Department.
After undergoing an extensive historic restoration project in 2013, the Conservatory has come to contain a permanent collection of cacti and succulents which is numbered among the state's largest. There is also an available event space popular for weddings and other occasions. Before the 2013 renovation, the Conservatory was a popular venue for gardening exhibitions and floral shows.
Charles E. Sparks Color Garden
Spanning two acres, the color garden lies just between two ponds and displays seasonal blooms placed by master gardeners from both the City and Oklahoma State University. The Oklahoma Rose Society created the first color garden in 1936. Its purpose was to serve as a garden dedicated to roses as well as a test garden for roses. At the height of this period, one could view almost 3,000 rose bushes here.
Recently, a blight on roses required that the garden beds be re-designed using various Oklahoma-tested annuals and perennials. Now the color garden offers a wonderful opportunity for homeowners and aspiring gardeners to learn how combining different types of flora and fauna can have a significant impact in a home garden.
Margaret Annis Boys Arboretum
Located on an undulating ten acres, the Margaret Annis Boys Arboretum contains hundreds of types of trees, featuring those native to Oklahoma along with others that are seldom seen in the state. Some of the trees date back to the 1930s, having been planted by Henry Walter. The arboretum was named the Margaret Annis Boys Arboretum in 2009 in honor of a dedicated gardening devotee and who spent many years helping to enhance the beauty of public Oklahoma City properties. Also, of note are the ADA accessible trail and brand-new entryways that have been constructed.
Will Rogers Gardens Exhibition Center
Built in the 1960s, this late mid-Century structure offers an atrium lobby along with three meeting spaces. The Oklahoma City Council of Garden Clubs meets here, as well as garden clubs and local non-profit groups.
Located in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City at 301 W. Reno Avenue, Myriad Botanical Gardens brings the beauty of nature to the city. The outdoor spaces offer ornamental gardens, children's garden, and playground, Great Lawn, a lake, dog park, water features and fountains along with walking and jogging paths. These are all available free of charge. Myriad Gardens also hosts events year-round and offers gardening classes for the would-be horticulturalist in you.
Crystal Bridge Conservatory houses thousands of tropical and desert plantings. Inside the 13,000 square foot structure, you will find 750 plant varieties, a waterfall and a sky bridge that affords visitors breathtaking views of a forested tropical wonderland.
Two unique climates are displayed: The Tropical Wet Zone, at the south side receives daily water, and the Tropical Dry Zone to the north only gets watered from April through September. This creates an artificial drought from November through March.
Oklahoma City rocks
This is just a small sampling of things to do in OKC. Don't forget the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, and the City Zoo. Plus, you might want to catch Russell Westbrook, Paul George and the Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena during hoops season. With all the amenities available to you, who has time for mowing? Use Lawn Love's lawn services, and you'll have time to explore all that Oklahoma City has to offer.