While the days are too cold to be outdoors for long, I dream of my next garden or the reinvention of a current flower bed. It’s time to draw inspiration from some of the best gardens I’ve visited. I thought you might enjoy a little inspiration, too. So although it’s cold today, join me on a virtual tour of one of the most beautiful gardens in the country.
Nestled in the Heart of Tulsa’s historic neighborhoods, is the Philbrook Museum of Art and the Philbrook Gardens. This beautiful Italianate Villa was completed in 1927 as the home of the Waite Phillips family. It houses an amazing art collection, but it is the 23 acres of beautiful gardens and lawns that speak to my soul. If you’ve not visited before, plan a visit the next time your in Tulsa, OK.
Although, I love formal gardens and the Philbrook’s sculpted gardens are gorgeous, I was most drawn to the beautiful rock garden and the natural curves of the waterside beds. The hummingbirds and butterflies were thick among the purple Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia leucantha) planted in pockets along the edges of the walking trail. I must remember to add Mexican Bush Sage to my butterfly garden….and maybe the children’s garden if I can find the space.
Traveling from the beautiful formal gardens and the Koi pond located along the eastside of the Villa, to the south leads us to more recently designed formal gardens and a lovely little vegetable and herb garden.
The massive size of the philbrook gardens can at times send you into sensory overload, but resting in a hidden nook was this charming pocket garden. It’s sunny, southeastern exposure left me wanting nothing more than a comfy chair and a good book. I’d love to create a potager garden as warm and welcoming as this one. I must remember to add more flowers to my vegetable and herb garden… especially edibles like marigolds (Calendula officials) and day lilies (Hemerocallis species). I’ve been told that day lilies can be battered and fried like Okra- I’ve never tried it, but one day I’ll gain the courage.
The view across the landscape from the cozy, potager garden was enchanting. The day spent at the gardens was transcendent. I loved the mix of formal and informal. The perfectly sculpted boxwoods and the windswept grasses. I don’t and will never have 23 acres of manicured gardens, but I can take away ideas. The mass of colors. The elements of water. The varying textures. And that really cool pot!
Now…. back to reality and planning my next gardening adventure. I hope you’ll join me again, on another garden tour. Until then, happy gardening.