Large cities are centers of commerce and business. They are essential for the economic well- being of the people and millions make the daily commute to these urban hubs each day. But getting away from the bustle of the city is nice and in some places, a getaway is closer than you might think. Such is the case at Myriad Botanical Gardens, a nature oasis in downtown Oklahoma City.
An Urban Retreat
Myriad Botanical Gardens covers about 17 acres and is located amidst the skyscrapers and concrete structures in downtown Oklahoma City. I visited this natural oasis on a trip to Oklahoma City and I liked what I saw. Already in downtown at the time, I had heard that a botanical gardens was nearby and decided I could use a break. I drove around and quickly located Myriad Botanical Gardens. Its size and downtown location make it easy to find.
My first reaction to seeing Myriad Botanical Gardens was surprise- that is, surprise at the size and variety of plants. Lots of cities have botanical gardens, but you don’t usually see one this large in the middle of downtown. With so much prime real estate in any downtown, an area this size is usually not available for anything except buildings. But Oklahoma City somehow managed to carve out a large space to build/plant the structures, greenery, and flowers that comprise the gardens.
Natural Beauty Surrounds You
Myriad Botanical Gardens is loaded with lush vegetation, including hundreds of species of plants and flowers. One of the many things I like about this garden is the layout. There are multiple levels and walking paths that encircle the gardens, with some winding down and taking you below street level. Waterfalls and walking bridges add to the visual and aesthetic appeal and there are many benches where you can sit down, relax, and soak up the sights, scents, and sounds that surround you.
Myriad Botanical Gardens is available free of charge to everyone, but there is one section that isn’t free: The Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory. This centrally located greenhouse- like structure contains thousands of plants and a large waterfall. It does cost money to enter, but many feel the small expense is worth it. Otherwise, the remaining areas of the gardens are open and free to anyone.
Something for the Kids
I know what some of you are thinking. Myriad Botanical Gardens sounds nice and wonderful, but young children usually don’t appreciate natural areas like this and get bored quickly. If your children are like this, don’t worry- the management is aware that children are often harshly critical of natural areas so to keep the young ones happy, Myriad Botanical Gardens offers a separate children’s area. Here, the kids can play, enjoy a romp in the splash pad, and otherwise do the things that kids like to do in a park- like environment. There is even a special section for dogs and Myriad Botanical Gardens hosts special events and seasonal attractions like an ice skating rink during specific times of the year.
A Break from Work
Whether you’re visiting downtown Oklahoma City or work in downtown and need a break from the office, Myriad Botanical Gardens is a place worthy of a visit. It’s a very nicely designed and beautiful, lush garden in the middle of a large urban space and it’s just steps away from many major businesses. It’s not as quiet as other botanical gardens, due to its urban location. But the natural beauty, the fragrant smells of plants and flowers, and the peaceful surroundings make a visit to Myriad Botanical Gardens a must for anyone who loves nature and needs a respite from the stress so common to any urban center.
Copyright 2015, Bryan Carey