STILLWATER, Okla. (KFOR) – The signs of spring announce themselves louder and brighter every day now.

OSU Botanic Garden Director Lou Anella hears the birds and sees the blooms as he walks the grounds.

He is both director and teacher here.

“This is a series of flowering Quince called ‘Double Feature,'” he points out.

Of the other flowers he sees right now, Anella continues, “Things like dogwoods and ninebark. Flowering shrubs mostly.”

Anella says he sees the same people all the time marking seasonal changes just like he does.

“There are some people who walk here every day,” he states.

But the origins of this garden are really unique.

They started as an outdoor studio nearly 50 years ago for what proved to be a long-running television show called ‘Oklahoma Gardening’.

Anella boasts, “It is now the oldest, longest running, horticulture program in the United States.”

All the other things that have grown out of this fertile ground are just flowery extras.

“Over the years, the garden became more of a public space.”

  • OSU Botanic Garden sign
  • OSU Botanic Garden
  • OSU Botanic Garden aerial view

As we walk around in mid-April we find one greenhouse full of the annual plants staff will soon transplant to the outdoor beds.

Another greenhouse is full of herbs and succulents set to sell at their fundraiser on April 22, 2023.

There are times when Anella admits the list of things to do as director get in the way of his fully appreciating what’s here.

But it does get easier as the garden grows.

Sure it’s dry, and, surely, the job of gardener is never truly complete.

But the more he walks, the more other people stroll through here as well, the more there is to see as spring takes hold and Oklahoma’s flowers show off.

Anella insists, “It is a great place to come and relax.”


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