Crystal Bridge Conservatory at the Myriad Gardens

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Posted 2022-12-12 by Lana Van Cleavefollow
The fall day in Oklahoma was perfect. The reddish-brown leaves of the large trees presented a stark contrast to the cloudless, radiant blue sky. While staying in downtown Oklahoma City, I set aside some time to visit the Myriad Gardens.

This 15-acre botanical garden provides the downtown area with stunning park-like grounds at no charge to the public. Each season brings new displays and creates anticipation to visit at various times during the year to meander through the gardens or to sit and enjoy the day.

On this visit, I was eager to explore the new two-year, $11 million renovation of the Crystal Bridge Conservatory. From the outside, the tube-like structure is stunning on its own. However, the 224-foot, 70 feet in diameter tube encompasses 13,000 square feet of plants. At the very reasonable price of $10.50 for adults, a stroll along the inside path amongst the luscious plants is a must-do in downtown Oklahoma City.

Once inside, the first stop features a magnificent two-story waterfall. The relaxing, soothing sound of the water cascading over the natural stone and into the pool at its base can be heard throughout the Conservatory. The staircase hugs the waterfall up to a viewing area that provides a clear view of the length of the Crystal Bridge.

I wanted to linger at the overlook area to enjoy the dazzling display of bromeliads. Luscious red, brilliant yellow, stark white, and even soft pink bromeliads in full bloom afford a most colorful backdrop to the waterfall below.

Leaving the waterfall and following the path along one side showcases the graceful, fan-like ferns. The misting system in this section creates a tropical ambiance in this area. All the vegetation is incredibly healthy and lush.

The other path features enormous fig trees with multiple selections of plants surrounding them. The large white Cloud Portal Sculpture over this pathway is quite stunning and serves to divide the south and north ends of the Conservatory.

At the north end, the giant Christmas tree and brilliant red decorations at this time of year perfectly contrast all the greenery.

An exquisite piece of Dale Chihuly glass in lime green tipped in red almost appears to be another plant sitting among the water lilies in the calm reflecting pool situated at the base of the stairs at the north end. Behind the pool is an art panel that sketches the pattern of a root structure. What a fabulous way to educate young and old on incredibly complex root systems.

Also, at this end, the plants indigenous to the arid climates are brought into focus. Here various sizes and shapes of cacti line the pathway.

The renovation also added a discovery room for children and a sensory skywalk on the third level. Before leaving, check out the gift shop for items designed to further educate children and adults about horticulture and conservation.

The Myriad Botanical Gardens have provided a welcome addition to the downtown area for many years. It has been a perfect place for a lunchtime or after-work stroll while providing education on horticulture and conservation. The newly renovated Crystal Bridge Conservatory will entice many to take a break and quiet their minds in the restful ambiance of the inside garden areas.

79287 - 2023-06-11 05:12:24


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