The Botanic Garden at Oklahoma State University

by Laura Payne

The Botanic Garden (TBG) was first established as an arboretum in 1935.  Through the years we have expanded from an arboretum full of trees and shrubs, to a living museum filled with numerous different types of plants.  We have successfully taken this living museum and put it to use in various ways to fulfill the land grant mission of OSU by integrating research, teaching, and outreach.  


The facility’s primary use is research in herbaceous and woody ornamentals, nursery production, and  turf research. The results of the research are then used in our outreach programs to the public through educational workshops, demonstrations, field days, and Oklahoma Gardening television.  The grounds at TBG are also used for educational purposes for students at OSU. The Horticulture and Landscape Architecture programs utilize the grounds to teach plant ID, Landscape Management, and Arboriculture, just to name a few.   We also have numerous university departments that utilize the garden including Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, Entomology and Plant Pathology, Natural Resources and Environmental Management, Plant and Soil Sciences, Botany, and Art as well as many other departments.

We encourage visitors to enjoy the walking trails that meander through the arboretum’s vast collection of unique trees and shrubs, stop by the Horticulture Resource Center for home gardening information, and stroll through the beautiful Display Gardens featured on the Oklahoma Gardening television show.  One of our special gardens is the Sensory Garden.  This garden engages the five senses through exploration of plants and hardscapes.  Visitors can also evaluate for themselves some of the new up and coming cultivars in our trial gardens.  And if you are into herbs, you will love our new raised beds in the recently renovated herb garden.    

Another area of special interest to The Botanic Garden is sustainability and the environment.  We have various demonstrations and research programs throughout the grounds addressing resource conservation, sustainable design, and environmental stewardship.

The community of Stillwater and surrounding areas can count on The Botanic Garden at Oklahoma State University as an educational and recreational resource.  The garden is utilized as a living laboratory for research, teaching, and outreach educational programming.  And, the scientific principles and practices of horticulture, environmental sustainability, and landscape design and construction can be seen throughout the garden.  

If you haven’t been to The Botanic Garden at OSU, please come check us out.  We are constantly changing out garden designs and themes and always adding new plant material.  The winter is one of the best times to visit.  You can see how we use plant material and other hardscapes for the “bones” of the garden and then we will fill in with interesting plants later in the spring.  

The Botanic Garden at OSU is free and open to the public. To learn more, visit:


The Botanic Garden at Oklahoma State University conducts research and provides educational programming and experiences that foster an understanding and appreciation for the flora, fauna, and environmental systems comprising the natural and man-made landscapes of Oklahoma, thereby inspiring visitors to explore their relationship with the land.