Tulsa Landscaping Company Building ‘Living Classroom’ for Jenks Schools

jenks schools projectA unique project is currently in progress for Jenks Public Schools. A “living classroom” including Chimney Swift towers, butterfly gardens, rain barrels, and other landscaping features is being built near the Freshman Academy in Jenks, Okla. This interactive outdoor living space will serve as a fascinating way for students to learn about nature.

The school and 9th grade biology/ornithology teacher Todd Humphrey approached Tulsa landscaping company Oklahoma Landscape in Spring 2013 with the idea for a living classroom. Our licensed landscape architect Paul Strickland then got to work creating 3D concept models of how the finished classroom would look.

“We are excited to see this continue to grow each week,” Oklahoma Landscape President Aaron Wiltshire said. “Ultimately, this will be an incredible and unique space.”

As a Tulsa-area landscaping company, we can see the sweeping benefits a project like this could have. In thinking about the project, we felt this was a very unique school concept that could spread across the Tulsa area into other school systems, allowing kids the opportunity to learn more about landscaping, plants, caring for gardens, etc.butterfly garden tulsa landscaping

We’re also excited that many of the Jenks families we’ve done landscaping for have children who attend Jenks Schools, so they’ll get to enjoy this natural space.  And the site for the project is actually just a mile or so from the Oklahoma Landscape office, so it really feels like it’s in our own “backyard.”

When the “Flycatcher Trail” classroom is completed, students will be able to plant vegetables, perennials, feed birds, and study insects. Students will also be responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the gardens, trails, and water feature.

“This project can help students in many ways. It can teach them how to do things outside. We all know how electronics can dominate the time of our youth. This project helps kids to get their hands dirty, into the soil, so to speak. It helps them take pride in caring and nurturing plants and gardens,” Aaron Wiltshire said. “There’s a lot of pride that comes from nurturing living things and benefiting from the beauty that is created.”

tulsa landscapingAs a landscaping company, we know the benefits that come from working with nature and the creativity that can be awakened in the process, and we hope this project will continue to foster that sense of creativity in our children…and it could even inspire a future Tulsa landscape designer.

“Some of our youth will become aspiring designers, architects, etc., and there are little opportunities we can make available to help put something in front of them that may guide them one way or the other,” Aaron Wiltshire added.

What are some of the features this distinctive classroom will have?

Entry structure with rain barrels and a pergola pass-through.

Water feature with streams and a stone bridge.

Compost bins

Butterfly garden

Upright Chimney Swift towers

Native landscape plants and trees

Fully automatic sprinkler system

Cedar split rail fencing

Extensive decomposed granite trails

While Oklahoma Landscape is spearheading the project, there are many others who have donated time, labor, and materials to make this happen. We felt like we could pull off this huge undertaking because of our reliable team of professionals and with the valuable help of our trusted sub-contractors and suppliers.

“Tulsa and the surrounding towns have made Oklahoma Landscape what it is today, and this project is a great opportunity for us to give back to the community we all share!” Aaron Wiltshire noted.

The Flycatcher Trail, located in a lot east of the 9th grade center, is estimated to be completed in March or early April. Stay tuned for more information on how the work is progressing and the various features of the living classroom…

 

 

 

 

Tips for Planting Annuals in Your Tulsa Garden

annual flowers tulsa

You’re probably looking forward to spring and getting back in to your garden. A colorful garden of annuals can brighten up any landscape. What are annuals and how can you effectively use them to decorate your Tulsa home and landscape?

Annual plants are generally ones that complete their growing cycle in a single growing season. They grow from seeds, produce foliage, blossom, and then grows seeds and die all in the same year. Perennials, on the other hand, bloom year after year, but they can have a relatively short blooming season. Some annuals, though, that are hardy can act more like perennials and vice versa with perennials depending on the local climate.

Annuals offer an easy way to add interesting color combinations into your garden. They are very versatile – they work great in flowerbeds, containers, window boxes, and are ideal for lining a sidewalk.  Because they have such vigorous growth, they provide an instant or close-to-instant way to have a colorful flower garden. These vibrant plants provide a showy array and diversity of color, texture, and form.

“There are annuals that are tall, medium, short or climbing; ones that prefer either full sun or partial shade; and those with special virtues, such as delightful fragrance (stock, mignonette, nicotiana) or attractive foliage (caladium, coleus, dusty miller),” Gardener’s Supply Company noted.

How can you choose the best annuals for your Tulsa garden?

Planning out the colors and varieties you want along with their environmental requirements on paper first can helptulsa landscape design you have a more beautiful and organized garden design. Annuals generally should be planted outside in the spring after the threat of frost has passed.

Annuals that are already in bloom can be purchased at a nursery or garden center in packs or flats and then can be transplanted into the outside garden. You can also buy annuals in seed packets and either grow them indoors in late winter or early spring or grow them directly in the garden soil outside, depending on the type of seed. Buying seed packets is less expensive and offers a wider variety of flowers than what you might otherwise find in nursery packs.

Make sure the soil is well-fertilized before planting or transplanting annuals into the garden. Check the nursery or packet instructions for correct spacing of flowers to ensure they don’t get overcrowded once they mature. For flowers from nursery packs, gently break up the compounded soil/roots so that the roots will be able to grow freely in the soil.

Annuals and perennial flowers can be combined to create a colorful and engaging garden for your Tulsa home. Call Oklahoma Landscape’s horticulture experts for more details on planting your spring garden.