I’ve been wanting to check out OKC’s Myriad Botanical Gardens since I first heard about them. Jim has raved about the Crystal Bridge Conservatory which is the centrepiece of the garden, however, the Conservatory has been closed for renovations for a while.
I spent the day working and as Jim had taken the day off, I suggested an afternoon stroll in the Gardens. They’re only a short drive from our apartment and right in the city. Even pulling up out the front of the Gardens was breathtakingly beautiful, and I knew we were in for a treat.
My mood was dampened the moment we stepped out of the car. It was hot. Actually it wasn’t just hot, it was all levels of scorching. Molten hot lava scorching, but the shady trees beckoned me in.
We headed down a path surrounded by lush green lawns, beautiful trees, and plants, to a carousel. The lights were flashing, the carousel music played, and small children squealed with joy. So too did a few adults, but that was probably from discomfort as they straddled the hard carousel seats next to the fruit of their loins. Just opposite the carousel there stood a stunning, multicoloured water feature that poured out water while kids ran through it, soaked to the bone. I was tempted to at least stick my head into it in an attempt to cool down.
Despite the lava-like conditions, I was in awe of how beautiful and lush the gardens are. They are pruned to perfection, watered, and absolutely breathtaking. Behind the mature trees with their willowy leaves, the glass and steel buildings stood silently in the unrelenting heat. The juxtaposition of the skyscrapers and city skyline behind the green gardens was not lost on me. I am crazy about parks in the city, especially when they’re surrounded by high-rise buildings. I am constantly amazed at how perfectly the skyscrapers frame the gardens, offering a sweet oasis amongst the glass and concrete.
Fat orange Koi swam in the large pools, and ducks paddled on top. Boulders and water features made interesting focal points, and turtles sunned themselves in the shallows. I took off my shoes so I could feel the springy grass under my feet, and enjoyed connecting with the earth for a short time. It was blissful, until I started to overheat. Then I just felt rotten and wanted to get back into the car and blast the air conditioning on my glowing purple face. I couldn’t. We’d walked to the other side of the gardens and down the steps to the Koi pond. To get back to the car meant scaling the steps in the heat. We opted for a seat in the shade and drank a bottle of water until I felt ready to tackle the steps. I was recovering from a middle ear infection and didn’t realise how much energy it had zapped from me.
We slowly made our way back to the car, and again I resisted the urge to lie under the water feature in a heap of sweat and stringy hair. I noted the different shades of purple my face had turned, ranging from aubergine to crimson. It was nothing an hour under the air conditioning couldn’t fix.
I’m going to go back, but not until fall. It’s just too hot. I guess that choosing to visit the Gardens in 96 degree weather while recovering from an ear infection wasn’t the best decision I’ve made, but besides the sunstroke and heat exhaustion, I have no regrets. Myriad Botanical Gardens are absolutely stunning and they gave me a taste of home — I was transported back to Roma Street Parkland in Brisbane City, and it felt magical.