Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City

Gardens of the John E Kirkpatrick Horticulture Center:


Path of Life Garden

The Path of Life Garden The Path of Life garden was designed and created as a dedication to women who have lost their lives to breast cancer and to those women who have survived the disease. OSU-OKC horticulture students began planting the garden in the spring of 1997, under the direction of Brian Dougherty, former Agriculture Technologies division head and Julia Laughlin, horticulture department head. On May 8, 1998, the Path of Life garden was officially dedicated.


The Path of Life Garden The Oklahoma Breast Care Center worked very closely with the OSU-OKC Horticulture Center in the establishment of the beautiful garden. Dr. Larry Killebrew, director and founder of the Breast Care Center and the Center’s Path of Life Advisory Board, provided input for the garden and its design. TLC Garden Center donated most of the plants for the garden. TLC procured the various antique and heirloom roses from the Antique Rose Emporium and donated them to the Path of Life garden. The Oklahoma Garden Club (Garden Party Rose) donated climbing rose bushes to the garden. Garden Flower students, faculty and club members planted the roses during class, with a ceremony of honor.


The Path of Life Garden The formal garden beds are based on designs from turn-of-the-century gardens; the main plantings focus on perennials and antique roses. The garden covers one-half acre which is symmetrically divided by the north main entrance walk, lined with mature Bradford pear trees, leading to the front doors of the John E. Kirkpatrick Horticulture Center.


The Path of Life Garden The raised beds were designed with informal arrangements of daffodils, shasta daisies, pink flowering strawberries, ice plant, columbine, daylilies, hollyhock, bleeding heart, foxglove and accented with the ornamental grasses, maiden grass and zebra grass. The lawns, surrounding the beds, grow bright green with fescue. Rock paths weave in and out of the garden beds, beckoning you to take a tour. Rock benches allow you to sit and reflect on the beauty this earth abundantly bestows upon each and every one of us.


The Path of Life Garden Future students will continue to learn about the plants by maintaining the garden and adding perennials and antique rose bushes. The garden also serves as an excellent hands-on teaching tool for the Garden Flowers , Plant Propagation and Landscape Construction classes. These students will have the wonderful construction experience of building the various structures and watching the roses come to life as they mature.


The Path of Life Garden The Oklahoma Breast Care Center has established a Path of Life garden fund through the Oklahoma City Community Foundation to further develop and maintain the garden. Several commemorative options are available. For more information, please contact the Oklahoma Breast Care Center at (405)755-2273.


The Path of Life garden has evolved into a beautiful tribute to women affected by breast cancer. OSU-OKC and the John E. Kirkpatrick Horticulture Center invite you to experience this and the many other public gardens found on the Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma City campus.



2018 Floral Design Classes


All Things Green Podcast


Sign Up for Our Mailing List!