Forest Hollow Estate, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Forest Hollow Estate is the vision which has become reality for Breniss and Daniel O'Neal. Owning a landscape design business has enabled them to bring fantasy to life in their home and gardens which are located on a one-acre plot in the heart of one of Tulsa's most beautiful areas. Their estate has been certified by the state of Oklahoma and the National Wildlife Federation as a Wildlife Habitat. Upon entering, there is an immediate sense that this is far more than home and garden; it is an artful creation and preservation of nature in its most complete and natural form.
The gently sloping fescue lawn leads the eye to the raised bed Rose Garden. Canopied beneath the evergreen trees is a stone stairway leading into Chapel Hill, an area where songbirds provide pause for a meditative moment. On almost any given day the gentle sound of leafy branches blowing carries one away while experiencing each distinct sensation of sight, smell and sound. The landscape was created by planting 860 evergreen trees and shrubs and 2000 azaleas, each one lending its special architectural and textured grace to the total scheme. It is this sense of formality that enhances this veritable arboretum in the midst of other fluid forms of nature.
Nestled amongst a backdrop of cherry laurels, tsuga hemlocks, camellias and viburnums is an extensive area of macrophylla hydrangeas mingled into the rock-delineated beds. Defining the upper lawn and gardens from the more colorful azalea filled back gardens is an antique iron gate which opens onto a curving flagstone walkway between walls that may serve as seating. While seated on the flagstone terrace, which provides a link to various backyard areas of interest, one may look up to the dry streambed filled with many forms of perennials spilling their purple and yellow petals upon the stream-worn stones beneath. Looking to the lower area an azure pool provides that soothing water element so necessary to any total landscape. Monarch butterflies dart amongst the perennials and no season is without its special tranquil moments. 'Zephrine Drouhin' roses cascade over an arbor and provide an entrance into the Moonlight Garden.
Many special plants and shrubs are grown as specimens in various urns and timeworn pots, yet there is a touch of whimsy provided by a multitude of birdhouses. Forest Hollow Estate is a peaceable sanctuary for all.
Mrs. O'Neal and Forest Hollow have been featured in Better Homes and Gardens magazine, Do It Yourself magazine, Martha Stewart Living magazine, Cityscape magazine, Tulsa People magazine (three times) and HGTV. In 2002 the National Garden Conservancy, New York City, acclaimed Forest Hollow as "one of America's outstanding examples of landscape design." Breniss, the “Landscape Lady,” appears every Tuesday on "Good Day Tulsa," KTUL TV-ABC.