Hey friend! Welcome back to another post! Today, we’re talking about the Lester and Mary Cann Memorial Gardens and Estate in Ponca City, Oklahoma. The Welcome plaque in front of the garden claims “the Cann Garden is a museum for living plants.” The Cann Garden features an “important collection of plants in a display setting.” By definition, I love the idea of a living plant museum. The brochure for the Cann Garden calls it an “enchanting” place and I’d believe it after visiting this place! Let’s go look around and talk about the history!
*All photos used in this post were taken by myself at the L.A. Cann Estate and Memorial Gardens in Ponca City, Oklahoma.
History of the Cann Estate
Lester Cann (1869-1957) was the Kay County Commissioner and later served as the City Manger of Ponca City from 1934-1948. He proudly served the Ponca City community for over 25 years. He married Mary (Smith) Cann (1876-1954) and they had a daughter, Elsie.
The Cann’s home – a two-story farmhouse – was built in 1908 in Ponca City. Today, the home has been completely renovated and is beautiful. It is used as a meeting space for many of the local garden clubs and organizations. Additionally, you can reserve the garden for special occasions like weddings or other activities.
Elsie ensured the legacy of her parents would never be forgotten by donating the farmhouse and 10 acres of gardens to the city of Ponca City in August 1975. She wanted an emphasis put on garden activities for the citizens of Ponca City to enjoy.
The above photo on the top left is Elsie (Cann) Brown. I am not sure who the other people in the photos are… If you know and would like to tell me so I can update this article – please send me a message on my contact page!
Inside the Cann Farmhouse
The Cann home was built in 1908 and the interior has been renovated. Below are some photos from the first floor of the home. I loved the stained glass window in the staircase – it was unexpected, but added a nice pop of color to the space.
TRAVEL TIP: You can schedule an appointment to tour the turn-of-the-century homestead farmhouse.
The Gardens are maintained by many of the local garden clubs. If you walk through the gardens, there are several benches, plaques, and tiles on the pathways honoring these clubs. There are over 2,500 feet of walkways in the Cann Garden according to the Kay County Master Gardener bench in the gardens. Make sure to pack comfortable walking shoes!
TRAVEL TIP: Here is a map of the Cann Memorial Garden Walking Trails. The garden is open daily to the public from daylight until dark!
In addition to being a garden, Cann is also a dedicated arboretum! An arboretum is a space dedicated to growing multiple types of trees.
Events at the Cann Gardens
The Cann Garden hosts an annual plant sale in May. For more information about the plant sale please contact the Cann Garden.
The Annual Herb Festival is held the first Saturday of June every year. Their mission is to “educate about herbs, gardening and to provide tools and crafts for outside. Also, to share the beauty of Cann Gardens and to invite guests to Ponca City while supporting the programs of the Survivor Resource Network along with increasing awareness and knowledge of services provided to Kay and Noble County survivors of domestic violence.” (Ponca City Herb Festival Website) For more information about the herb festival or to visit their website – CLICK HERE!
Saturday, June 4, 2022, will be the 29th Annual Ponca City Herb Festival from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be vendors from Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. You will have an opportunity to purchase plants, herbs, handmade items, jams, and more. There are also children’s activities, seminars, and entertainment for everyone to enjoy.
FUN FACT: While researching this post, I found a recipe for Jalapeño and Confetti Pepper Jelly from the Ponca City Council of Garden Clubs.
I really enjoyed having an opportunity to walk around the Cann Memorial Gardens and Estate. The walking trails were well-kept and the landscaping was beautiful. There are several gazebos where you could easily host a picnic! Next time I go back, I know I’ll be packing my picnic bag!
I hope you’ll go check out the Cann Garden in Ponca City. If you can’t make it to Ponca City – go check out your local botanical garden! Ask about the history of the garden – you never know what you might learn!
Happy Traveling! I’ll talk to ya soon! 🙂
1500 E Grand Avenue
Ponca City, Oklahoma 74604
TRAVEL TIP: This is located at the Corner of 14th & Grand Avenue.
“L.A. Cann Memorial Gardens” – Brochure
“L.A. Cann Estate” – Ponca City Website
“Cann Memorial Garden Walking Trail” – Map produced by Ponca City
“Lester & Mary Cann Memorial Botanical Gardens” – TravelOK.com
“Ponca City Herb Festival” – Website
“29th Annual Ponca City Herb Festival,” Ponca Post (Ponca City, OK)
Sherry Munchmore, “The Ponca City Garden Clubs’ Red and Green Christmas Jelly,” Ponca City Monthly, November 23, 2021.
Mary Smith Cann – Find A Grave
Elsie Cann Brown – Find A Grave
4 thoughts on “L.A. Cann Gardens & Estate: Ponca City, OK”
Thanks for sharing this amazing site. You make history come to life and fun. All the info and pixs are fantastic! Looking forward to your next adventure 👏🥰
Wonderful post! I’ve lived in Oklahoma my entire life and never knew about this hidden treasure!