Have you been to Powell Gardens recently? Located just off 50 Hwy about 15 minutes east of Lee's Summit, Powell Gardens is a wonderful botanical garden for us to enjoy in the Kansas City area. We always encourage everyone to go and use this beautiful retreat as a resource for inspiration and ideas for plantings around our homes and gardens. Always take pen and paper with you for writing down the names of your favorite plants. All the plants are name-tagged and they all grow here in our climate. Also taking a camera is a must for any picture buffs.
We had not been to the gardens for a couple of seasons and recently took a family trip. Immediately upon entering the 835 acre site you can feel a sense of escape as you take in the rolling hills, lakes, ponds, nature trails, and the great variety of horticulture. We started at the Visitor Center and went to see the arboretum. Here you can see some exotic plant material such as some colorful orchids or maybe something different like a Venus Flytrap. From the visitor center we followed the walkway down to the gardens. We were already familiar with the Perennial Garden, which contains over 5,000 plants and displays some 500 varieties that are hardy in our area. We had also previously visited the Rock and Waterfall Garden, a natural landscape that intermingles ornamental trees, shrubs, and perennials into native woods with relaxing streams and flowing water. Bulbs and annuals are scattered throughout to provide bright splashes of color. However the highlight of our visit was the Island Garden. Since it opened in the spring of 2001, we had not yet seen this wonderful garden. It is one of the largest water gardens in our region and has large collections of aquatic and rock plants, as well as a three-pool cascading water garden. Walkways guide you around comfortable seating areas, a viewing pier, and the second largest "living wall" in the world.
We enjoyed our trip to the gardens, as usual, and found some colorful plant material to add to our landscape at home. If you have not yet been to Powell Gardens, or if you haven't been recently, go check them out. You're sure to have a good experience.