Kansas City is known for its cultural art displays, time-honored tree-lined boulevards, city of fountains, and renowned barbeque. As the word gets out to citizens and visitors alike, more and more people are marveling at the wonders of nature in the city’s garden destinations.
If you’re interested in a garden sightseeing adventure, here are some local favorites. These Kansas City arboretums and botanical gardens have plenty to offer, ranging from water-conserving xeriscapes (an irrigation process that effectively saves you from watering your lawn) to edible garden landscapes or beautifully designed monarch habitats.
No matter your interests, you’re sure to find something to enjoy at these diverse displays!
Spanning an impressive three-hundred acres, the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens hosts more than 1,700 plant species on its forty-five acres of botanical gardens. With various displays encompassing varying ecosystems, it is both tranquil and educational.
Enjoy the colors and scents in the Cohen Iris Garden, which is home to more than three hundred varieties, tour the Legacy Garden filled with plants from Kansas homestead, learn about KC area trees in the Stous Promenade, familiarize yourself with best water practices in the Xeriscape Garden, find tranquility in the Erickson Water Garden, delight your senses in the Betsy and Gordon Ross Herb Garden, or let your young ones frolic through the educational and fun Children’s Garden.
Powell Gardens showcases an astounding 225,000 plants in seasonal displays across its seven themed gardens. Besides the six thousand varieties of plants, the 915 acres of rolling hills and windswept meadows also feature a nature trail, exciting architecture, and both classes and events for the entire family.
Highlights of the gardens include the 2-acre Children’s Garden, a 3.5-acre Perennial Garden arranged as a series of individual rooms separated by shrubs and flowering trees, shade-loving plants in the David T. Beals III Woodland & Stream Garden, sun-loving annuals in the Fountain Garden, the edible Heartland Harvest Garden, aquatic plants in the Marlese Gourley Island Garden, and a meandering nature trail through lofty oaks and a small native prairie in the Memorial Garden.
Nestled on two acres in the middle of Kansas City, the Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden is part of the Kauffman Legacy Park, honoring the beloved philanthropists and civic leaders. This tranquil oasis draws inspiration from the couple’s life journey and their commitment to sharing with others.
The memorial garden features unique trees, perennial plantings, and colorful annual displays framed by brick walkways, stone walls, and playful fountains. Highlights include Peking tree lilacs, Endless Summer Hydrangeas, and the gardenia, a favorite of Mrs. Kauffman. Also featured are bronze sculptures by the famed KC sculptor Tom Corbin, a secluded Secret Garden, and a fragrant Orangery.
Located at a significant site in the historic Battle of Westport where Union forces caused the Confederate army to retreat, Loose Park was created to host horticultural exhibits and meetings of various kinds. The park is known for its award-winning rose garden and the Garden Center featuring a horticultural library open to the public.
The municipal rose garden was created in 1931 after the establishment of the Kansas City Rose Society. Growing from an initial one-hundred and twenty plants, the one-and-a-half acre rose garden currently features four-thousand breath-taking roses in over 165 different varieties. A central fountain adds to the park’s peaceful atmosphere, with stone archways creating an air of timelessness. This park is a must-see attraction for rose lovers!
The Pilgrim Labyrinth & Butterfly Garden was designed to support the ever declining monarch population, providing the butterflies with critical habitat along their migration path. The garden features plants and flowers known for their beauty that also aid the monarchs as they travel their two-way migration journey between summer breeding grounds and overwintering locations.
A beautifully designed path weaves its way along the garden in a labyrinth pattern, helping visitors unwind while they meditate and contemplate the trials and tribulations of life. The serene combination of plants, flowers, butterflies, and a soothing walking path are sure to center and support your well-being.
One of the most popular parks in Shawnee, West Flanders Park spans just over eight and a half acres and celebrates Shawnee’s Sister City of Pittem, Belgium. The well-known Rose Garden was recently remodeled as a beautiful demonstration garden, staffed and cared for by Master Gardeners of Johnson County. This brightly colored garden offers visitors many educational opportunities. It is equipped with a walking path for a peaceful afternoon stroll and benches where you can sit and admire the park’s beauty.
Paying homage to the town’s sister city is the famous garden shed, designed to look like the buildings in Belgium.
At the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead, kids and adults can learn about growing vegetables and flowers throughout the multiple on-site gardens. The farmstead’s orchard features various apple trees, the 50th Anniversary Garden showcases blooming plants, and the Master Gardens host a wide selection of trees, flowers, and vegetables. Follow the nature trail to the melodic Chime Garden, Beverly’s Butterfly Garden, and the Kiwanis Repose Area.
Visitors to the farmstead can also observe more than 250 birds and animals, experience life in an Indian encampment, learn about education in a one-room country schoolhouse, or wander down a turn-of-the-century main street.
After experiencing these incredible Kansas City landmarks, it wouldn’t be surprising if your head is swimming with ideas for creating your own home garden oasis.
Ryan Lawn & Tree admires the beauty of each of the above gardens. Our landscaping and lawn-care services can help you on your journey to add a sense of peace and tranquility to your backyard retreat. Contact us today for a Free Estimate and let a RYAN landscaping and lawn expert help with your home oasis needs!