KC Gardens

Gather advice and inspiration from master gardeners on local tours

Get ideas about bed formations, edging options, mulching materials and design elements while strolling through beautiful gardens.
Get ideas about bed formations, edging options, mulching materials and design elements while strolling through beautiful gardens.

Let’s face it, we like to peek at what our neighbors are doing. I don’t call it nosiness, but rather a keen interest. As gardeners we have several ways to be in the know. We visit garden centers and botanical gardens and watch TV garden shows and our neighbors. But the best way to learn from other gardeners is by attending a garden tour.

A tour gives you an opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the best gardens and learn what works. May 18 and 19, the Johnson County Extension Master Gardeners will share their expertise on their tour. There are seven private gardens this year in Leawood, Prairie Village and Overland Park. All are maintained by their owners, but for the tour they are assisted by crews of fellow master gardeners to help ensure they are ready for your visit.

Garden tours are enjoyable and relaxing. Our tour’s goal is to help you learn and grow as a gardener while soaking in the beauty. Whether you are an avid gardener or a newbie, there are several reasons to attend our popular tour, which takes place only every other year.

Discover new plants

Gardeners are always on the lookout for new plants, the latest or greatest that adds beauty to the landscape or solves a problem.

Not only will you learn about new plants, you’ll also see how they grow and perform in our climate. That’s much better than just reading the plant tag at a nursery, which always brags that it’s the best.

Garden Tour Pretty Plant Combos
Garden tour-goers can get ideas on how to combine plants into eye-catching groupings. Adele Wilcoxen

Plant combinations

The art of gardening is about grouping various plants together to enhance their beauty. Many of us struggle with how to arrange plants, but the gardeners featured on the tour have mastered this art.

You’ll see distinctive groupings that will have you saying, “Huh! Why didn’t I think of that?” Be sure to keep your camera handy to snap a photo. Plants are labeled, making it easy to remember your favorites.

Turn combos into designs

The next step in creating a beautiful garden is taking these plant combos and turning them into a design. Each garden on the tour reflects the owner’s personality, just as your garden should.

While strolling through these gardens you will get ideas about bed formations, garden access, edging options and mulching materials. We all purchase the usual plants. But how we arrange and display them makes each planting our very own.

Visit with other gardeners

The best reason to attend our tour is the chance to talk with fellow gardeners. Extension Master Gardener volunteers, having helped prep the gardens, will be on hand to answer questions and provide additional information to make your visit magical.

Come join us! I look forward to seeing you on the garden tour.

Dennis Patton is a horticulture agent with Kansas State University Research and Extension. Got a question for him or other university extension experts? Email them to garden.help@jocogov.org or visit KCGardens.KansasCity.com.

Tour details

The Johnson County Extension Master Gardeners Garden Tour is 9 a.m.-5 p.m. May 18 and 19, rain or shine. Tickets for the biennial event are $15 per person and provide one-time access to all seven gardens. A map is included with the ticket.

Tickets are available online, at all Johnson County Hen House locations, the Johnson County Extension office or by mail. Complete details are available at johnson.k-state.edu