From Johnson County Extension:
Six private gardens will be opened to the public during the Johnson County K-State Research and Extension Master Gardener Public Tour, May 20 and 21.
Kansas City’s premiere garden tour is a biennial event, and the only opportunity to tour some of the most beautiful private gardens in Kansas City. It is a perfect weekend excursion for anyone passionate about gardening.
Each garden is owned and maintained by an Extension Master Gardener. The homes are selected for their individual qualities and they represent solutions to many gardening challenges commonly found in our region. This year’s gardens feature something for everyone, including native plants, an urban farm, one-of-a-kind garden art, interesting plant combinations and relaxing garden rooms.
This tour is popular because the owners are passionate about gardening and have transformed standard suburban lots into their own personal oasis. The garden owners and Extension Master Gardener volunteers will be on-hand to answer questions. Visitors receive information about the garden’s development, along with educational tips to take home and incorporate into their own landscapes. Photography is encouraged.
This year’s six garden designs:
You would be one lucky dog if you lived in this home that is just as pet-friendly as it is people-friendly. Come and see a garden that has a natural, casual feel, incorporating pet-friendly features as well as repurposed treasures from the old family farm. You will see an old-time pig feeder, a milk can, a hay pulley and a retaining wall constructed from limestone that was formerly the 100-year-old barn foundation. You will fall in love with the way this owner blends the old and new, creating an elegant harmonious design that’s sure to make any tail wag with delight.
Water and fire are signature features in this creative garden retreat. With so many outdoor rooms to choose — from Zen, reading, lounge or party — you’ll ask yourself, “What do I feel like today?” This owner loves to decorate and has carried her passion for interior design into the outdoors. This garden seamlessly blends different artistic styles into one cohesive design that leads you with anticipation from one room to the next. You’ll see why this inspired gardener says, “Come spring and summer my vacation is right here!”
Sweeps, Spaces and Specimens
Let’s do a little upfront planning then sit back and enjoy the garden. Come and see how this garden owner has successfully designed a beautiful retreat. It will be treasured for many years to come because there will be plenty of free time to enjoy “life” as well as her garden. Learn how selecting plants with multi-season interest allows you to get the “biggest bang for your buck,” and how key design elements like visual simplicity, color repetition and carefully planned spacing creates an aesthetically-pleasing landscape. This carefully planned garden is landscape design at its best.
What requires little watering, very little tending and saves money, too? Native plants, of course. Bees, butterflies and birds all love this native habitat just as much as the garden owner herself. Come and see how to create a backyard habitat that is friendly to all kinds of visitors. You will see a man-made pond, waterfall and creek along with many features that support the plentiful wildlife that make this garden their home. Be sure to observe the home, an original farmstead spared from destruction.
One Tasty Yard
Question: “Hey Mom … what’s for dinner?” Answer: Let’s go out to the backyard and take our “pick.” This large garden boasts a bountiful treasure of edibles, from berries and herbs to apples, tomatoes, and much more. Honey bees lazily flit from flower to flower. Come and learn how this gardener transformed her suburban landscape into a place where healthy food is grown and shared. This garden showcases the urban food movement at its best. You will be inspired to try your hand at edibles, too.
Barren to Beautiful
Got clay? Finding a few rocks when you dig? Don’t despair. Come see how this Extension Master Gardener couple transformed their barren “empty slate” into a beautiful and tranquil sanctuary, complete with plants that thrive in both sun and shade − a challenge, for sure. Countless loads of compost and good old-fashioned hard work are the secrets to converting a typical, bare developer’s lot into this charming garden that especially focuses on plants that attract butterflies and birds.
While on the garden tour you will have the opportunity to purchase handcrafted garden art handmade by the Johnson County EMGs. New this year are mosaic planters, fairy houses and creative containers. Each piece is different and sure to be a conversation piece in your garden. Back by popular demand are the sand-cast leaves. The national hosta expert will also be selling many of the most popular and latest varieties of this shade-loving plant.
This popular event is only held every other year. Tour tickets for this springtime, rain-or-shine event are $15 and available through Johnson County Extension, online, and at Johnson County Hen House Markets. Tickets may also be purchased at the gardens tour days. Maps and directions are provided with each ticket. To learn more, take a virtual tour, at www.johnson.k-state.edu or call (913) 715-7000.