One of the cool things about Powell Gardens is that just about every visit gives the opportunity to see something new. Botanical gardens change by the season, which make them a special place to savor. Another bonus is that they are most often an affordable entertainment option.
A Special Event
Located in Kingsville, Missouri, Powell Gardens is only about an hour drive from our home in Kansas City, Kansas. The day we visited they were hosting their Festival of Butterflies. This two week event is a chance to see a wide variety of moths and butterflies, both tropical and native. Besides visiting the butterfly exhibit, there are also other activities focused on educating the public, of all ages, on the importance of butterflies in the ecosystem.
Touring Powell Gardens
Once we had finished our time with the butterflies, we checked each other for potential hitchhikers. With the all clear, we headed out of the exhibit, and off to the botanical gardens. They had a shuttle bus running, that would take guests to different stops through the park. After a pleasant visit with the driver, we decided to head to the chapel area, which is on the far end of the gardens. From there we could take our time viewing the landscapes on our way back to the main building. Of course, for those who don’t want the walk or get tired, the shuttle was on a cycle, and would swing back by to pick them up.
Our walk back took us through the Meadow Pavilion, where we found a few sculptures dotting the landscape. (The bear sculpture at the top of the article is an example.) We stopped to take some photos of the chapel from across the lake, before continuing down the path. We strolled through the woodland gardens, where we found a few nice waterfalls to pose in front of. A visit to a local botanical garden allows homeowners to see how plants look at different times of the year. It is also a good way to identify some plants that you may wish to add to your own landscape. You can ask one of the staff members about the care instructions, and they will usually freely offer information about any potential issues or needs.
Hot Summer Succulents
Being from the Central U.S. means that we experience a wide range of weather conditions. Finding plants that are a good fit for this area can be difficult, so our visit to Powell Gardens gave us a chance to see for ourselves some potential additions. One selection that we began adding a few years back is Sedum. These hardy succulents are built for the Midwest. Their ability to easily reproduce, survive drought conditions, and still draw butterflies and bees makes them a perfect plant. Here we were able to see a number of varieties, which showcased their beautiful color range, and textures.
As we explored the other gardens, we found sedum to be a mainstay throughout the displays. Whether we were in the water garden or in a formal garden, they seemed to be common place everywhere. This allowed us to see their versatility, and helped seal the decision to add new varieties to our own gardens. During your visit, you will probably also see a few types that would work well in your yard. These plants work well in the yard, as well as in planters of almost every depth.
Food Gardens Abound
After we made it back to the main building, we found out that there were still more gardens to explore. If we headed the opposite direction,we would come upon the fruit and vegetable gardens, that feature many of the plants found in gardens around the area. What we also discovered was a large number of interesting sculptures. These sculptures showcased various mythical creatures from an assortment of countries around the world. Some were in the forefront, and obvious, while others were tucked away in the plantings. It was fun to try to find them all, and identify their origins.
The far end of this shorter walk led to a large silo, that could be climbed for a better view. From this high vantage point, guests can look out across the majority of landscaped grounds. Of course, the whole property totals 640 acres, so only a portion is actually cultivated. This high point was a favorite location for selfies, so we decided to join in the fun. Afterwards, we headed back down, and wrapped up our visit. With plenty of new ideas for our home projects, we started our ride back home. How many of you took time to visit the Festival of Butterflies? Tell us a little about your experiences in the comments section below. Thanks.
*We want to thank Powell Gardens for hosting our visit. Rest assured that the opinions are all our own.