With winter’s grip firmly on the Midwest, we thought it would be a nice time for a more temperate article. We happened to have overlooked this visit to the Ward Meade Botanical Garden in Topeka, Kansas. It was during a visit to Old Prairie Town that we stumbled upon this 2.5 acre park, which offers a calm oasis in the heart of the city. (Read about Old Prairie Town here>)
Old Prairie Town had been our main focus of the morning, and after exploring it all, we discovered an old mansion just beyond the town. We decided to check it out, and wandered around the 1870 Victorian mansion examining the architecture. We got to the far side of the house, and noticed the entrance to the botanical gardens sitting just beyond a large fountain.
Passing through the gazebo style entrance, we found ourselves in front of a gently flowing water feature. The pondless feature provides the sound of running water, which washed away the outside world, and put us in the mood to delve deeper into the gardens. The gardens were established in 1963, which is the same year Crystal was born.
A variety of paths allowed us to wander around, and see the beds from all angles. Each year, over 5000 annual flowers are planted throughout the gardens, which bring tons of color to the landscape. Our grandkids were with us this day, and kept us moving, as they drove us to continue our exploration. The oversized plantings also allows for a good game of hide-and-seek or at least keep-away from grandma.
Ward Meade Asian Gardens
We have embraced a touch of japanese garden style in our backyard, so I am always excited to find Asian gardens during our journeys. They are so peaceful, and the muted palette offers an opportunity to explore textures. The pop of color in the accents of a bridge are enough to heighten the senses. This area of Ward Meade Botanical Gardens had more water features, and the calming sounds can be enjoyed as you rest on benches under the gazebo.
This area offered a few pathway options, and our granddaughter was happy to explore them all. We spent quite a bit of time in this portion of the gardens, and finally started back toward the entrance. With a full morning of exploring under our belts, we decided it was time to head off to our lunch destination. We hope you enjoyed this break from the Winter blahs, and found the pop of color a pleasant relief. It’s a good reminder that Spring is around he corner, we just have to hang on through a couple more months. Let’s hope it passes quickly.