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Powell Gardens

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Enjoying Powell Gardens
Photo by: 
Mary Nemecek

East of Kansas City on 50 Hwy sits a botanical treasure- Powell Gardens. A 970 acre combination of exquisite gardens, architectural features and natural areas, Pow­ell Gardens offers something for both people and wildlife.

Alan Branhagen, Director of Horticulture, is responsible for creating a winning interactive experience for visitors. His design of the Island Garden won top large garden design award for the use of perennials by the Perennial Plant Association. Alan wrote ‘The Garden­ers’ Butterfly Book’ and frequently contributes to the KC Gardener and other publications. What many garden visitors don’t know is that Alan is a skilled birder and naturalist. His concern and love of the natural world is woven throughout the work at Powell Gardens. From the care of the natural areas to the education incorporated in Powell Garden’s many attractions, Alan promotes and conserves the natural world.

Powell Gardens hosts a variety of events including native plant sales, educational classes, dinners of culi­nary excellence and butterfly counts. Top event billing though has to go to the Powell Garden’s butterfly festival, scheduled for August 5-7th and 12-14th this year. The two outdoor breezeways host butterflies native to our area including the imperiled monarch butterfly. Experts from Monarch Watch in Lawrence, KS and Master Natural­ists will be on hand to answer questions about butterflies and how to attract them.

You don’t need to wait for an event to visit Powell Gardens though. The experience starts in the parking lot arboretum filled with the native trees of Missouri. Stroll through the gardens behind the visitor’s center and onto the Byron Schutz Nature Trail that winds through Powell Garden’s natural areas. There are 24 interpretive signs along the trail and plenty of frog filled ponds, butterflies and birds. Enjoy lunch at Cafe Thyme (check hours as they vary seasonally) where a window table will give you a good view of the bird feeders.

For more information go to www.powellgardens.org

By Mary Nemecek

Summer 2016