A Sweet Spring

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A Sweet Spring

Categories: Blog, Garden Guru

Greater Kansas City’s normally manic-depressive climate has acted more like the Pacific Northwest or England this spring with quite consistent moderate temperatures and rainfall.  Flowers from annuals and bulbs to flowers on shrubs and trees have never lasted so long!

Above are some new perennials in our trial beds: white ‘Snowcap’ Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) surrounded by ‘Cat’s Meow’ Catmint (Nepeta faassenii).  Cat’s Meow is a very compact catmint that virtually blooms all summer and is currently available — Snowcap chives is still under trial but stunning and showing promise. No seedlings for us, which is an issue with most chives.

Iris Hill has never been more floriferous and still in peak bloom today (Friday, May 15th). We were glad that this garden’s instigator, Dr. Norlan Henderson, was able to come and experience it along with his family last Saturday, “Doc’s” 100th birthday will be in September!

Our native wildflowers have also never been better — this is a Blue Wild Indigo (Baptisia australis variety minor) growing in the meadow.  The Missouri and Kansas wild version of this plant is much smaller and tidier (thus it’s varietal name minor) when compared to the standard Blue Wild Indigo found in most nurseries which originates from the Ohio River Valley and eastward.

I was thrilled to see our first Monarch at the end of April and I got this photograph of her as she laid eggs on a common milkweed on the Island Garden.  It’s obviously an old butterfly that made the journey to Mexico and back.  What a trouper!

The Heartland Harvest Garden’s spring crops are at peak (Villandry Garden shown above), enjoying this lovely mild season. We have already begun to change out spring crops with summer crops as the heat and humidity of summer looms.

Our acre of organically grown tomatoes in our high tunnels are fast approaching harvest — maybe starting next week?

This is a new cultivar of Blue Spruce (Picea pungens) named ‘Avatar’ and the new growth is almost aqua blue. The whole conifer garden on the north side of the Visitor Center is at its brightest with all the fresh new candles of growth.

Our “round two” of Nature Connects Lego(R) are looking fine — the Bald Eagle in his snag tree overlooking the lake is a must see. It’s at the entrance to the Island Garden.

This is a ‘Ukraine’ Highbush Cranberry (Viburnum opulus) with lovely lacecap flowers. It was selected for its very tart but edible fruit production, mainly used for vitamin C and for beverages. It’s one of the unique specialties of Powell Gardens and is found in the Heartland Harvest Garden. Come explore our gardens and I’m sure you will make some discoveries of your own in this lush, late spring season.