Immersive Botanical Luncheon Takes Off with Garden Party Delights, Christopher Spitzmiller, and New Ways to Support Powell Gardens

Fleur-ette: A New Non-Profit Fundraiser for Kansas City’s Botanical Garden

Powell Gardens
June 19, 2024

On June 4, 2024, Powell Gardens’ guests celebrated the beauty of Kansas City’s botanical garden with the inaugural luncheon fundraiser known as Fleur-ette. More than just an event, Fleur-ette combined the splendor of nature, the art of living beautifully, and the joy of giving back. 

“Fleur-ette’s success is a testament to the community’s recognition of Powell Gardens as a valuable cultural institution and the mission’s significance,” said Honorary Chairs Lucy Mayor and Allie Sifers. “We’re thankful for our dedicated supporters as we work together to bring this mission to life, touching the lives of visitors and providing inspiration through the iconic Midwest landscape every day.”

Powell Gardens hosted Fleur-ette at The Guild, located in Kansas City’s Crossroads district. Nearly 200 guests were greeted by the sparkling chandelier, superb vocals of Eboni Fondren, and cozy lunch tables brimming with goodies.  

Each place setting was carefully crafted to reflect the botanical nature of the event, including Fleur-ette themed cookies from Swoon Cookie Crafters, pink striped Fleur-ette notepad with a floral pen keepsake, whole bean Uniquely Powell blend from Post Coffee, and one-of-a-kind Powell Gardens notecards sponsored by Founding Benefactor Country Club Bank. This tablescape’s crowning jewel was the floral centerpiece, elegantly designed by Good Earth Floral Design Studio 

Botanical Hors D’oeuvres & Libations

During the garden party hour, guests sipped on a botanically-inspired cocktail or mocktail while enjoying passed hors d’oeuvres. The signature cocktail was a lemon lavender summer gin spritz featuring Tom’s Town Garden Party Gin while the botanical mocktail included Aplòs and grapefruit. Post Coffee also contributed a special lavender latte post-luncheon.  

The passed hors d’oeuvres featured similar summer themes with blackberry brie and basil skewers, chilled peach and prosecco soup sips, and whipped pear and rosemary crostinis drizzled with honey.  

Directly from the Source: Herbs, Seedlings, & Tea Cake the Lamb

The lavender, rosemary, and basil were specially sourced from Powell Gardens’ very own grounds while the honey was generously provided by Good Oak, a partner in the Midwest Center for Regenerative Agriculture at Powell Gardens 

Two additional features from the Midwest Center for Regenerative Agriculture at Powell Gardens’ partner Good Oak included an appearance by a special furry guest Tea Cake the lamb (with a special opportunity to name a lamb) and seedling keepsakes (American plum and American elderberry). Both treats highlight two of the three important initiatives taking place within the program—agroforestry and conservation grazing. 

Christopher Spitzmiller & Supporting the Midwest Spirit of Place

CEO Cody Jolliff kicked off the lunch programming with an introduction to special guest speaker Christopher Spitzmiller. Highlights from the talk included:  

  • Unveiling before and after photos of Clovebrook Farm renovations, highlighting parts of the home dating back to the 1700-1800s 
  • Tending to and growing iconic garden spaces like ornamental gardens with features such as peonies and dahlias as well as produce garden spaces 
  • Building a natural pool with accompanying folly 
  • Sharing tips and tricks for garden planning and design 

Guests were then treated to an exclusive Q&A session with Spitzmiller followed by lunch. Olive Events crafted a delicious meal, featuring scrumptious bites such as pasta primavera with asparagus, assorted vegetables, chilled chicken with basil pesto, and lavosh crackers with whipped herb butter.  

While munching on delectable botanical bites, guests learned about the importance of supporting non-profit botanical gardens, the work and dedication of Powell Gardens’ staff, and how Powell Gardens is taking the next steps in conserving the Midwest spirit of place.  

Lunch ended with participants attending the add-on tablescape workshop led by Spitzmiller or perusing the goodies displayed in the Market featuring various vendors including The Marketplace at Powell Gardens.  

Key takeaways from the tablescape workshop include:  

  • Sarah Bernhardt peonies are an excellent choice for fragrance and color 
  • Bamboo is a unique flatware choice because it’s the perfect balance between casual and formal 
  • Mixing different textures such as bamboo, rattan, and gingham elevates the look of your tablescape and keeps it visually interesting 
  • The key to a good tablescape is to avoid clutter with too many competing elements 
How You Can Get Involved!

While this non-profit fundraiser may be over for this year, it’s not too late to support Powell Gardens! Check out a few of the recommended options below or contact our Development team at to make an impact today. 

  1. Name a Lamb 
  2. Become a Member 
  3. Member Tour to Washington D.C.  
  4. Donate to Powell Gardens 
  5. Purchase a Chicken Footstool (Portion of sales will go to Powell Gardens.) 

Interested in learning more about why donating to Powell Gardens is important? Check out this link for more details! 

“The Midwest spirit of place is the feeling of connection and community that we all share, rooted in our beautiful landscape,” said Fleur-ette Co-Chair and Board of Directors member Ruthie Rinehart. “It is the sense of pride we take in our natural surroundings, from rolling prairies to the lush Gardens that we are privileged to steward. The support received is an investment in a community cornerstone that educates, inspires, and enriches the lives of all who visit. We sincerely appreciate your contributions!” 

A special thanks to all contributing partners, sponsors, and vendors, especially media partner IN Kansas City Magazine! For a full list of participating partners, sponsors, and vendors, check out this link