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Monday, Jun. 3rd 2013

Garden Tour Preview VI

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Historical Grandeur

Written by Becky Peck, Master Gardener of Greater Kansas City

            Entering through the gate onto the grounds of this majestic home built in 1915 is awe inspiring.  Purchased in 2006, the home and the grounds underwent about two years of construction.  The early years of the garden were spent saving the plant material from the construction, which included saving the existing Black Hills and Norway Spruce, other historic native trees including a Kentucky Coffee tree believed to be as old as the house. The homeowner is dedicated to saving the historical trees on the property, and she is particularly proud of her bald cypress tree—a former “Champion” tree which stands majestically overlooking the center of the lawn. 

            The overall goal was to make the garden accessible for entertaining, while complementing the house’s design.  Lighted paths and benches were added along with up-lighting that enhances the garden’s beauty at night when the homeowner entertains. 

            Most of the plant beds were added in 2008.  The one acre garden has the whole spectrum of conditions from deep shade to full sun, so a large variety of plants grow there.  The challenge was to make the new material work seamlessly with the established plants while also planning for how the plants would appear at maturity.  The soil was enriched, irrigation systems augmented, and plant material added to develop the understory growth.  The gardens are kept as organic as possible.  Organic compost is used extensively.  Annual additions yield a non-compacted surface that drains well.  The chicken manure added to the beds appears to have a wonderful side-effect:  squirrels and rabbits stay away.

            The strong structure in this garden resembles an English garden.  There are a large variety of conifers, including spruces, firs, and pines, as well as flowering trees like red buds, magnolias and dogwood.  In addition to trees, there is also a variety of shrubs, flowers, herbs and vegetables.  A large border garden buffers street noise from Ward Parkway while creating privacy.

            Visualize a garden of mature varieties of trees, with a flowering understory of small trees, shrubs, and perennials. Lighted paths with benches lead you through the garden and up-lighting warming dusk.  At the center of the garden is the small meditation garden with calming water feature.  Quiet abounds despite the closeness of the city and a major thoroughfare.

            This garden will be shown to the public during the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City 2013 Garden Tour, “Unique Gardens of South Kansas City”, June 7 and 8, 9 am – 4:30 pm.  Tickets are $15 and will be available May 10 at various outlets around the Kansas City area and online via PayPal—a listing of ticket outlets will be available on our website at that time.  Children 12 and under are free.  For further information about the seven gardens on this tour, visit under the “Garden Tour” heading. 


3 Comments on “Garden Tour Preview VI”

  1. M Klamm Says:

    Construction began on the home in 1912. The house was completed the following year in 1913. The Bernard Corrigan House is on the National Register of Historic Places. #78001653

  2. Jeanette K. Laffoon Says:

    How do I sign up to be a master gardener? I have spoken to several of your associates at garden shows and given them my name, but I have not heard from anyone. I love to garden and work for Home Depot in the garden center where I enjoy teaching new and old home owners about plants and landscaping. I would very much like to be in your 2013 class.

  3. mggkcblog Says:

    To receive an application for the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City program, call the MU Extension office at 816-252-5051 to get your name on the list. I believe the office has already mailed out applications and are doing interviews this month but I would call the number to find out more.
    Also, visit our website too for the volunteer requirements and such.

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University of Missouri Extension Master Gardener Program