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Thursday, Mar. 21st 2013

Garden Tour Preview

Over the next several weeks we will posting a sneak preview of our upcoming Garden Tour, “Unique Gardens of South Kansas City”.   I am so excited to share this!

The first one is…Secluded Serenity

Secluded Serenity 1GT13Aull8

Secluded Serenity

By Terry Blair Michel, Master Gardener of Greater Kansas City

This lovely 1930’s Tudor home in an old Kansas City neighborhood needed the special attention of its owners when they moved in many years ago.  Sixty-foot pines; large, shaggy evergreen shrubs; and a yard begging for help inspired the owners to develop a new passion for gardening.  They realized from the beginning that they were going to have to learn how to garden in shade.  What the owners found, though, was that they were drawn to shade-loving plants.

Shade gardening can be a challenge that many gardeners avoid, especially when it comes and goes in a garden due to loss of older trees and plants or at different times of the year.  After the loss of five larges pines, and subsequent damage to large yews, the owners created a “holly hospital” in a corner of their back yard.  When a small plant begins to fail, it is moved there for special attention and then transplanted back to the regular garden as it recovers.  The yews re-grew after a couple of years to their original beauty with some careful pruning, even without moving them.  Timing when pruning can be tricky, but these gardeners have found the best time to do so for most Spring blooming woody plants is July 4.

The garden has extensive antique brick patios, creating “rooms” where people can enjoy the scenery.  There are two water features—a wall fountain, and a gazebo that canopies a pool with a statue.  These spaces add the sound of water to the quiet, peaceful yard.

Encircling a grass expanse in the center of the back yard is a pea gravel path that moves between various beds under the giant pines.  Understory trees such as dogwoods, redbuds, blue point junipers, Norway spruce, Canadian hemlocks, tulip magnolias, and green giant arborvitae create the next layer, followed by shrubs of hydrangeas, rhododendrons, Virginia sweet spires, crepe myrtles, abelias, azaleas, clethra (summersweet), various hollies, hypericum, burning bush and weigelia.  Tucked in spaces between these larger plants are a variety of ferns and  hostas, liriope edging, spurge, colorful astilbe; graceful, arching Soloman’s seal, Jacob’s ladder, caladiums, guara, celadine poppy and speedwell.

This garden can provide a visitor with a huge display of plants for shady areas, as well as demonstrate how to weave in peaceful places for people to enjoy the serene beauty available.  Don’t miss seeing this special garden 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.  For further information about the seven gardens on this tour, visit under the “Garden Tour” heading.  Tickets will be available May 15 at various sites around the Kansas City area.

Posted in Events, Garden | 1 Comment »

One Comment on “Garden Tour Preview”

  1. Deborah Parks Says:

    Can’t wait for the garden tour! It’s one of the highlights of my summer!

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University of Missouri Extension Master Gardener Program