Hotline: 816.833.TREE (8733)

Friday, Jun. 7th 2013

Garden Tour VII

Secluded Serenity GT13Trotter3 GT13Trotter9

A Touch of the South

By Terry Blair Michel, Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City

            The first thing a visitor notices when driving up to this lovely home on the corner of two streets is that it sits in an unusual manner—on a diagonal across the lot.  This configuration has allowed the owner to create three separate, but related, special gardens on the property. 

            A curved driveway connects the two streets, passing in front of the welcoming entry area supported by columns, and creating an enclosed semi-circle in which the owner has built beds of flowers.    The largest bed in the semi-circle is filled with roses, azaleas, lavender, and phlox along with other plants that one might usually see in the Deep South, but which are hardy enough to grow in this area.  A large pine tree and a huge magnolia also stand in front of the house.

            Bordering the area between the house and the driveway are varieties of magnolias, redbuds, azaleas, crepe myrtles, sumacs, hostas and a groundcover of ivy.   An iron fence extends beyond the house and divides the front yard from a side yard that is entered from the side street.  This smaller, enclosed yard—a more private entrance for the owner—is more intimate and holds a magnificent mid-sized magnolia and several cut leaf sumacs. 

            Returning to the other side of the house from this small garden area is a long, dramatic dry creek bed that extends to the back of the property on the longest side of the house.  From the front, the viewer sees a heavily shaded area with bamboo, hostas, heucheras, cut leaf sumacs, red buds, crepe myrtle, and multiple ground covers to keep the soil in place around the rocky sides of the creek bed.  At the far end of the creek bed is a water feature and a larger open area with various groundcovers to break up the space and create a destination.  Near that area is a blue-green Weeping Atlantic Cedar that is a standout among the plants along this space.

            Because the yard at this home is so large and covers three sides of the house, the owner has created three distinct areas, but has united them by repeating some of the plants in all three garden areas, notably sumacs, hostas, red buds, and magnolias.  Doing this has led to an overall casualness about the beds that is softening to the house and inviting, no matter which garden the visitor is in at the moment. 

            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 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. 





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University of Missouri Extension Master Gardener Program