The other day I took the two older kiddos to the Overland Park botanical garden. They like to see new plants need smell flowers and do everything kids love to do. To be perfectly honest I like to do those things as well.
The park is a little bit out-of-the-way, but we wanted to see what it was all about anyway. I have to say that the park is massive and very well cared for. At nearly 300 acres the park has lots of wild areas as well as the manicured gardens that you would expect. The wild areas had plenty of labels letting you know what trees were white, and what wildflowers you may see. They even had signs pointing out wildlife to look for.
Overall the kids and I wore ourselves out, looking at statuary finding lions mane mushrooms (and reluctantly leaving them in place). And even exploring rocks. The gardens have more pawpaws than I've ever seen in my life. I suppose that's the advantage of being in the river valley on the eastern part of the state. Around here I know several stands of pawpaw trees but nothing like the wild trails At the botanical gardens. I would love to see their Forest Garden have a little more native fruits, Black haw, serviceberry, Saskatoon and persimmon would fit right in. Perhaps there were some there and I just missed them.
But those are my personal biases. I love edible plants, or plants that show how productive and beautiful nature can be simultaneously.
A walk through Monet's garden let's you visualize the impressionists viewpoint as he often painted things from his own garden. A sculpture garden let's you see some amazing artwork and imagery all against a beautiful natural background. A birdwatchers blind allows you to get pretty personal with a lot of forest species of birds, although when we went it was mostly chickadees and titmice. I am not complaining, those little bundles of energy are fun to watch and almost match my kids personalities.
It got me thinking about how blessed I am to have botanical gardens nearby. These are beautiful stretches, manicured in some areas and wild in others that I neither have to plant nor care for, but just enjoy. The immense work and thought that goes into them is reflected in the many different ways that people enjoy them.
If you have a chance to visit this one, I recommend it and if there are some that you enjoy please let me know in the comments.
You can find out more about the Overland Park Botanical Garden here.
Live a hands on life