Monday, December 28, 2009

A journey down a path

At the end of the block in a suburban neighborhood in Shawnee, Kansas, there is a gated driveway leading to a lovely estate.  Land Art created many of the garden areas surrounding the residence.

A stone pathway from the pool and outdoor bar wraps around several mature trees to a sitting area by a fire pit and water feature.  Pragense Viburnum, boxwoods, Drift Roses, Lo and Behold Blue Chip Butterfly Bushes and fragrant perennials fill the gardens.  Filling the gaps of the stone pathway and patio are fragrant creeping thymes.  Although it is a new garden, the path and structures have a reassuring feeling of permanence about them.

A city sidewalk leading to the entrance of the Kauffman Memorial Gardens has been transformed by Purple Robe Locusts trained into arches.  Gardens on either side of this pathway have been heavily planted with perennials and annuals. Pathways lead the visitors throughout this two acre garden.

Though the Kauffman Gardens are wonderful year round, I can't imagine a better place for a garden stroll than in May with the fragrance and view of the flower clusters hanging from the arching trees.

Several years ago my husband and I ventured west of Chicago and stopped at the Garfield Park Conservatory on the way to visit Frank Lloyd Wright's studio and houses in Oak Park.  Niki in the Garden was on tour at the Conservatory and it just seemed like a great place to stop! 

One of my favorite sculptures from the exhibit was surrounded by a confusing pathway that led around in circles and it seemed to take forever to get to the destination in the center.  This is definitely a path my life has taken this past year. 

And, then out of nowhere, doors opened to an opportunity.

Though the creators of the Heartland Harvest Garden at Powell Gardens may have had something else in mind, I see the open barn doors as an invitation to explore and learn. 

After a very challenging year, I'm thrilled some doors opened for me and am excited about the year ahead.

Happy New Year!

Want to know more about Purple Robe Locust? Check out this article.