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.


  1. Hi Susan - I love visting botanical gardens, parks, etc. while visiting other cities. I recently ventured out while in Nassau, Bahamas to find the Botanical Gardens listed on the tourist map with a large pink hibiscus. After trekking a few miles we arrived at the botanical apparently had been wiped out in the last hurricane in 1995 and had never been restored. It was being mowed and that was it. A few tough rose bushes were all that remained of a once magnificent time I will ask the concierge at the hotel before venturing out. A few of the locals close to the garden entrance asked rather sarcastically if we enjoyed the was obvious they were amused by the whole thing which made me laugh, too. xo Julie

  2. lovely path..... to walk along and enjoy the view of many plants. ~bangchik

  3. What is the view outside the windows in Malaysia? Our view in Kansas City is nothing but piles of snow.

    Rather than sorting and filing away my digital images, I keep getting distracting and writing blogs. It seems that my photo files are just like my gardens. Full of promise and chores!

  4. Hi, lovely post and a lovely pathway.