10th annual Under a Blue Moon set for June 9

The Under a Blue Moon: Garden Party and Rare Plant Auction, a garden casual event, will mark its 10th anniversary on Sunday, June 9, at Powell Gardens. This year’s event Chair is Sheldon Andrew (pictured below, left), with Marvin Snyder is serving as honorary Chairman. Proceeds from Under a Blue Moon benefit children’s educational programs at the Gardens.

Marvin is a retired architect and longtime supporter of Powell Gardens. His garden is one of the premiere private gardens in the region and displays one of the finest collections of his favorite plants: CONIFERS! He is the founder and past president of the local chapter of the American Conifer Society. Marvin has been instrumental in the development of Powell Gardens’ Conifer Garden, which recently was named as a reference garden by the American Conifer Society.

Marvin is a tremendous gardener and friend of Powell Gardens and we are delighted to honor him at this year’s 10th Annual Under a Blue Moon!

Our event chairman Sheldon Andrew began his relationship with Powell Gardens during the 2007 Capital Campaign for the Heartland Harvest Garden. His passion has continued to grow through his involvement with Under a Blue Moon.

Sheldon has been a strong advocate for the Gardens and continues to contribute to the  Gardens through his leadership as a director on the Friends of Powell Gardens Board.

Tickets for Under a Blue Moon: Garden Party and Rare Plant Auction are available at www.powellgardens.org/bluemoon. We hope you can join us!

by Allyson Summers

Spring Planting Season

Easter Weekend looks like it is going to be wonderfully spring-like.  All of us gardeners are anxious to get our hands in the soil and do some gardening!  Despite what some of the media is saying, YES you can start planting this weekend!  Please also note that the list of plants to be offered at Powell Gardens’ Spring Plant Sale the first weekend in May is now on our website.

I took this image of blooming Hellebores / Lenten Roses (Helleborus x orientalis) yesterday in the Perennial Garden.  Despite being slammed by heavy wet snow and subjected to temperatures as low as 20F, this plant is just fine.  It’s an example of a plant you should be headed out to your favorite nursery and buying NOW!  They are always best to buy in bloom because you know what flower color and pattern you are for sure going to get.  The plants are just fine being planted immediately (as long as they’ve been hardened off outside).  Look for beautiful Hellebores in bloom at the entrance to the Island Garden, Rock & Waterfall Garden and in the Woodland section of the Perennial Garden. Continue reading

Spring is Here?

We passed the Vernal Equinox this week but you wouldn’t know it by looking outside.  For nearly a month now, we have had MUCH below average high temperatures (but no record lows –not even close) and Saturday night’s predicted THIRD MEGA-SNOW appears eminent.   Of course we had an all-time record high in this past month too; it just wouldn’t be spring in our region without a wild, exhilarating ride.  We do have flowers outdoors and all should be fine.  The tall budded daffodils will be flattened by heavy snow but have shown their resilience in past years by springing back once it melts.  Snow is actually a good insulator against the cold and will actually help protect emerging plants.

Here’s one of our early daffodils ‘February Gold’ blooming on the Island Garden. Continue reading

Ask an Expert: Five Questions with Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City President Glenn Lessenden

It’s Orchid Extravaganza Weekend (March 23-24) at Powell Gardens! See the Gardens’ stunning orchid collection on display in the ‘Living’ Room conservatory exhibit and talk with Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City members. They will be here from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday to answer your orchid-related questions.

 orchid 3.21.13

Growing orchids is easier than you might think, says Glenn Lessenden, president of the Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City. Here, Glenn talks about his love for orchids and offers advice to those who find these exotic beauties a bit intimidating.

How did you get involved with growing orchids?

In 2003, my father-in-law, a longtime member of the Kansas Orchid Society, gave me a hybrid Cattleya (corsage orchid) that he was unable to bloom. I placed it in a south-facing sunroom and in 2004 it bloomed with two clusters of 6- to 7-inch blooms, white with a large purple lip and delightfully fragrant. I decided I needed to know more about these plants and how to grow them.

Continue reading

Get Lucky with our Shamrock Giveaway!

The first 50 parties (members or with paid admission) who arrive on St. Patrick’s Day this Sunday will take home a lucky shamrock (Oxalis) plant to grow at home! This weekend also marks the opening of The “Living” Room exhibit in the Conservatory and the grand opening of Cafe Thyme for the spring season. This month, the cafe is open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Check out this weekend’s menu!

And you won’t want to miss the “Living” Room, which transforms the Conservatory into the whimsical home of the Moss family. In this imaginative exhibit, ordinary household items turn into living works of art. From plant “upholstered” dining chairs to a living floral rug, the room is literally alive with color and texture. Come check out the family pets and the rest of what arguably may be the region’s most creative family!

The exhibit is perfect for creative photographers and we’d love to see what you capture. Share your best shots with us on Twitter with #LivingRoom or post on our Facebook page or our Powell Gardens Shutterbugs pool on Flickr.