Powell Gardens

Powell Gardens2 Credit Visit KC sm
Powell  Gardens

Visit Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s Botanical Garden, located an easy 30 min. drive from  Kansas City. Upon your arrival the impressive entry gives you a sense that you are visiting  someplace special. Unique in its prairie garden style, the garden features expansive views which  celebrate the Midwestern landscape. The tiered entry garden and 17 ft. sculpture Sheaves of Wheat (Jac T. Bowen, 1966) punctuating the entry arch are just a taste of what awaits each  visitor. Opened in 1988, Powell Gardens occupies a 970-acre footprint, 175 of which are  cultivated into eight themed gardens highlighted by water features, art installations and a 12 - acre lake.

Prairie Style architecture highlights the grounds with structures designed by renowned  American architect E. Fay Jones. A former student and one of the best-known disciples of Frank  Lloyd Wright, he carried on Wright’s Prairie Style with principles of organic design. The work  of Jones and his partner Maurice Jennings, who joined Jones’ firm in 1972, uses natural  materials, wide expanses of glass that bring the outside in and lines that allow each building to  blend into its surroundings. 

Your first stop will be the Visitor Center, home of the Powell Gardens Conservatory which  offers seasonal rotating installations and serves as the centerpiece for the surrounding gardens.  The building and its furnishings are the work of Jones and Jennings and provides an inspirational  setting for the Perennial Lounge, the garden gift shop, classes, and events. There are seven  themed gardens for you to explore some enhanced by sculptures which are featured on the Art in  the Gardens tour. 

The David T. Beal III Woodland and Stream Garden is home to plants that thrive in the shade.  Bridges above flowing streams offer views of the lush plantings. If peaceful respite is what you  are craving, you can also view the plantings from secluded woodland seating. 

The Fountain Garden is a nod to the City of Fountains, Kansas City. This summertime favorite  features a 42-foot diameter interactive water feature housed in a multicolor floral motif granite  basin. When activated, the fountain’s 56 spray heads create the impression of an opening flower  and offer visitors a refreshing spray on hot summer days. Low walls surrounding the fountain  provide seating and an overlook gives access to an aerial view of this summertime gem. 

Children of all ages are invited to explore plants and nature in the two-acre, multisensory  Children’s Garden. There are many opportunities for active engagement from a garden tool  balance beam to planting your own garden. A climb up oversized chairs provides a great photo  opportunity. A colorful maze features sound elements to compose music with rain sticks, a drum 

set made from fallen trees, root talker, frog noise makers, and a piano. A water court and stream  invites play and investigation of water loving plants; say hello to the resident goldfish in the  water basin! 

The Heartland Harvest Garden is America’s premier edible landscape. Every tree, shrub, flower, and groundcover is part of the story of Midwest agriculture. Seasonal display beds inspire home  gardeners and chefs to discover new color, creativity, and plants with each visit. Four season  food production is on display in the Seed to Plate Greenhouse and Potager Menu Garden. 

The Marlese Lowe Gourley Island Garden is the summer jewel of Powell Gardens. Tiered pools  in this water garden offer a diverse array of aquatic plants. Waterlilies, taro, umbrella palms and  friendly goldfish fill the pools with texture, color, and movement. The lotus and waterlily  collections have been designated as certified collections by the International Waterlily and Water  Gardening Society. As you traverse the winding path through this area, you will encounter the  Sunken Garden, a hidden space enclosed by stone walls and flower beds leading to a two-tiered  lotus pool. Continue along the path to view water loving shrubs and perennials along the  shoreline of a 12-acre lake. 

The Memorial Garden is adjacent to the Marjorie Allen Chapel, a must see for your visit. The  garden path meanders through native wildflowers, lofty oaks, and a small native prairie. A  trickling fountain attracts birds and butterflies creating a site that is vibrant and full of life.  Benches with views of the chapel and lake provide a peaceful space to rest and reflect.  

The Perennial Garden is currently under renovation throughout 2022. The 3.5-acre landscape is  designed as a series of “rooms” separated by trees and shrubs rather than walls. 

Architecture at Powell Gardens is a celebration of the Midwestern landscape. In addition to the Visitor Center, architectural highlights include Allen Chapel, Meadow Pavilion and Missouri  Barn. Each building was designed to enhance and blend seamlessly into the environment. The  Marjorie Allen Chapel, a non-denominational chapel, was designed by E. Fay Jones. The structure  features 13-foot entry doors and 2,550 square feet of glass allowing the building to blend into the  surrounding prairie. Enjoy a sweeping panorama of the gardens and surrounding countryside from  the Meadow Pavilion. The Missouri Barn is an open sided structure featuring a 45-foot silo with an observation deck for viewing the garden below. If you enjoy prairie style architecture, you will  find a space at Powell Gardens to enjoy and inspire! 

To embrace the beauty of the Midwest, we invite you to visit Powell Gardens during the Docent  National Symposium. The featured exhibition Fall 2022 will be Fortopia. This playful  exhibition taps into childhood memories of outdoor discovery and fort building. Eight forts will  be on display for children and adults to explore and play. Admission applies. 

Powell gardens  

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