Here’s a Sneak Peek at Powell Gardens’ 2016 Plant Sale

Join us this weekend for Powell Gardens’ only plant sale of the year!

Members get first pick on Friday, May 6, at the Members-Only Plant Sale Reception & Preview. Arrive at 4 p.m. for the reception, and enjoy a drink from the cash bar and demos on how to create stunning containers by Horticulturist Brent Tucker and Senior Gardener Willie Hofstetter. The members-only sale takes place from 5-7 p.m. 

The sale is open to all from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 7-8. Here’s just some of what you will find (see the plant lists to help you plan your trip):

PS16 blog foxglove Dalmation Series Dalmatian Purple Improved

Foxglove Dalmatian Series ‘Dalmatian Purple Improved’

PS16 blog celosia Smart Look Romantica

Celosia ‘Smart Look Romantica’

PS16 blog portulaca Happy Hour Tropical Mix

Portulaca ‘Happy Hour Tropical Mix’

ps16 blog figs 500


PS16 blog Coral Bells Ruffles 'n Truffles

Coral Bells ‘Ruffles ‘n Truffles’

PS16 blog delphinium New Millennium Cobalt Dreams hybrid bee delphinium

Delphinium New Millennium ‘Cobalt Dreams’

PS16 blog clematis Viva Polonia

Clematis ‘Viva Polonia’

PS16 Hydrangeas

A beautiful assortment of hydrangeas

For details and plant lists, visit We hope you will join us!

Explore Kansas City’s Tremendous Trees with Alan Branhagen

4.30 blog Cucumbertree magnolia and Alan Branhagen

Learn about some of Kansas City’s most magnificent trees during a series of four Kansas City Tree Walks led by Powell Gardens’ Horticulture Director Alan Branhagen. The 2-mile walks take place from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sundays at these Kansas City sites:

  • Roanoke Park, May 22: Roanoke Park is the site of Greater Kansas City’s champion persimmon tree with many other champion trees in nearby neighborhoods. 
  • Union Cemetery, June 26: Union Cemetery has premier examples of old growth native white oaks. Its champion trees include Kentucky coffeetree, hackberry and sassafras. The site dates back to 1849 and is an unexpected green space of spectacular trees against the backdrop of high-rise buildings. This walk requires the least amount of walking of the four tree walks.
  • Elmwood Cemetery, August 28: Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Elmwood Cemetery’s beautiful grounds were designed by renowned landscape architect George Kessler, who created Kansas City’s famed Park and Boulevard System. The cemetery is home to the area’s champion saucer magnolia, cucumbertree magnolia and southern catalpa trees, as well as an amazing collection of mature trees set among historic graves.
  • Loose Park, October 23: The Jacob L. Loose Park has more champion trees than any location in Kansas City. That’s because the park’s Stanley R. McLane Arboretum contains the finest diversity of trees in the metropolitan area. From lindens to limber pine, sweetgum to several oak species, various maples and even possumhaw, participants will enjoy this classic park’s tree treasures at their peak of fall color.

The fee for each tour is $7/person and free for members of Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s botanical garden. (Learn more about the perks of becoming a Friend of Powell Gardens.) Registration is required as space is limited. Call 816-697-2600 x209 to reserve a spot.

Early Blooms on Iris Hill

We are starting to see some fabulous color on Iris Hill! Located on the east side of Powell Gardens, this favorite spring display was established in the early 1990s by the late Dr. Norlan Henderson, a beloved friend of the Gardens. Horticulture Director Alan Branhagen wrote a lovely piece about Dr. Henderson in January.

The iris collection includes more than 500 varieties named as winners of the American Iris Society’s Award of Merit. At peak bloom, Iris Hill explodes with color. These are some of the first blooms.

blog Iris Hill 4.26.16 Art Deco sm 

blog Iris Hill 4.26.16 Pure As Gold sm

blog Iris Hill 4.26.16 Circus Circus sm

blog Iris Hill 4.26.16 Sneezy sm

blog Iris Hill 4.26.16 Autumn King sm

blog Iris Hill 4.26.16 Tennessee Gentleman sm

blog Iris Hill 4.26.16 Mariposa Autumn sm

Iris names from top to bottom: Art Deco, Pure As Gold, Circus Circus, Sneezy, Autumn King, Tennessee Gentleman and Mariposa Autumn.

Fun Fact: Iris is the official flower of Kansas City, Missouri!

Celebrate Earth Day at Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s Botanical Garden!

Woodland Walk 500

On Earth Day (April 22), come explore all that Kansas City’s botanical garden has to offer. Guests will enjoy free Garden admission and a full day of activities. Guided tours, storytelling, a cooking demonstration by culinary arts students from The Fort Osage Career & Technology Center, and a Trees 101 presentation by Sarah Crowder, Program Manager for the Heartland Tree Alliance, are just some of what’s in store. See the complete schedule at

Cherokee Brave dogwood

Beals Garden

Now Blooming: Dogwoods

It looks like it will be a fantastic weekend—perfect for a stroll through the Gardens. It’s a great time to see the dogwoods, which are spectacular! Enjoy these photos, and we look forward to seeing you in the Gardens.

Dogwood Walk 4.15.16 500

4.15 blog Cloud 9 dogwood by AB

Cornus florida ‘Cloud 9′ flowering dogwood (photo by Alan Branhagen)

Flowering Dogwood in the Perennial Garden by Alan Branhagen 4.14.16

Flowering dogwood in the Perennial Garden (photo by Alan Branhagen)

Dogwood walk 4.15.16 with butterfly bench

Enjoy Early Spring Blooms, Butterflies and Kites this Saturday at Powell Gardens!

PG Paper Kite Butterfly in conservatory by Breanne Wasinger

Photo by Breanne Wasinger 

To celebrate the addition of Paper Kite butterflies to Powell Gardens’ Spring Butterfly Exhibit, we have invited the Kansas City Kite Club to the Gardens this Saturday, March 19, to fly some of their spectacular kites.

PG KC Kite Club

Photo courtesy of Sean Beaver

Kites like the one above will be soaring over the Gardens by noon (wind permitting, of course).

PG stroll through magnolias

While guests are strolling through the Gardens to see the kites, they won’t be able to miss the magnificent magnolias that have delighted us with their early blooms this season. Horticulture Director Alan Branhagen has taken some of the most gorgeous photos of them this week. Here are a few for you to enjoy!

PG Chrysanthemumiflora Star Magnolia by Alan Branhagen

Magnolia stellata ‘Chrysanthemumiflora’

PG Magnolia stellata 'Rosea'

Magnolia stellata ‘Rosea’

PG Magnolia Spring Royalty by Alan Branhagen

Magnolia ‘Spring Royalty’

We invite you to join us this Saturday to see more fabulous blooms, butterflies and kites! We’ll see you in the Gardens!

Perennial Flavor

The ground is well thawed and the henbit is blooming out in Fun Foods Farm. It’s time to prepare and refresh our perennial crop plantings for another year of delicious production. For me, that means raking straw off strawberries, tending beds of asparagus and perhaps adding a few more plants.

Last year we planted oodles of asparagus crowns and now look forward to harvesting a few spears this year. It’s important to avoid over harvesting the first year as the plants are still young, and picking too many spears at this point will weaken the plants. Still, I can hardly wait to see the first spear!

The strawberries spent the winter under an insulating layer of straw, which must be raked aside in the spring to allow the plants to “breathe.” Good air flow is necessary to keep plants healthy and free of disease.

With all the early fair weather, the strawberries are greening up nicely and are loaded with flower buds—a promise of a bountiful harvest in May and June.

Now is also the best time to establish some new plants. This year I’ll be planting more of my favorite strawberry ‘Cabot’, an extra-large, extra tasty cultivar. Pacific Purple asparagus, a high-yielding purple variety, will be planted around the youth education garden, because you can never have too much asparagus.

To learn more about strawberries and asparagus, sign up for our fun and informative Garden Culture classes. Growing Strawberries on April 2 touches on all you need to know about growing strawberries in the home garden and includes 25 robust plants to start or expand your berry patch.

Growing Asparagus on April 3 prepares you to plant, grow and harvest your own asparagus bed. Selections of crowns, both green and purple, are included.