Looking for inspiration? Then spend an afternoon at Botanica‚ The Wichita Gardens. “It’s a great place to learn about horticulture and walk in a beautiful‚ serene environment‚” says Mia Jenkins‚ director of marketing and communications for Botanica. “It really showcases what you can do with a garden in Kansas.” Located on Amidon Street‚ Botanica is a 9.5-acre horticulture center with 24 different themed gardens. “The Shakespearean Garden is very popular‚” Jenkins says. “Everything planted there is either from the time of Shakespeare in England or is mentioned in one of his plays.” The Rose Garden and Butterfly House are also major attractions.
The Rose Garden contains hundreds of rose varieties‚ and the Butterfly House has more than 500 free-flight butterflies June through September‚ and thousands of colorful pansies October through May. In the spring‚ 43‚000 tulip bulbs and 62‚000 daffodils bloom at Botanica‚ along with an assortment of wildflowers and flowering shrubs.
“We focus on plants and flowers that grow well in Kansas‚ but we also have a trial garden where plants are tested to see if they can grow well here‚” Jenkins says. Besides offering a relaxing place to unwind‚ Botanica is a valuable educational resource. It is home to the Frank Good Library‚ the largest single repository of horticultural and gardening information in south-central Kansas‚ and it serves an average of 7‚500 children annually through nature-oriented educational programming. The majority of Wichita’s 16 garden clubs meet regularly at Botanica‚ and it’s a popular place for corporate events‚ weddings and receptions. For more information about Botanica’s gardens and educational programs‚ visit botanica.org.