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TS11 – Educating the Gardener in You!

June 19, 2023 @ 8:30 am - 4:15 pm

$89

The contrast between the stops on this tour are sure to get the gardener in you thinking in new ways. Each garden experience is different from the other, but each offers new perspectives and things to be learned. As they say, good contrast and makes good drama. 

 The tour begins at the Backyard Garden. Keep your notebook and camera handy. The Backyard Garden is an idea generator. It is intentionally designed to be chock full of plants and efficient growing techniques that are easily copied by an average backyard gardener. (That’s why it’s called the Backyard Garden.) At one acre, it’s the largest demonstration garden of your conference hosts, the Johnson County EMGs, and they are eager to share it with you. 

Next, you’ll get a peek into the world of agricultural science and research. You’re in for a treat with an exclusive tour of the K-State Olathe Horticulture Research and Extension Center. Get an insider’s look at the agricultural and horticultural research being done for Kansas and the Midwest. See how plants and crops are put through the ringer to improve them and arrive at the best practices for tending them. You’ll walk away inspired by what research scientists do and their dedication to improving crops and preventing crop failures.

Wild and free is next. You’re off to the prairie. It would be almost sacrilegious to be in Kansas and not experience the tallgrass prairie. Over 140 million acres of tallgrass prairie once covered North America, including Kansas. Only 4% remains today, most of it in the Flint Hills about 120 miles away. But you’re in luck! Kill Creek Prairie is close by and contains a 20-acre prairie remnant. Listen to the quiet shhhsshining of the winds through the grasses against the sweeping, open horizon. Go back in time and see the vanishing tallgrass prairie exactly as it was 8,00010,000 years ago, unplowed and untouched. Learn about the prairie’s rich history, its unique and complex ecosystem, and why prairies are so important to humans, plants and animals. 

 The last stop of the day is a sharp contrast to Kill Creek’s stretches of open grasslands. The lovely Monet Garden at the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is a replica of Claude Monet’s own garden in Giverny, France. It’s lush with many trees and shrubs and hundreds of varieties of perennials, annuals and bulbs that replicate the colorful palette of the original garden. And, of course, there is a lily pond. It’s quite possible you’ll be inspired to create a Monet Garden in your corner of the world. 

 All in all, it’s a field trip kind of day! 

——————————————————— Cost: $89 

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Tour Length: 8 hrs 

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Departure Time: 8:30 a.m., Monday, June 19 

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Max Participants: 50 

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Included 

Lunch 

Water on the bus 

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What to Bring 

Wear comfortable walking shoes. Sun hat recommended. You may also want to bring binoculars and your camera. 

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Accessibility 

 Backyard Garden: Mulch and grassy paths for walking with uneven surfaces. Some rutted areas. Moderate walking. 

 Kill Creek Prairie: Wheelchair accessible. Wide concrete walkway to the observation deck. There is also an observation tower overlooking the prairie remnant with an elevator. 

 Overland Park Arboretum: Wheelchair accessible. Paved paths and sidewalks throughout the gardens and benches along the paths. Limited number of golf carts available for people with disabilities. 

ITINERARY 

 Backyard Garden and K-State Research Center (Olathe, KS) 

 Keep your notebook and camera handy. The Backyard Garden is an idea generator. It is intentionally designed to be chock full of plants and efficient growing techniques that are easily copied by an average backyard gardener. (That’s why it’s called the Backyard Garden.) At one acre, it’s the largest demonstration garden of your conference hosts, the Johnson County EMGs, and they are eager to share it with you. 

 As you might suspect, the garden features a wide variety of: 

  • Fruits (you’ll love the high intensity apple orchard) 
  • Vegetables and herbs 
  • Flowers (including new varieties) 
  • Low care annuals
  • Ornamentals
  • Native plants

 BTW: The garden provides over 3,200 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables annually to local food pantries¾and, during the summer, buckets of fresh cut flowers to the delight of pantry clients. 

 Next, you’re in for a treat with an exclusive tour of the K-State Olathe Horticulture Research and Extension Center. It’s not normally open to the public. The Research Center sits on 342 acres next to the Backyard Garden. It’s a premier location in the U.S. for cutting-edge agriculture research. This location specializes in vegetable, fruit and turfgrass production.  

  • The staff gives you an insider’s look at agricultural and horticultural research for Kansas and the Midwest. 
  • See how plants and crops are put through the ringer to improve them and arrive at best practices for tending them. 
  • You’ll walk away inspired by the research scientists who develop and protect our food sources in the U.S. and their dedication to improving crops and preventing failures. 

 Lunch 

Around noonish, enjoy a tasty lunch hosted by EMGs and K-State Research Center staff. 

 Kill Creek Prairie 

 Next is a chance to breathe in the prairie and be amazed by its incredibly diverse ecosystem. It would be almost sacrilegious to be in Kansas and not experience the tallgrass prairie. Over 140 million acres of tallgrass prairie once covered North America, including Kansas. Only 4% remains today, most of it in the Flint Hills about 120 miles away. But you’re in luck! Kill Creek Prairie is close by and contains a 20-acre prairie remnant.  

  • Take the short walk to the observation deck. 
  • Listen to the quiet shhhsshining of the winds through the grasses against the sweeping, open horizons. 
  • Go back in time and see the vanishing tallgrass prairie exactly as it was 8,00010,000 years ago, unplowed and untouched. Experience what the first settlers saw in the 1800s as they crossed the Great Plains and moved westward. 
  • Learn about the prairie’s rich history, its unique and complex ecosystem, and why prairies are so important to humans, plants and animals. 

Kill Creek Prairie (“kill” or “kille” is a Middle Dutch term for body of water) has more than 200 species of prairie grasses and wild flowers, including several species of goldenrod and Mead’s milkweed, a rare plant of the tallgrass prairie. 

 Monet Garden at the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens (Overland Park, KS) 

 The lovely Monet Garden at the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is a sharp contrast to the stretches of open grasslands at Kill Creek. The one-acre garden is a miniature replica of Claude Monet’s own garden in Giverny, France, that inspired his iconic landscape and floral paintings.  

  • Like Monet’s garden, the Arboretum garden includes with many trees and shrubs and hundreds of varieties of perennials, perennials, annuals and bulbs replicating the colorful palette of the original garden. 
  • Learn how the Arboretum’s Monet Garden faithfully draws on the Giverny garden. 
  • Get ideas for creating a Monet Garden in your corner of the world. 
  • You’ll be delighted by its sheer size, its vibrant color combinations and its varying plant heights. It looks lush and wild with plants growing freely, just like the original. And, of course, there is a lily pond. 

Your conference hosts, the Johnson County EMGs, also maintain this demonstration garden. They are on hand to answer questions as you stroll through the garden. 

 The Arboretum is large – 300 acres of woodlands, meadows, and gardens and hundreds of plants. You’ll also have time to do some wondering on your own.  

 Back to the Convention Center 

What a field trip! It’s time to board the bus for the 20-minute ride back to the Convention Center. We should arrive around 4:30 p.m. 

Details

Date:
June 19, 2023
Time:
8:30 am - 4:15 pm
Cost:
$89
Event Category: