Monday, June 21, 2010

Behind Those Walls

Early Friday morning, my wonderful husband and I hit the road for an extended weekend.  We put on some miles for family gatherings, time with friends and stops at interesting locations.  On my list of places to visit for several years:  Kansas State University Gardens.  It has a history back to 1877.  The current location, with grand plans for the future, was established in 1989.  The backdrop for the gardens is an old barn which houses the visitor center and an insect zoo.  We passed on the insect zoo because of time as we had more places and people to see on our trip.  Aren't the little ant sculptures on the wall awesome?

There are a lot of sculptures in the gardens.

A wildcat with kittens playing on the rocks below.

A man on a bench with a butterfly on his finger.

A turkey.

A girl with a book.

There is an outdoor room with benches enclosed by vines.  It was a nice shady spot to rest as Friday was sunny, windy and hot!  Not the best weather to visit a garden but it was when we could get there.

There were many plants as one would expect.  Here are some of our favorites...

Cutleaf Sumac

Golden St. John's Wort

Butterfly Weed


Echinacea with butterfly.

I missed the tag for this plant but it had velvety leaves with purple spikes of flowers.

My WH got a photo of me checking out the leaves.  My nice white shoulders were quite pink by the end of the day as I was a little slow putting on the sunscreen. Too excited to finally get to these gardens I guess.

An Asian lily.

Gooseneck Loosestrife
I so want some of this in my garden.

Oakleaf Hydrangea

another hydrangea

There are numerous daylilies.

The rose garden is being renovated.

There is a Victorian style conservatory which was built in 1907 in a different location on the KSU campus.  It was moved to its current location and is in need of some renovation, but the curved glass and Victoria style are still beautiful.  There are rows of irises on this side of the conservatory.

It was a great visit.


  1. Dear Sherlock Street, I have much enjoyed this posting, not least for the variety and range of sculpture to be found in the gardens. Sculpture always, I feel, contribute so much in the way of added interest and modern pieces, which may be abstract, give one much to consider long after one has left them.

    These gardens certainly appear to be well worth visiting and I am pleased that you enjoyed your time, not withstanding the weather.

  2. I can see why you enjoyed your visit! It appears that a person could spend many, many hours here.

    What a great resource for familiarizing ones self with names and varieties of plants in your own growing zone.

    What a great place to just sit, observe & maybe sketch some statues, and let the eye take in the beauty!

  3. I love the sculpture of the man with the butterfly . Great garden tour, thanks ! Gina

  4. Looked like a great time to visit, with everything blooming well!! That loosestrife did look interesting--I've never heard of it, but it sure is pretty! I wondered if the un-named plant might have been Russian Sage? It grows well in Kansas--has minty smelling, fuzzy leaves with large purple spires--gets to be about 5-6 feet tall and the same in width. Hope you had a great weekend!

  5. It looks like tons of fun. I so love those ants on the wall. That is my style. I have to warn you about gooseneck loosestrife. I have always been warned about two plants and they are: gooseneck an obedient plant. Gooseneck will take over your garden and smother everything else. At least here in Tennessee. I think it does well in pots though or an enclosed area. I spend countless hours pulling it from a client's garden.

  6. I truly love conservatory's. I may have to put one in the backyard. It would have to be the size of a Volkswagen, mind you, but it would be worth it.

  7. Your photos are lovely. I wish I lived closer so I could see the gardens in person. Love the statues, wish I could afford some of those for my garden.

  8. Gooseneck Loosestrife is very invasive in much of the U.S. so you don't see it as much as one used to. I think that silvery plant with the purple spike might be lead plant, Amorpha canescens. I wrote about it for Fine Gardening once.

    Thanks so much for this tour. I've never been to their gardens, but I know them much better now.~~Dee

  9. Oh my, what you found behind those wall is amazing! All of your photographs are stunning! I would love to go there someday! Thanks for the tour!


  10. ~Edith Hope
    The sculptures were very nice and there are more that I didn't get in the post. I'm glad you enjoyed the prarie garden.

    I would love to visit this garden in all the seasons. I'd have to put on some miles to make it happen but I hope to be back sometime soon on a cooler day!

    ~Antique ART Garden
    That was my favorite too. And, the ants on the building.

    I have Russian Sage in my garden and the plant was similar but the leaves were soft. I think of my Russian Sage as kinda twiggy. There was a lot blooming in the garden. Going on a hot day was a good way to see what holds up in the heat.

    Thanks for the warning on gooseneck loosestrife. I've done a little research and it is labled as an "aggressive spreader." May be easier to control here. I'll proceed cautiously but if there's a way to enjoy those blooms, I'll figure it out. Does it pull out easily?

    I agree. They just add so much class to the garden. I'd have to have a VW bug one too!

    Isn't it nice that there are public gardens where we can enjoy the statues? I'm glad you enjoyed the tour.

    I've been warned by tina too about the gooseneck looselife. I will proceed cautiously. I researched amorpha canescens as you mentioned for the other plant and I believe you are correct. Good eye! I tend to be drawn to purple flowers so it really caught my eye. And, I kept petting the leaves which is why my husband got the photo of me.

    Thanks for dropping by. I'm glad you enjoyed the tour.


  11. My WH and I were there in April for their open house - they have a hive inside and a beekeeper was on duty. With all those beautiful plants, the bees were very happy! Thus, I started on my quest to get a hive of my own. Great post!

  12. ~Love Local Food
    Thanks for stopping by and telling me about the bee hive. We'll need to plan another trip to get into the insect zoo too.

  13. Wonderful post! I haven't been to K-State to roam the gardens in years; it's just been put high on the list of weekend jaunts we need to take.

    The silvery leafed plant is indeed leadplant, Amorpha canescens - a fantastic native prairie plant. I've read somewhere that it used to be so common in the prairies around here that plant explorers quit even mentioning it.

  14. ~Gaia Gardener
    I hope you can visit. It is really nice. If it looks good in the heat, it must look good on a more temperate day.
    It's always interesting how some plants are so "common" they don't get any press. New to me!

  15. My Daughter Charlotte and I will have to go to this garden


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