Archive for Monday, August 31, 2009

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Variety packed into Topeka demonstration gardens

August 31, 2009

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Shawnee County Extension Master Gardeners maintain several gardens in the capital city. Echinacea blooms in one of the sites.

Shawnee County Extension Master Gardeners maintain several gardens in the capital city. Echinacea blooms in one of the sites.

Not every plant is worthy of “star treatment.” Master Gardeners in Topeka have identified some that are.

The Shawnee County Extension Master Gardeners are responsible for the creation and care of several themed demonstration gardens throughout the capital city. As the name implies, these horticultural havens are intended to inform as well as add beautiful foliage to the metro.

“The demonstration gardens are designed to educate the public on different plants that grow well in our area of Kansas,” says Jamie Hancock, Shawnee County Extension agent.

The Prairie Star/Prairie Bloom garden, located at the Extension office near the Expo Center, features a colorful variety of Kansas all-stars, plants that thrive in the state climate and soil and enjoy a spectacular bloom throughout the summer. Purple hyssop, pink wild snapdragon, golden-spurred columbine, snow-in-summer, hibiscus, basil boxwood and ornamental peppers are among the celebrated offerings found here.

The Xeriscape Garden, also located at the Extension office, promotes cost-effective, water-wise selections, including pink dianthus, purple coneflower, sea holly, lamb’s ear and Russian sage.

Appropriately situated at the entrance to Cedar Crest, the governor’s residence, is a Native Garden, highlighting varieties indigenous to the Sunflower State. Orange butterfly milkweed, Kansas gayfeather, compass plants and the majestically tall, willowleaf sunflowers highlight this bed. The gas plant is a fascinating component of the nearby Perennial Garden.

“Home and Away” premieres at 6:30 p.m. Mondays on Sunflower Broadband Channel 6, with encores throughout the week.

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