The Passionate Gardener 

Thanks to our sponsor for this garden: Davidson Tree Farm

Owner: Kris & Larry Handlin

Address: 512 Country Club Road

Plan to shop! Vendors at this garden:

  • Prairie Song Lotions & Soaps
  • Lloyd Davidson’s Creations of Stained Glass

Location and Highlights:

  • Landscaping on slopes
  • Shade planting
  • Mix of perennials and annuals

Plants to look for:

  • Aronia
  • Hostas
  • Heucheras
  • Coleus
  • Kodiak Orange Diervilla
  • Lowscape Mound Chokeberry
  • Russian Sage
  • Coneflowers
  • Crape myrtle
  • Bobo hydrangeas
  • Pugster Butterfly Bush
  • Hibiscus

Favorite plants:

Hibiscus ‘Holy Grail’.  This plant has dark foliage and deep red flowers that are also most 10” across. This plant is slow to start but hold on when it does. It puts on quite a show.  

Dwarf Japanese Maples.These plants have all season interest.  I may have to throw some shade cloth on them to protect them from the long, hot days of Kansas so the leaves are not crispy for the tour.  

Funny fact about these three Japanese maples. When we were to have that extremely cold weather, I went to Lowe’s and purchased three wardrobe boxes so that could put them over the trees to protect them from the harsh temperatures. Sometimes, as a gardener, we have think outside or “inside” the box for creative solutions.  

Grasses to the south of the driveway.  These grasses bring a peaceful movement to our garden while separating the two properties.  

One of my focuses was to make sure my yard was full of color for all the seasons.  You will notice the different use of texture and colorful plant that are not recognized for their flower but rather the beautiful foliage. When asked what my favorite color is, my answer is always “Fall”.

Don’t miss…

  • The owl… what a unique piece of yard art!
  • The magnificent Magnolia tree.  This tree has at least doubled in size since we moved in December of 2018.  In the spring the blooms are huge and smell heavenly.  
  • The variety of plants that have unique texture, bark, and foliage. 
  • There is a lot of color in the yard.  It is a blend of plants and flowers.  A yard can be full of color and not have flowers.  

How we want others to describe our garden:

I want people to continually drive back by to see the four seasons of color and to see what in the world I have done now. We want people to describe our gardens as being unique, calming, peaceful, and full color.  I want them to see and feel the love of gardening I have. 

Challenges: using rock for mulch/groundcover

This year insects have been quite a challenge.  We have learned a lot about different treatment options and trying to stay with more of the all- natural treatments, when possible. 

Things won’t grow well unless you have healthy soil. We have spent a lot of time, energy, and money to improve the soil to create a rich, strong, and durable soil.  

We have also worked to maximize restricted spaces in the back yard and to make sure we group plants with similar needs.

Gardening Tip:

Number 1 is our garden will never ever be done.  It is a continuously evolving space that is ever changing.  We all have epic fails.  If you don’t like where you planted it, move it.  Never ever give up…something will grow.  Some will thrive, and some are going to die.  

Be creative on placement.  If something doesn’t work where you planted it, move it.

Educational Materials: