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Want ideas for your garden this summer? Visit one of Johnson County’s 9 demo gardens


Looking for gardening inspiration? Here’s where you can find the K-State Horticulture Research and Extension Office’s demo gardens across Johnson County. Image from K-State Horticulture Research and Extension Office Facebook page

Gardeners and amateur green thumbs looking for inspiration this summer are in luck in Johnson County. 

Here’s why: The Johnson County Extension Master Gardener program runs several demonstration gardens across the county.

  • These sites serve as an opportunity for residents to observe what’s growing locally and chat with garden volunteers about maintaining that growth.
  • “They’re just basically to give people an idea of what they can grow what they can,” said K-State Research and Extension horticulturist Dennis Patton. “And how they can incorporate it into their home settings for more pleasing landscape.”

Where to find demo gardens near you

Backyard Garden: This one is located at the K-State Horticulture Research and Extension Office at 35230 West 135th Street in Olathe. 

  • It’s open to the public, but visitors need to check in at the office before proceeding into the garden.
  • It has a range of vegetables and fruits, including blackberries, blueberries and strawberries.

Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead: At 137th and Switzer, the farmstead is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from April to October. 

  • The demo garden there has a range of attractions, including a butterfly garden, a children’s garden, herbs and vegetables.
  • Visitors can chat with gardeners while they work on site on Tuesday mornings.
  • Admission to the farmstead is $3 for anyone ages three and above.

Garden Gallery: The Garden Gallery is at the K-State Research and Extension office building at 11811 South Sunset Drive in Olathe.

  • It’s open year-round, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.
  • Extension Master Gardeners can answer questions there on Thursday mornings.
  • Trees and shrubs are the main focus of the garden, but it contains more than 500 species of plants.

Monet Garden: At the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens at 8909 West 179th Street, the one-acre Monet Garden has a large range of plants in a variety of different colors. 

  • The garden is open every day of the week, from 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
  • Master gardeners are there to answer visitor questions on Wednesday and Saturday mornings.

Shawnee Indian Mission Garden: At 53rd and Mission Road in Fairway, the Shawnee Indian Mission Garden features vegetables like broccoli, potatoes, lettuce and onions. 

  • The garden has a focus on history and been named a state historic site and national historic landmark.
  • It’s open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays, and from 1-5 p.m. on Sundays.
  • Chat with gardeners there on Wednesday mornings from March to October.

Shawnee Town gardens: You can find an herb garden and flower garden at 11501 West 57th Street in Shawnee. 

  • The herb garden has a range of herbs that can be used in cooking, medicine, potpourri and beverages.
  • The flower garden, also often referred to as the country garden, features each year’s newly released annual flowers.
  • It’s open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday.
  • Master gardeners are there to answer questions on Friday mornings.

Wassmer Park Garden: At 6700 Roe Avenue in Prairie Village, the Wassmer Park Garden is open all year.

  • This garden is named after former Prairie Village mayor Laura Wassmer.
  • The K-State Research and Extension Office calls this one a “pocket garden,” containing more than 400 species of plants.
  • Volunteers maintain the gardens on Monday afternoons.

West Flanders Garden: At 55th and Neiman Road in Shawnee, the West Flanders Garden at West Flanders Park is a tribute to Pittem, Belgium, Shawnee’s sister city.

  • Open year-round, the garden has a wide range of plants, including shrubs, fruits, vegetables and herbs.
  • Master gardeners are there to answer questions on Thursday mornings.

Blue Valley Wilderness Science Center: At 163rd and Nall Avenue, this garden sits next to Blue Valley Middle School in Overland Park. 

  • It contains native plants from the four states that neighbor Kansas.
  • This garden is open to the public when classes aren’t in session.
  • Volunteers are there maintaining the gardens on Monday mornings.