Now it’s a totally logical train of thought to think: Why would anyone opt to visit an arboretum and botanical gardens in January…in the midwest. Last I heard most species of flora lay dormant during the winter months. To this I would say, you are right there isn’t much in bloom during this time of year but I didn’t know of the Overland Park Arboretum until about a month ago, and seeing as I have no idea when (or if) I will ever return to Kansas City it seemed silly not to give it a look-see. How many suburbs can boast their own Botanical gardens? Seven? Yes it’s probably seven.
Whenever I would use The Google to search for something in Overland Park, undoubtedly the first option to pop up as I typed was the Arboretum. I felt it was a sign from the interwebs and I should check it out. Plus it’s only three bucks (this was new, it used to be free) and they also were a drop off point to recycle Christmas Trees. We loaded the car with our wilting scotch pine and headed out.
The day was clear and sunny but still pretty chilly so we had the place mostly to ourselves. Even though nothing was in bloom I could tell this was a special gem in Overland Park. It’s laid out beautifully with several ponds (all frozen and they glistened in the early afternoon sun…yes I just said glistened), a series of Monet inspired gardens, an outdoor amphitheater, and two hiking trails.
It’s one of those spots where you forget where you are because you are enveloped by Mother Nature and for a brief while you are brought back to your basic senses.
You feel the crackling of dried leaves and twigs beneath your feet.
You hear the sounds of birds and running water breaking through the ice.
You touch the rocks on the Cheyenne Indian Nation made medicine wheel
And you taste the cool winter wind in your cheeks.
No traffic. No strip malls. No computer screens. Just a lovely garden on a lovely winter day.