Friday, May 10, 2013

Celebrate Public Gardens Day May 10 at Springfield Botanical Gardens

Written by Jeanne Duffey

National Public Gardens Day on Friday, May 10, 2013, will be observed locally at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park with several activities that highlight why green expanses are important to the community.

“Our park captures the essence of the history, culture and community by reflecting the landscapes, plants and gardens that perform best for this climate,” said Katie Steinhoff, coordinator of the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center. “Our volunteers maintain more than 20 outdoor display gardens and attractions, 15 special plant collections and five natural areas.”

On that day, beginning at 11 a.m. until 6 p.m., the Friends of the Garden-sponsored Dr. Bill Roston Native Butterfly House begins its fifth season of fun and education for adults and children alike. Last year, more than 22,000 people were entertained and educated by the colorful winged insects and their fascinating reproductive cycle.

On National Public Gardens Day, admission is free to the 7.5-acre Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden. “Usually it costs $3 to get into the Stroll Garden,” said Steinhoff, “But the Springfield-Greene County Park Board is giving back to the community by offering complimentary admission.” Hours are 9 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.

Master Gardeners of Greene County will be on hand to answer home gardening questions in the Hotline office located in the Botanical Center. Bring in an insect, diseased leaf or plant for diagnosis. The Hotline, 417-881-8909, ext. 320, is staffed from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

Visitors can also stroll through the Master Gardener Demonstration Garden with its mixed perennial border, themed herb beds, ornamental grasses, Missouri native plants, turf plots and kitchen garden to get ideas for their own gardens.

The Greene County Extension Center is also open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Visitors can also drop of soil tests from their lawn, garden or field during that time. Visitors can also view two Greene County Extension displays inside the Botanical Center. One entitled, “A Day in the Life of MU Extension” and another that showcases the “One-room Schools of Greene County.”

Hop on the Solar Garden Tram at the Botanical Center to get an overall feel for and access to the 114-acre Park Board-operated public park. The free service is available from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. “Look for peak blooms in the azalea, peony and iris gardens,” said Steinhoff.

To learn more about National Public Gardens Day, visit


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