The Splendor of Spring 4

Leawood Homeowner’s Many Gardens 
are a Feast for the Senses

Lynn Fairbanks’ passion for gardening started at an early age. She loved her grandmother’s garden and the many house plants her mother kept around their home.

As an adult, Fairbanks first settled for a  “postage stamp” garden at her condo and later a house with a small yard. In 2000, she moved to her current home in south Leawood, where she finally had room to really pursue her passion. And pursue she did.

Her large “short acre” yard had some very nice trees but no flowerbeds or gardens, other than a few foundation plantings. Over the years, little by little and through countless hours of hard work each season, she has transformed it into a spectacular botanical garden.

“There is a formal herb garden in the front yard,” Fairbanks explains, “and four foundation planting beds and three other flower beds.

“In the back, there is a large water garden with planting areas all around it, a vegetable/cutting garden, where I grow tall Zinnias, a terrace garden, five mixed borders for both sun and shade, a rose garden, and a quasi-Japanese garden.”

All together, there are 26 flowerbeds and gardens in the yard.

Fairbanks also has tropical plants in large pots that she keeps inside over the winter and then sprinkles them throughout the gardens in the spring and summer to add more color and texture.

“There are always a lot of mixed pots, mostly annuals, where I use various color schemes. I love blue or purple with chartreuse and the mixture of textures in the pots.

Fairbanks, who became an Extension Master Gardener in 2008, says she initially learned a lot through magazines and books, but has gained a lot of knowledge over the years through trial and error.

“Gardeners are always learning something new and trying different things,’ she says.

Keeping up literally hundreds of plantings is no easy task. Fairbanks says she spends up to two hours a day working in the yard between April and mid-October. In the off season she’s cleaning out beds, bringing pots inside for winter, and starting seedlings for the next spring.

“I love flowers and growing things,” says Fairbanks. “I’ve loved creating my garden and improving it. As I get older, I know I should find ways to simplify and still keep it beautiful. So far, I haven’t been able to do that!”

Gardeners just can’t resist the call of the garden center, she adds with a smile.