Overland Park arboretum nationally recognized - KCTV5

Overland Park arboretum nationally recognized

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Despite the heat, the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is in full bloom.  And the Monet Garden might make people feel like they are walking through a famous French masterpiece. (Erika Tallan/KCTV5) Despite the heat, the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is in full bloom. And the Monet Garden might make people feel like they are walking through a famous French masterpiece. (Erika Tallan/KCTV5)
OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -

A metro garden was named one of the Top 10 Glorious Gardens to Explore by Yahoo! Travel this week.

Despite the heat, the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is in full bloom. And there is one garden there that might make people feel like they are walking through a famous French masterpiece.

If the green bridge, weeping willow and lotus pond doesn't ring a bell, maybe the name will. The Monet Garden is based off a Claude Monet painting of his own garden in France.

"This is really a jewel for the city of Kansas City," said Dennis Patton, who has had his hands in the garden for 10 years.

Though not an exact replica, it comes close with combinations of color, light and layers in the garden for structure.

For Patton, his work is a labor of love.

"I've been here since the beginning, and I remember coming out here for the first time when this pond was like a rip, a bulldozer had gone through and it was just steep cliffs," Patton said.

Like a true Monet, the garden style is wild, not manicured.

"It is a rather loosely-looking garden. Everything flows together, but it does take work to maintain that, dead heading, weeding, watering and fertilizing to make sure the garden is always in prime shape when visitors come out," Patton said.

Thirty volunteers a week keep the flowers blooming. The colors are the tones seen in Monet's art.

And garden's recent national recognition has not gone unnoticed.

"It is terrific! We know that there is a lot of hard work that goes into the gardens, and we know that our visitors really enjoy being out here. But to know that nationally, someone has noticed and put us on a list with some terrific gardens is incredible," gardens supervisor Karen Kerkhoff said.

Staff members hope to attract more eyes to Kansas' very own masterpiece.

"It is amazing the amount of people that don't know this exists," Patton said.

Patton said no matter what time of year people come out, they will see a different plant shine.

If you want to come out, it is affordable - $3 for adults and $1 for children. Master gardeners are at the arboretum on Wednesday and Saturday mornings to answer questions.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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