Victorian Rose, Herb & Heirloom Gardens at the Carroll Mansion Museum
Many local residents have probably toured the Carroll Mansion Museum at 1128 Fifth Avenue and taken a step back in time to the Victorian era of Leavenworth. But, how many have thought to walk about the spacious lawn of this historic property and discover another treasure lovingly cared for on the grounds?
Tucked back in the northwest corner of the museum grounds, the inquisitive visitor will be rewarded with the delightful sight of the Herb & Heirloom Gardens, constructed by the Leavenworth County Master Gardeners. Planned in 1997, the gardens were completed in 2008 and received the 2009 “Search for Excellence” state award from the Kansas State University Research and Extension office.
Featuring kitchen herbs as well as heirloom flowers and vegetables, the garden resembles the spokes of a wagon wheel, reminiscent of the wagons that once rolled through Leavenworth on their way westward. Paths here are then outlined with 4,436 bricks recycled from the streets of Leavenworth. Specialty gardens within the spaces between the wheel spokes contain kitchen, cottage, salad, fragrance, tea, medicinal, butterfly, shade and heirloom plant varieties. Placed strategically throughout the garden are horticultural vignettes utilizing statues, garden art, arbors, benches, a water fountain, and an espalier apple tree.
The Ella Carroll Memorial Rose Garden is also tended by the Master Gardeners. Located in the oval center of the circular brick driveway on the south side of the museum beside the peony garden, memorial rose bushes can be purchased in the memory of a loved one.
Master gardeners have devoted countless hours in nurturing these lovely gardens. This past weekend they opened the gardens for viewing but due to the downpour Saturday morning, not many ventured out to take advantage of their guided tour and plant sale. Before the heat of the summer takes its toll, why not take a little time out from your busy day and drop by to see for yourself. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm for tours and the gardens are free for viewing. Come sit on one of the benches and revel in the magnificence of these Victorian gardens!