Gardens of Kansas City (Pt. 2 in a series of 3)

Written and Photographed by Ingrid Keizer

Another BIG thank you to Rosehill Garden’s Co-owner Curtis Stroud for being a most excellent tour guide and to designer, Gary Lueckenotto for the patience extended in serving as my garden and landscaping tutor.

rh 13

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.

Marcus Tullius Cicero

This sprawling garden took me completely by surprise. This Johnson County home was rather secluded with a tremendously spacious outdoor area, yet was located in a fairly well populated neighborhood. The colonial style architecture was very well suited for the outdoor space and the lay of the land. Though I agreed not to share a street-view photo of the home, I will say that the gorgeous home sat behind a substantial front yard, with large, graceful trees and a lawn which was scrupulously cared for. Upon entering the front gates, I felt that I was no longer in Kansas.

This residence had a long history with Rosehill Gardens as the former owner worked with Gary Lueckenotto who laid a lot of the foundation for the landscaping. Rosehill also provides maintenance and landscaping services for the current owner who works with Rosehill designer Jason Gebauer.

RH 17As we walked towards the backyard of this home I was tempted to veer off on to this trail that extended an invitation into the trees. While some younger trees have been planted recently the more established trees and the layers of plantings accent the depth of the foliage on this property. The stone steps give the impression that something lovely and magical lie beyond.

RH 16Gary Lueckenotto reminds us that plantings that are non-fowering offer a great deal in terms of texture and structure. This beautiful landscape makes use of that theory while offering small splashes of color. The brickwork accents the plantings and leads our eyes to the lovely, shady breezeway.

RH 14The wrought iron railing and limestone masonry create a classic look for this shady, multi-level terrace. The potted plants provide a low-maintenance embellishment to this gorgeous setting. This setting is so flexible as it  bodes well for a casual luncheon or a lovely, formal evening cocktail party.

RH 15

This beautiful old hedge-tree serves as a great centerpiece to the spacious backyard area and begs for little feet and hands to climb into its branches to observe the world on a warm, lazy afternoon.

RH 19A simple garden gate magically offers a segue into a new space. In this case it beckons the eye to explore the wonderland behind it.

This English Garden landscaping makes the visitor feel a bit like they have ventured into a Lewis Carroll novel. It didn’t seem unimaginable that a turn of a corner might result in seeing a tea party hosted by the Mad Hatter or smiling Cheshire Cat beaming from the branches of a tree.

RH 18

Hydrangea come in a beautiful variety of colors but in this Classic English Garden style Landscaping, the white Hydrangea is the absolute pefection.

Hydrangea do well in partial shade. They are best planted in early summer or fall. They should be planted no deeper than the pot they arrived in and in good healthy, soil that drains easily. One should avoid planting hydrangeas under trees as too much moisture could be retained in the soil. Hydrangeas should be fertilized once a year with a slow release fertilizer.

RH 20Congratulations to the Rosehill Garden Designers past and present, Gary Leuckenotto and Jason Gebauer for this fabulous landscaping project that transformed Kansas Prarie-land into a beautiful English Garden.

A few tips to remember.

  • use tiers of plantings to create eye catching layers
  • non-flowering plants add lovely textures
  • portals like gates serve as beautiful transitions from one space to another
  • groom mature existing trees to add character in landscaping
  • potted plants can add a colorful splash of color to a basic palette.


Help us to be ever faithful gardeners of the spirit, who know that without darkness nothing comes to birth and without light nothing flowers.

May Sarton

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  1. Karen Baker

    I would not have guessed Kansas City. Love the white hydrangeas. I’m lucky enough to have some in my yard.

  2. Brick Owens, RLA

    NSPJ Landscape Architects worked with the owners in 2008 to design the gardens and spaces. Rosehill, my favorite landscape contractor, was the installer and ultimately responsible for the maintenance. The did and have done a wonderful job!

    Please visit our web site to see other Kansas City landscapes.

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