Established in 1908, this .75-acre garden has recently been restored to reflect and enhance the site. The house was designed by architects Shepard & Farrar, a prominent early 20th-century Kansas City firm. A carriage path runs along the north side of the house to the detached carriage house. Minimal landscaping was included in the original plan, although there was a rose arbor gracing the front terrace. The recent restoration has resulted in a lush garden that is a continuing work in progress. This garden is unique to the lower Midwest because of its extensive use of southern plant material set in an urban microclimate. Found in an historic neighborhood with large, century-old oaks, the garden offers many themes and collections. Included are a formal front terrace organized by a boxwood hedge, with a large variety of azaleas and rhododendron. The New Orleans-style courtyard is accented by a magnolia collection. The owner has extended the dogwood and azalea plantings well beyond the garden gates towards the large parkways in the turn-of-the-century neighborhood. Throughout the property, the owner continues trial experiments with new plant materials. The back and side portions of the property feature a water garden, along with a bamboo and palm collection, ferns, a grotto, and a dry river bed. Varieties of large pines are accented by a dwarf conifer collection. The backyard woodland garden has a lived-in feel, despite its newness.
Persons and firms associated with the garden include: George A. Gurley (former owner, 1908-?); Robert Crist (former owner, 1982-1992); and Shepard & Farrar (architects, 1908).
The folder includes a worksheet, two versions of a site plan, a plant list, photocopies of articles about the house and garden, and related correspondence.
Garden has been featured in Marty Ross, "Garden Design," Lady's Gallery, Vol. 2, No. 6 (June-July 1995), pp. 57-60
Garden has been featured in Marty Ross, "Kansas City Southern," Kansas City Star, June 2, 2000
Garden has been featured in John Wornall House Museum Tour of Gardens booklet, June 2000