Monday, August 18, 2008

Powell Gardens' Butterflies

Hundreds of multicolored tropical butterflies flitted from flower to flower inside screened pavilions where volunteers held caterpillars on their hands and small branches. Jessa and James Huebing-Reitinger shared their traveling art and science education exhibit, Project InSECT, for which Jessa paints luminous gigantic portraits of insects and James teaches visitors about the insects portrayed on each canvas. Children made butterfly wings and antennae headbands and painted pots to take home as adults purchased butterfly bushes.

It has been 12 years since Powell Gardens, Kingsville, Mo., began holding it's Festival of Butterflies during each August. Brilliant blue skies and an unusually comfortable temperature in the mid-80s brought people out by the hundreds on August 16.

But there's more to the 20-year-old Powell Gardens than butterfly festivals. It includes approximately 900 acres of rural countryside with a massive perennial garden, a waterfall and rock garden, a two-acre Island Garden, and a fountain garden. The stunning Marjorie Powell Allen Chapel was designed by architect Fay Jones - who took inspiration from Frank Lloyd Wright's designs. Next up is a 12-acre Heartland Harvest Garden which will help visitors follow food 'from seed to plate,' beginning in spring 2009.

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