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The Desert Blooms this January at Powell Gardens

Visitors can easily travel to warmer climes when “Desert in Bloom” opens Jan. 10 at Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s botanical garden. The glass-topped conservatory gracing the Visitor Center will showcase diverse shapes and sizes of cacti and succulents, ranging from the towering Century Plant to the scarlet-flowered Crown of Thorns.

The exhibit, on display through Feb. 22, is part of regular winter Garden admission of $7/adults, $6/seniors and $3/children 5-12. Visitors also can learn how to bring the beauty of the desert to their homes during these related activities:

Jan. 10-11: Succulent Dish Garden Make and Take
Visitors can stop by from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday or 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday to create a small succulent dish garden. Participants can choose from a variety of succulents for this low-maintenance project and will receive information on how to care for the plants at home. Cost is $15 per project.

Jan. 24-25: Supertufa® Cactus Planter Make and Take
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, visitors can learn how to mold Supertufa® into a 6-inch planter perfect for a single cactus. The planter will be ready for gentle handling within an hour. The cost of $15 per project includes potting mix and a small cactus.

Wassailing & Winter Feast
Powell Gardens' staff and guests will come together to wassail the orchards of the Heartland Harvest Garden during the third annual Wassailing & Winter Feast at 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 17.

Wassail, which comes from the Anglo-Saxon greeting “wes hal,” means “be of good health” and is perhaps best known as a wintertime drink of spiced wine or ale. But the tradition of “wassailing” to encourage a productive apple harvest dates back at least to the 1500s. 

Participants will learn a bit more about this tradition before the group moves into the Apple Spiral to sing to the health of the apple trees, scare away the evil spirits and imbibe some “old recipe wassail”—all with a goal of ensuring a more productive harvest for 2015. After the outdoor festivities, visitors will return to the warmth of the Grand Hall for a buffet-style country dinner featuring roast pig and traditional wassail. The price is $45 per person and space is limited. Make reservations by calling 816-697-2600 x209 or sign up online at powellgardens.org/wassailing.