May 12, 2013

Crowds bloom on Mother’s Day at Botanica gardens

Mother’s Day at Botanica Wichita had its moments.

Mother’s Day at Botanica Wichita had its moments.

Kay Shrauner, her daughter Kristeena Rogers and her three granddaughters – Anna, Gracie and Georgia – were strolling the grounds Sunday.


“Moms get in free,” Shrauner said. “And it is such a nice day to go around, look at flowers and enjoy the children. I was beginning to think spring wouldn’t come.”

Six-year-old Gracie was clearly disappointed.

She likes Botanica because “you get to see butterflies.”

Alas, Kansas weather has turned the 2013 winter and spring fickle.

There were no butterflies; “it’s been so cold,” Rogers said.

But 7-year-old Anna was great with Botanica and the fickle spring.

“I like cold stuff because my birthday is in winter,” Anna said. “I like coldness and putting my feet in water.”

Mother’s Day at Botanica boasted temperatures in the high 60s, shoulder-to-shoulder crowds and tons of flowers. Nearly 2,500 people visited the gardens and bought plants through the rose society and day lily and iris clubs, according to Kathy Osler, Botanica’s membership director.

Parking for the famed gardens meant parking along side streets for blocks in all directions and a fairly lengthy walk to get to the entrance. But once there, the gardens were ablaze with colors from tulips, irises, peonies, lilies and more.

Visitors strolled though the gardens while a band played on the terrace.

“The best part? I love all the hidden little nooks you can go and sit in,” said Nancy Bell Ringer, who was there with her husband, Calvin, and 25-year-old daughter Amy.

Mary Ann Gertsen of North Newton visited with her daughter Karen Gertsen, son Bill Gertsen of Tulsa and grandson Will.

“I hoped to see roses in bloom, and I did,” she said. “I saw one in the show. I realize we had a late spring, and it did not surprise me they did not have more blooming roses.”

She was proudly carrying a new purse, a Mother’s Day gift.

So when she was asked by a visitor when all those years ago she gave birth to three children and went about the task of raising them, was it worth it?

“It’s worth it every day,” she said, clutching her purse.

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