Moms, families take in beauty of Botanica’s gardens

05/11/2014 5:32 PM

05/11/2014 5:34 PM

Mother’s Day in Wichita saw temperatures in the blustery, humid high 80s.

That didn’t stop families from attending an annual Wichita tradition: Mother’s Day at Botanica Gardens.

Although the gardens didn’t open until 11 a.m. Sunday, people began lining up at the gate by 10:30.

Mother’s Day at Botanica boasted shoulder-to-shoulder crowds and tons of flowers. More than 2,500 people visited the gardens and bought plants through the rose society and daylily and iris clubs.

Admission for mothers was free.

Vehicles were lined up on side streets in all directions from Botanica as people came to view the 26 themed gardens.

“People are still rolling in,” Kathy Sweeney, director of Botanica’s special events, said at about 4 p.m. Sunday.

For some families, it was a multigenerational celebration. Stella Braden brought her mother and daughter.

“We thought we would enjoy Mother’s Day with flowers,” Braden said. “I spent Mother’s Day here every year for the last seven years.”

She finds peace in the gardens.

“It is a tradition,” she said. “I just love flowers.”

And, Braden said, she likes getting ideas for her own yard.

“I take along a paper and pen, and if I see something I like, I write down the names and go to the garden store and look for them.”

This year, Botanica’s visitors could make silk scarves for their moms or buy mom a mimosa or hot tea and a scone.

Nicole Post brought her 21-month-old son, Connor, and her mother, stepfather, grandmother and sister to the gardens.

“They have something fun for all the generations, and I really enjoy looking at the gardens,” Post said. “My son loves flowers already more than most children. He loves going up in the treehouse. It is a perfect way to do a Mother’s Day.”

Jackie Durante drove from Oklahoma to attend Sunday’s Mother’s Day event at Botanica.

She sat near a fountain drinking a mimosa and looking out over one of the gardens.

“This is for me,” she said. “I’ve got kids and grandkids. But none of them are here.”

Her treat was simply looking at flowers.

“It is great to be here.”

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