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As a gardener, nothing gives me greater joy than getting to visit someone else’s garden.

I enjoy the passion, enthusiasm, and the love of plants that others share with me. I get inspired with ideas for my own yard, and come away, sometimes envious, but always happy to be able to talk plants with another gardener. A friend asked me to go with her to visit John A’s garden in Bryant this week.

I had been there 5 or 6 years ago when the state MG conference was in Saline County, but I jumped at the chance to see it again. John is a self-taught, passionate gardener.

He not only loves plants and can grow anything he sticks in the ground, but he has style!

My friend had not been before, but had been to Europe on garden tours with me, and she was more than impressed. You don’t have to cross the pond to experience great gardens! John has multiple rooms in his garden, with themed gardens and fabulous art


The amazing thing about his gardens, is not just how beautiful they are, but the fact that he has built everything you see, and planted and maintained it all while working full time.

He has a wife and three grown children, but now is blessed with 2 grandchildren. He has started on a Hobbit house for them.

I am not sure when he sleeps!

While there were a few annuals in the garden, the bulk of his garden is permanent plants, with fabulous daylily

and clematis collections.

His dahlias

and lilies

were huge and rivaled anything we saw in Europe. He also has some unique specimens of plants we all know and love.

His native soil is not good, so he amends with super soil and compost, and it is definitely working! It was a great way to spend a morning, talking plants, taking pictures and being in awe of what you can do in your own yard. Truly an inspiration! And guess what his favorite color is? Orange!!

I think we may be soul mates!

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