Sunday afternoon my husband took me and my very good friend Toni, to a close-by small town called Belle Plaine. It is the home of the 100 yr. old Bartlett Arboretum. I had wanted to go to the Tulip Time awhile back, but it was raining a lot during that time, so we couldn't go. I was so disappointed, but I thought I could go next year, and I stopped thinking about it. That is, until a local news lady, Sierra Scott, did a facebook post about the Arboretum, and she told of a wonderful fund-raising party she had just attended. She posted many beautiful pictures and it whet my appetite!
Well, since that sparked my interest once again I went to the website and found out that the Arboretum was only open for special events, like the annual Tulip Time, school visits, weddings, receptions and concerts etc. I was surprised to see that a bluegrass concert with "The Claire Lynch Band" was scheduled for Sunday, and so I asked the hubby if we could go, and he said yes!!!! We invited my good friend Toni to go along with us too...and we all three enjoyed it sooo much.
Toni and I had gone to the Arboretum way back in the early 80's, and I hadn't been back since then. Toni has since moved to Arizona, but with her being a native Kansas girl, I knew she would enjoy seeing it again since its improvements. It was in the Bartlett family for many years, but they sold it in the 90's to Robin Macy (former Dixie Chick), who has been it's "steward" ever since. She has been restoring it over the years with the help of a grant, donations and many volunteers. It is such a worthwhile project. There is a link at the bottom of this post that tells the story. I think you will enjoy hearing a bit of the history.
The grounds had so many huge trees, a lake, with a lovely bridge, a sweet gazebo, a tree swing, and many paths to follow, which were lined with pretty flowers and plants. When we first arrived there was a young band welcoming us to the park, and we listened to them as we strolled along the path.
They let you bring lawn chairs, and blankets, and picnic coolers, so you can relax on the lawn and grassy areas by the stage.
My husband had his straw hat to keep cool! And in the picture below, you can see that several others donned their straw hats too!
Before the concert we strolled around some of the 15 acres to explore. They had food venders, so there was a wonderful BBQ smell wafting in the air as we walked around. We brought a little snack and some water, so we didn't buy any food...but it sure smelled good!
We liked this sign! I used to sing that to my grand-babies when they were little! "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray, you'll never know dear how much I love you...please don't take my sunshine away!"
I liked these birdhouses, and the flowers in that area. It was just a lovely place!
The Claire Lynch Band was really good! I like bluegrass, but don't really listen to it very much. But after hearing this band I am wanting some of their cd's. "Dear Sister" is their newest album title.
Claire Lynch Site
And here's a link to the Arboretum with a video about it's history, that I found very interesting!
Have a nice week ahead! Oh, and if you are local, they are having a concert on Father's Day. Tickets are 10.00 each at the gate!