By JIM MISUNAS
LARNED — Alice Schnack’s Memorial Rose Garden launched 55 years ago is receiving a badly-needed facelift.
Members of the Larned Garden Club will use proceeds from the 2015 Summer Garden Tour to renovate the Memorial Rose Garden at Schnack-Lowrey Park.
A grant from the Golden Belt Community Foundation using the Glenn and Elaine Mull Family funds will allow the Garden Club to improve the Memorial plaques.
The Memorial Rose Garden was established in 1960. Funds received from the Garden Walk will be used to renovate the Memory Rose Garden making the area handicapped accessible, restore original names, add fencing and an expanded viewing area.
Admission is $5 in advance or $6 on Saturday to view six gardens from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Advance tickets are available at downtown banks, the Larned Chamber of Commerce and from garden club members. Refreshments will be available at the Memory Rose Garden.
Participating gardens are H.A and Lovella Smith at 1720 College; David and Linda Zecha, 602 W. 16th; Ed and Donna Meyer, 412 W 12th; Jadene Colglazier 517 W. 8th; Leonard and Cindy Grant, 320 Rush; and the Larned Memorial Rose Garden in Schnack-Lowrey Park at 1st and Carroll Street.
“Those families love to garden and share what they have worked on,” said Merlene Baird, past president and Larned Garden Club member. “There will be guides at each site who will answer questions.”
Baird said the Schnack family owned the property that is named Schnack-Lowrey Park, which has been donated to the city of Larned.
“Mrs. Alice Schnack started a rose garden that anyone who planted a rose would be planted as a living memory of a family member,” Baird said. “It was an interesting project that started with a few roses. The renovation will make the Memory Rose Garden handicap accessible and construct new signs. We have a full-time gardener that performs all the weeding, trimming and maintenance work. It’s a lot of work.”
Rose bushes that used to cost 75 now can cost more than $40 per bush.
“It will be a beautiful improvement,” Biard said.
Baird briefly described each garden, which feature unique characteristics.
“The Zecha garden also has mature trees and landscaping that has been a work in progress for several years,” Baird said.
“The Meyer yard is a certified wildlife habitat with pond pergola and a nature emphasis,” she said.
“The Colglazier garden is small and features small perennials, annuals, vegetables and plants that prefer the shade,” Baird said.
“The Grant garden features whimsical items and themes throughout the relaxing area to entertain,” she said.
“The Smith garden changes each year and in fact each month,” she said. “They grow and share the plants so the garden changes and expands at all times.”
New plantings and plans for the Memorial Rose Garden will be shown where refreshments will be served.