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William T. Kemper Center for Home Gardening opens.

Aerial view showing Kemper Home Gardening Center and Blanke Boxwood Garden in background. View is looking to the west.

The William T. Kemper Center for Home Gardening is the largest non-profit gardening information center of its kind in the nation. It provides recreation, education and resources for Midwestern home gardeners. The Kemper Center pavilion opened in 1991, and includes a cozy living room area with a fireplace, a demonstration kitchen, a "plant doctor" clinic, a gardening book reference library that includes tool and seed catalogs, a greenhouse, a classroom, indoor gardening displays, monthly gardening calendars, an information center and offices. It has the look and feel of a residential structure. The 23 display gardens, which opened in 1996, include a city garden; butterfly garden; secret garden; family vegetable garden; fruit garden; ornamental displays for landscaping, lawns, and shrubs; rock, shade and flower trial gardens; children's garden; herb garden; garden for attracting birds; and other gardens.The Kemper Center provides home gardeners with a valuable opportunity to see the application of gardening principles discussed in reference materials and the pavilionís displays. Since each garden is scaled to the size of a typical residence, the visitor has the opportunity to apply these principles at home.


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