Local Flowers For Your English Cottage Garden

Local Flowers For Your English Cottage Garden

Covid19 and Gardening

Your travel experiences may be virtual, real or both. Gardening can be a good therapy. It is amazing how by growing local perennial flowers you can bring back those good travel memories. The English Country side is breathtaking. You may not have the beautiful Cotswolds Walls in your backyard. And you may not have the sheep grazing in the pasture. Create your own garden paradise!

American Cottage Garden in Kansas USA

English Cottage Garden in Kansas USA

Cottage Garden In Your Backyard
Surrounding yourself with nature and enjoying God’s creation is rejuvenating. The idea is to maximize the flowers with curvy paths and herbaceous borders. There is balance between Garden and Wilderness. The look is entirely up to the individual gardener. Create your own garden space that reflects your personality and invite the butterflies, birds and pollinators to share it with you.

Lilly Tree

Flowers that go well in your American Cottage Garden
Plant flowers that keep coming back year after year or perennials for your climate zone. Let the breeze blow through your Cottage Garden.

Yarrow
English Cottage Garden

You can relax and watch the flowers dance in the gentle breeze. For an instance you can choose flowers such as Roses, Penstemon, Hollyhocks, Lillies, Mexican Fleabane, Clematis, Hardy Geraniums Coneflowers and Yarrow. Peonies and Irises will keep coming back year after year with beautiful blooms. You can even create a meadow space in your garden with wildflowers. You can choose to plant from seed. If you are planting from seed, choose the meadow wildflowers and not the annuals. Annuals prefer rich soil. And it will attract pollinators to your meadow!

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Historic Fort Hays Kansas USA

Fort Hays Historic Site Kansas USA
Fort Hays Historic Site Kansas USA

How to get to Hays, Kansas, USA
Via I-70, US-40, and US-183 lies the town of Hays, Kansas, one of the more popular places in the area. Hays and Salina were a big deal when the interstate was first built. If you have noticed when you first approach an interstate, it will have north and south or west and east directions depending on the interstate. With that they will have an important town name in addition to the sign so people know where things are. West of Hays, you will get names of towns on the signs that aren’t even in Kansas such as Limon or Denver in Colorado. East of Hays you will get signs for Salina, Topeka, Kansas City, St. Louis, etc. Based on that information, we can figure that Hays is recognized more than some cities in the state. 

Old Fort Hays Historical Marker
Old Fort Hays Historical Marker

In addition to the interstate and US-183, there is Bypass US-183 that travels around the southwest parts of town, including Fort Hays State University. If you are traveling from East I-70 to South US-183 or from North US-183 to West I-70, this is an excellent way to skip town traffic along Vine Street or US-183. Vine Street is one of the main roads in town with many places to eat. The road actually named “Main Street” takes you through downtown, the library, pool, park, etc. There are also enough businesses north of the interstate to choose from.

Fort Hays Historic Site Kansas USA
Fort Hays Historic Site Kansas USA

Besides Fort Hays State University, you can visit the Sternberg Museum, Old Fort Hays, a golf course, country club, and more parks. My family likes to visit a park east of Main Street and just north of Bypass US-183. There is a playground, picnic areas, and a great view of Big Creek from the bridge going over it. We like the location of Hays mostly because it is a nice halfway point to meet up with family out west. We have many places to stop for food right off the interstate along US-183 north or south. Occasionally, even though it is slightly off track for us, we like taking the bypass so we can check out more of the town and Fort Hays.

Jellison Covered Bridge - Fort Hays University Kansas
Jellison Covered Bridge – Fort Hays University Kansas

Fort Hays State University Kansas

In the southwest part of Hays, there is the university of Fort Hays State. Along Bypass US-183, you can view some of its sports complexes such as the tennis and baseball fields and their basketball stadium. Slightly east, you can find its campus and educational buildings. 

Fort Hays State Kansas
Fort Hays State Kansas

There is a nice bridge otherwise known as the Jellison Bridge. If I had to pick a cool place at the university, this would be a top pick. Looking south from South Campus Road, it is cool to see the length of the bridge over the water and through the trees. This is a route for students to get to and from the Custer, McMindes, and Agnew Halls or the Performing Arts Center and Nursing Departments. 

Jellison Covered Bridge - Fort Hays University Kansas
Jellison (Covered) Bridge – Fort Hays University Kansas

The main campus extends as far north as North Campus Drive, as far east as Elm Street and Lewis Drive, and as far west and south as the Big Creek Trail. Again, all sports complexes however are near Bypass US-183 west of the trail. There are signs that will help guide you to the fields and stadiums. For people living out west, they consider this to be a decent sized and popular college. K-State and Kansas Universities are all located in the east of the state and Wichita State being centrally located south. This is most likely the next best choice after these three public colleges. There are many community colleges you can find in western Kansas towns such as Garden City, Liberal, Dodge City, Colby, Goodland, etc. 

Fort Hays State University Kansas USA
Fort Hays State University Kansas USA
Fort Hays State Kansas
Fort Hays State Kansas

After everything mentioned, for any future college students, the choice is yours. Visitors can tour at times and see its beauty with all of the buildings, trees, and water such as Big Creek in the background of the college. It looks satisfying enough to be a decent university that deserves to be seen by more people. Feel free to stop by and check out the university! It might be the one for you! 


Waconda Lake Kansas

How to get to Waconda Lake, Kansas, USA
Waconda Lake out in north central Kansas is located west of Beloit and east of Downs. There isn’t much at all in the south part of the lake. All of the activities and important parts are up north. The lake extends as far west as Cawker City and as far east as Glen Elder.

Waconda Lake, Kansas, USA.

South of Cawker City, you can take Lake Drive for some scenic views. South of Glen Elder, you can take Glen Elder Dam Road for more scenic viewing. Additionally, even if you are just travelling along US-24 & K-9 north of the lake, it does cut through part of the lake so you can have another decent view looking south.

World's Largest Ball of Twine, Cawker City, Kansas, USA
World’s Largest Ball of Twine, Cawker City, Kansas, USA

Fun Fact: Cawker City, Kansas has the world’s largest ball of twine for any photographers out there!

Glen Elder State Park, Kansas, USA
The town of Glen Elder is a decent town with a view of the lake daily. West of the town is Glen Elder State Park, or the state park used to visit Waconda Lake. Restrooms and showers are nearby the Pawnee, Kanza, Kaw, Arikaree, and Takoda campgrounds and the Glen Elder Marina. US-24 & K-9 is the main route to get to Cawker City and Glen Elder. If you are coming south on K-128, you can just keep on going straight even after its end and it will take you directly to the campgrounds and the state park. Coming west on US-24 & K-9, the turnoff after Glen Elder Dam Road seems to be a more direct way to access the state park. It is an unnamed road south of the highway but north of it, the street is called 190 Road.

Boat Ramp at Waconda Lake, Kansas, USA

Cawker City and Glen Elder are both small towns but are very near Waconda Lake. US-24 & K-9 run through and near these cities which give these towns some more popularity. Since it is closer to Glen Elder, they named the state park after the town and gave its citizens a better view of the town. However, I am a little more familiar with Cawker City since some of my family has lived there before.


Cedar Bluff State Park Kansas

Cedar Bluff Reservoir is a lake out west in the state of Kansas. If you were to look at a map of western Kansas, this is most likely the first lake you would notice from its size. The main way to get there is by taking K-147 via I-70 or K-4. There are also ways to get there from US-283. I like taking this route through the Smoky Valley when I am going south or even north coming from family out west. 

Cedar Bluff State Park Kansas USA
Cedar Bluff State Park Kansas USA

Going east from US-283 or west from K-147 south of the lake takes you to the Cedar Bluff State Park-Shop. It is just another area to visit at the south end of the lake. Traveling on K-147, you can spot a fish hatchery to the east. There is a nice dam and a 14 foot tall bridge over the Smoky Hill River along the way north to Ogallah and I-70 or south to Brownell and K-4.

However, I recommend going towards the northeast part of the lake where Cedar Bluff State Park is located. This is where my grandparent loved to fish. We go here mainly to remember them and also enjoy the great scenery of the lake. The wood branches coming out of the water really caught my attention for some reason. Maybe I’m not the only one who enjoyed that look so I thought I might mention it. There will be enough restrooms near the campgrounds of the park if you wish to visit. 


El Dorado Lake Kansas

How to get to El Dorado Lake
El Dorado Lake is one of two great big lakes closest to Wichita, Kansas. To the west is Cheney Reservoir which you can get there from Wichita by taking via K-251 from US-54 and US-400.

To the east is the El Dorado Lake which you can get to from Wichita by taking via K-254. US-54 and US-77 also meet up in the town of El Dorado.
K-177 runs on the east side of the lake and I-35 runs through the north part of the lake and even cuts through a part of it. If you look on the map, you can tell that the south and the east part of the lake have more activities since it is more accessible to the two-laned highways. 

El Dorado Lake Kansas USA
El Dorado Lake Kansas USA

Driving via K-177
Driving via K-177, you can visit the Shady Creek Area or the Bluestem Area.

Shady Creek Area
Towards the south you can find the Shady Creek Area by taking Access Road to NE 6th Street. You can find tons of designated camping areas with a boat ramp to use as well as plenty of restrooms. It will be a right turn after the park station unless you want to go to the Shady Creek Sales & Service building. If you are taking Access Road west from the highway and you don’t want to take NE 6th Street to the campgrounds, just continue west to find more excitement by the Walnut River.

Bluestem Area
To the east north of the Shady Creek Area you can find the Bluestem Area that includes some cabins, more campgrounds, and a swim beach. There are many restrooms and showers you can use to clean up, change clothes, etc. Apart from the highway and anywhere east from it the area is surrounded by the lake on both sides. This is in my opinion probably one of the cooler places to visit for the day.