BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — About 25 miles from Kansas City you’ll find Colonial Gardens, which is off I-70 and Missouri Highway 7. It’s 12 minutes southeast of Lake Jacomo, and 10 minutes north of Lake Lotawana.
Colonial Gardens has been a part of the Kansas City area for over 50 years. It was founded by Everett Chapman, a man who grew up in a family of farmers. Chapman initially worked part-time at Raytown Nursery where he learned about trees, opening Colonial Gardens in 1969.
“Through the 70’s he built a really amazing garden center. From what I understand, it was the garden center to go to in Kansas City,” owner and CEO Tory Schwope said.
Schwope grew up just down the street from the nursery. His experience has now come full circle.
“As a little boy I used to come here a lot in the 80’s. It was an amazing place, a big place,” Schwope described.
Chapman sold the property in the early 90’s, where it went through rounds of different owners for years.
“I started looking at it around 2014 – it was still here, a lot of great people, but you could tell it was definitely not in its prime anymore,” Schwope said.
After buying Colonial Gardens, Schwope along with his crew, revitalized the gardens into what it is today: a nursery with all sorts of other experiences for visitors.
“Rather than grow trees in the field here, we decided to build an orchard, a farm, livestock operation,” Schwope said.
Colonial Gardens is open year-round, seven days a week – with reduced hours on Sundays.