Powell Gardens ushers in spring with first annual Bloomfest


KINGSVILLE, Mo. — The weekend’s gorgeous weather is drawing crowds to the first annual Bloomfest at Powell Gardens.

Art and horticulture collide in a spectacular display.

As you enter the conservatory inside the visitor’s center at Powell Gardens, it feels like you are stepping into the pages of a richly illustrated storybook.

Under the colorful awning, a table set with whimsy awaits.

The scene is the vision of one of several local designers chosen to take a painting displayed at the Nelson Atkins Museum and bring it to life at Powell Gardens.

Inspiration here is from the 1932 painting entitled “Birthday Bouquet”.

“I decided we would do like a birthday celebration,” John Rufenacht, designer and owner of Rufenacht Interiors, said. “She is having her birthday party dinner in her garden.”

The original artist introduced a snake into the painting so Rufenacht brought one to Powell Gardens as well.

“That’s one of the great mysteries of her paintings as to why the snake, but I decided he was her own personal garden snake,” Rufenacht said.

 Six local artist and designers chose paintings from the Nelson and re-imagined them using plants and blooms.

“This was inspired by the mythology,” Will Brown, designer and owner of Will Brown Interiors, said. “Persephone herself is the goddess of spring, so it’s really about the moments she’s bursting forth to let us know that spring has arrived.”

All around Powell Gardens, trees and flowers are bursting with color. This weekend, Strawberry S wing has brought dozens of makers to add to the springtime bliss.

From live succulent walls in the greenhouse to flower gardens to rows of redbud trees. A few weeks in the middle of spring offers some of the most beautiful botanical gardens.

Bloomfest at Powell Gardens continue through Mother’s Day weekend.

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