For the second consecutive year a group of volunteer gardeners in west Independence took home three awards in the Kansas City Home Builders Association’s Home Show and Flower, Lawn and Garden Show. The show was held Thursday through Sunday at Bartle Hall in Kansas City.

For the second consecutive year a group of volunteer gardeners in west Independence took home three awards in the Kansas City Home Builders Association’s Home Show and Flower, Lawn and Garden Show. The show was held Thursday through Sunday at Bartle Hall in Kansas City.

Gardening Friends, Inc., a not-for-profit volunteer group based in west Independence, won in the small garden category the HBA’s award for Best Theme, Best in Plant Material Composition and – for the second year in a row –  the Commissioner’s Award for Best Overall Display. 

Gardening Friends’ Denise Butler said the group’s award-winning display of the “Candy Land” board game theme was a mega-hit, adding the group researched and came up with the Lolly-Pop Lilly – Lollipop Rose – “chocolate” plants, Milky Way carnations and licorice, mint and peppermint flowers.

“It was fun to watch the eyes light up on young and old as they followed the brightly painted path through our garden,” Butler said in an e-mail. “And to see the wonder dawn on their faces when they realized that our plant selections followed the candy theme, it was worth the hours of research.”

Peggy Ault, who along with husband Doug and countless others from the group, spent hours preparing, getting donations, setting up, working the show and tearing down the display, said the awards validates the hard gardening work the group does on the west side of town.

“For us being a volunteer group, I think we did rather well,” Ault said. “I don’t think we did bad at all.”