A Winter Garden

winter-garden-perspective-jpg.jpgThe Winter Garden
, shown here in early November, is
a very, very special garden. Perhaps unique in the U.S., it's a virtual godsend for homeowners who desire to enliven their gardens and landscapes with plants that are attractive and perform well during the winter months.
in the Springfield Botanical Gardens, the Winter Garden displays a great many plants that in our Ozarks winters provide arresting color, form, texture, fragrance and other desirable elements.
      Conceived by Dr. Bill Roston, the Garden became a reality in 2011 when Master Gardener Gail Wright completed the design, selected the plants, and, along with fellow workers, planted the first beds. Since then, it has been greatly expanded.
      The Winter Garden, and indeed all of the Springfield Botanical Gardens, can be visited at 2400 South Scenic Avenue in Springfield, Missouri.

The Beginnings


The Winter Garden began in 2011 as two teardrop-shape beds in a "yin/yang" juxtaposition in front of a curvilinear third bed.

The Location


The Winter Garden's very first beds, showing the Botanical Center in the distance. The Garden is just west of the Center near the park road that leads to Lake Drummond and more botanical gardens.

An Ambitious Vision


Master Gardener and designer Gail Wright, highly pleased with the very first stages of the Winter Garden, envisioned expanding it by at least six more beds and adding accompanying paths, a great many more plants, a pergola equipped with a swing, a new water feature, evergreen windbreaks on the west and north, entrance arbors, and decorative benches.

A Tribute


Gail's countless contributions to the Springfield Botanical Gardens and to the Friends of the Garden have been so valuable that the organization placed this honorary plaque in the Garden.

The Folks Who Built the Garden


The Winter Garden is truly a labor of love, and that labor is carried out by such industrious Friends of the Garden volunteers as those here, who did the first plantings. From left, Bob Childress, Deanna Armstrong, Ed Miller, Ruby Miller, J.J. Averett, Yuriko Scott, Ann Gunion, Gail Wright, Tom Lakowske, and Avis Holloway. Our thanks to the Friends of the Garden for taking this photo and giving us permission to use it.

The Heart of the Gardens

Volunteer help is not just an asset, but the very heart of the Springfield Botanical Gardens. All but one of the 36 botanical gardens are created, maintained, and improved by volunteers whose time and labor are all donated. Here aspiring writer and Drury University student Megan Hasenmueller digs in planting tulip and daffodil bulbs in December for color in the spring. The job helped her meet a 15-hour community service requirement for her degree and also moved the Winter Garden improvement a big step forward. Gail was most grateful for Megan's help on this day.

Expanding the Garden


In mid-January 2012 Gail and company moved quickly to make the Garden much larger. As shown here, they had 14 truckloads of new dirt hauled in to create the new beds.

Building the Beds

bill%2C-bob%2C-and-dan-jpg.jpgThe major work of building the new beds fell to these three remarkable men: from left, Dr. Bill Roston, the initial designer of this and many other of the Springfield Botanical Gardens; Bob Childress, the garden chairman of the Friends of the Garden volunteer group, who himself installs, maintains, and improves many of the gardens; and Dan Bigbee, farmer, produce vendor, and owner of Fassnight Creek Farm in Springfield, Missouri, who volunteered his own frontloader to clear the space and spread the dirt.

The Water Feature


Bill on this day was focusing on constructing a water feature of his own design for the Garden. Here it is in the first phases of construction.

The Finished Water Feature

The finished water feature, along with its very first plantings and, visible in the background, some of the newest beds.

A Touch of Serenity

The serene setting at left completes the new water feature environment, providing a lovely place for visitors to rest.

'Drops of Gold' Japanese Holly

Among the very first plants in the Winter Garden, 'Drops of Gold' Japanese Holly (Ilex crenata aurea 'Drops of Gold') is a star for its exceptionally beautiful foliage. The boxwood-like leaves on top turn bright golden yellow and the lower remain a rich medium green. In full sun or partial shade the plant can grow to 3 1/2 feet tall and 6 feet wide, but size and shape are easily controllable with pruning. Bonus: This relatively new hybrid also makes a uniquely attractive hedge.

'Goshiki' Variegated False Holly


'Goshiki' Variegated False Holly (Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Goshiki') features beautifully variegated leathery, spiny, holly-like leaves. The plant grows slowly to 4-5 feet tall with a similar spread. Eye-catching in the garden or landscape, it makes a superb foundation planting and is also excellent for hedging

'Solar Flare' Holly

'Solar Flare' Holly (Ilex x 'Solar Flare') is a new variegated evergreen shrub discovered by Joann Currier of Unique Plant Inc. in North Carolina. It's said to be a "branch sport" of the popular Oak Leaf TM Holly (Ilex x 'Conaf'). It can grow 4-6 feet tall by 3-4 feet in a pyramidal or rounded shape. This photo in the extreme golden light just before dusk doesn't really show the plant's vivid variegation, but watch this space for better photos as the garden develops.

'Harry' Witch Hazel


Witch Hazels are wonders for flowering in winter. The very first planted in the garden were so young that no one expected them to bloom the first season; however, this 'Harry' Witch Hazel (Hamamelis x intermedia 'Harry') did manage to display a few of the tawny yellow flowers that make it a real gardener's favorite. Very early to flower, 'Harry' will grow into a compact, rounded shrub 8 feet tall and just as wide.

'Rochester' Witch Hazel


Gail leans to catch all the fragrance she can of what's said to be the most fragrant of all witch hazels, 'Rochester' (Hamamelis x intermedia 'Rochester'), which also copper-orange blossoms, grows as tall as 9 feet, has good fall color, and makes excellent hedges.

'Red Sprite' Winterberry
red-sprite-winterberry-jpg.jpgIf it's winter color one desires, what could be more colorful than the 'Red Sprite' Winterberry? This engaging dwarf shrub, species and varietal name Ilex verticillata Nana 'Red Sprite', bears an enormous profusion of bright red berries that, if not eaten by birds, will provide color even into spring. (The summer flowers are whitish and inconspicuous.) Easy to grow, 'Red Sprite' thrives in full sun or part shade and will grow to 3 feet tall and as wide.

'Gingerbread' Witch Hazel


'Gingerbread' Witch Hazel (Hamamelis x intermedia 'Gingerbread') is a lovely hybrid with deep orange, sweetly fragrant blossoms in late winter. In full sun to partial shade and moist soil grows slowly to 10 feet tall by 6 feet wide, but size is easily controlled by pruning. Foliage in spring is an attractive purple and gradually turns green.

Dwarf Ozark Witch Hazel


Dwarf Ozark Witch Hazel (Hamamelis vernalis 'Quasimodo') is a winter-blooming shrub that grows to 3 feet tall and as wide with a beautifully rounded, compact shape. The pale orange flowers appear in December and have a spicy scent. The smallest of all the witch hazel cultivars, its size gives it great versatility in the winter garden and landscape.

Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangea

renby-strawberry-hydrangea-jpg.jpgVanilla Strawberry Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata Vanilla Strawberry) is a sheer delight in the garden. It first bears very large creamy white flower heads in midsummer and in time they change to pink, red, and even deep burgundy. It may also display all colors at once. Flowers are borne on red stems that contrast nicely with the green leaves, and it can grow to 7 feet tall and as wide. Is it a wonder this plant was voted top plant of the year in 2010 by the American Nursery and Landscape Association? You be the judge.

'Baby Lace' PeeGee Hydrangea


'Baby Lace' PeeGee Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata 'Baby Lace') is a new dwarf hydrangea ideal for smaller gardens and limited landscape spaces. From July to frost it bears an abundance of 6-inch-long, beautifully shaped bright white flower heads that turn slightly pink with age. The flowers make good cut flowers. The plant grows to 4 feet tall and as wide.

'Limelight' PeeGee Hydrangea


'Limelight' PeeGee Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight') is a gorgeous. terrifically popular hydrangea famed for bearing very large, beautifully shaped light lime-green flower heads from midsummer till frost. Flowers change color in autumn and the plant can grow to 8 feet tall and as wide.

Pee Gee Hydrangea


Pee Gee Hydrangea (Paniculata hydrangea) is a vigorous, upright, rapidly growing deciduous shrub the species and hybrids of which can grow to 10-25 feet tall and 8-16 feet wide. It can be trained as a tree, but most gardeners grow it as a multi-trunk shrub. As this photo shows, its flower panicles, appearing in late summer, are extremely attractive, starting out a pristine white and maturing to pinkish hues. In autumn they fade to a still-attractive tan and brown.

'Little Lime' Hydrangea


'Little Lime' Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata 'Little Lime') is a relatively new plant winning much favor with gardeners. A dwarf version of 'Limelight' Hydrangea, it likes sun to partial shade and will grow 4-5 feet tall with a similar spread, making it perfect for smaller landscapes and gardens. It bears large, 8-inch-green flowers in summer that turn pinkish in fall. Bonus: The blooms make excellent cut or dried flowers.

'Ruby Slippers' Dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea


This scrubby start is a very special new dwarf shrub. Though quite small  'Ruby Slippers' Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers') bears tall, gorgeous flower clusters some nine inches long that first appear white then gradually turn pink and finally deep rose. In fall the leaves take on beautiful shades of scarlet and burgundy. Extremely easy to grow in sun or shade, this marvel of a plant reaches only 3 1/2 feet tall by 5 feet wide. Bonus: The flowers are extra-abundant and also make excellent cut or dried flowers, and the seeds attract birds.

'Amethyst' Oakleaf Hydrangea


'Amethyst' Oakleaf Hydrangea (
Hydrangea quercifolia 'Amethyst') bears beautiful white flower heads in summer that rather quickly age to wine red. For additional color, the leaves turn a deep burgundy red in fall. Visually interesting all year-round, it prefers partial sun and plenty of moisture and at its best will grow to 5-6 feet tall and as wide.

'The Rising Sun' Redbud

rising-sun-redbud-jpg.jpg'The Rising Sun' Redbud (Cercis canadensis 'The Rising Sun' 'JN2' 21,451) is a spectacular new introduction that presents brilliantly colored foliage and abundant rose-orchid-color blossoms. The blossoms appear along the trunk and branches before the tree leafs out and heart-shaped, apricot-color leaves follow and pass through shades of orange, gold, and yellow. All colors appear on the tree at the same time. In summer heat the leaves turn lime green, only to change to rich golden-orange in fall. A hybrid of the Eastern Redbud, the tree is pest- and disease-resistant, likes sun or light shade, and can grow to 8-12 feet tall and 12 feet wide.

'Spiraliter Falcata' Japanese Cedar


'Spiraliter Falcata' Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica 'Spiraliter Falcata') is a unique dwarf cedar with a bizarre but highly attractive twisting, spiraling foliage of a very fine texture that gives the plant an overall softer effect. The plant grows slowly, 2-4 inches per year, into a mound normally reaching 3 feet tall with a similar spread.

'Color Guard' Yucca

color-guard-yucca-jpg.jpg'Color Guard' Yucca (Yucca filamentosa 'Color Guard') is said by many to be the most beautiful of the variegated yuccas. Its rigid, gold-centered, green-margined leaves grow into a picturesque spray 3 feet tall and as wide. In late spring it bears a flowering stalk up to 6 feet tall with panicles of fragrant white flowers. Easy to grow, it prefers full sun but takes part shade and poor soils. Colors are vivid throughout winter. Common names include Adam's Needle and Spanish Bayonet.

Mr. Bowling Ball Thuja

mister-bowling-ball-jpg.jpgHow can anyone not like the Mr. Bowling Ball Thuja? His official botanical name is Thuja occidentalis 'Bobozam', but he resembles nothing so much as a full-out evergreen bowling ball. A very slow grower, Mr. Ball can reach 24-30 inches tall and as wide, keeping his whimsical shape all along. He likes full sun or partial shade and needs regular watering weekly or, in dry weather, more frequently. Common names include Mr. Bowling Ball White Cedar and Mr. Bowling Ball Arborvitae. Whatever we call it, we think this plant is a strike.

'Chantilly Lace' Japanese Maple


'Chantilly Lace' Japanese Maple
(Acer palmatum dissectum 'Chantilly Lace') is a variegated lace-leaf weeping maple with gorgeous, very finely cut leaves that are rosy red in summer, intensely crimson in fall, and pink-red in winter. It likes morning sun with protection from hot afternoon sun. It may grow to 4 feet tall in about 10 years. It may also need pruning to maintain an attractive shape.

'Orangeola' Japanese Maple


'Orangeola' Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum dissectum 'Orangeola') is an outstanding lace-leaf weeping Japanese Maple with gorgeous color. New growth ranges from orange to red, summer colors are bold orange to green, and fall leaves are red-orange. It likes sun and can take afternoon sun with adequate moisture. In 10 years it may grow to 5 feet tall and as wide.

'Orangeola' Japanese Maple Up Close


A closer view of 'Orangeola' reveals more of its summer colors and the exceptionally fine, "lacey" cut of the leaves.

'Purple Ghost' Japanese Maple


The leaves of the 'Purple Ghost' Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum 'Purple Ghost') are a gorgeous burgundy with deep purple veins in summer and turn fiery red in fall. A deciduous tree, it can reach 20 feet tall with a similar spread and makes a superb shade tree. It likes full sun to partial shade. A slow grower, it can live as long as 60 years.

'Tsukushigata' Japanese Maple


The 'Tsukushigata' Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum 'Tsukushigata') is a gorgeous spreading deciduous tree with beautiful star-shaped, deep red-black leaves with green veins. The leaves turn scarlet in fall and the seeds are chartreuse, also providing visual interest against the darker foliage. It likes sun or partial shade and well-drained soil. In 10 years it can grow to 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide.

'Bihou' Japanese Maple


Bihou' Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum 'Bihou') is a small, remarkably lovely tree with very small, delicate light green leaves. In fall the foliage turns yellow and orange and in winter the bark transforms into a beautiful coral-orange. A slow grower, in sun or partial shade it can reach 7 feet by 3 feet in 10 years.

Chinese Fringe Flower

Chinese Fringe Flower (Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum) is a beautiful shrub with dark burgundy foliage and bright pink blossoms. It blooms profusely in spring and early summer and less so in fall. New leaves are bronze, pink, or burgundy and can change to green or burgundy with maturity. This plant, very striking in the garden, does well in full sun to part shade and can grow as tall as 10 feet with a 12-foot spread.

'Flying Dragon' Hardy Orange


Some folk say the 'Flying Dragon' Hardy Orange (Poncirus trifoliata 'Flying Dragon') is "the ultimate garden conversation piece." This dwarf cultivar of hardy orange certainly stands out for its highly twisted, contorted stems and menacing long, curved thorns.

'Flying Dragon' Up Close

A closer look at the thorns of 'Flying Dragon' Hardy Orange is, well, at least a little intimidating. The foliage, however, is an attractive green, and in spring the plant produces slightly fragrant white flowers and late summer brings lemon-scented. golf-ball-size fruit that can be used to make lemonade if sweetened. Given full sun and good drainage the plant can grow to 6 feet tall and as wide, but if desired size can be managed with pruning. Bonus: This dragon also makes an excellent container plant.

'Dixieland' Miscanthus


'Dixieland' Miscanthus (Miscanthus sinensis 'Dixieland') is a versatile variegated ornamental grass that goes well in the garden or the landscape. Easy to grow, it has a sprightly fountainlike habit and can reach 4-5 feet in height with a 3-foot spread. Colorful in winter, it also produces showy, silky pink blooms in late summer. Bonus: This grass also is a good choice for containers.

'Gold Bar' Dwarf Zebra Grass


The virtually stunning 'Gold Bar' Dwarf Zebra Grass (Miscanthus sinensis 'Gold Bar') is a perfect specimen plant for smaller gardens and works beautifully even in the border. Given full sun, it grows quickly in a neat clump to 16-20 inches tall and features lovely green foliage with bright and beautiful bands of gold. As if that weren't enough, it's extremely easy to grow and also tolerates drought.

'Gold Breeze' Zebra Grass


'Gold Breeze' Zebra Grass (Miscanthus sin 'Gold Breeze') is a gorgeous ornamental grass whose lovely apple green leaves have bold, horizontal bands of gold from the base to the tips. Very pretty reddish flowers appear in August. It does best in full sun and will grow to 6 feet tall by 3 feet wide. A real standout in the garden or landscape.

'Little Bunny' Dwarf Fountain Grass


'Little Bunny' Dwarf Fountain Grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Little Bunny') is the smallest of all the dwarf fountain grasses, growing slowly to only 10-12 inches tall and as wide. It likes full sun and once established will take some drought. Its small size and engagingly fluffy buff-white flowers in late summer and fall make it ideal for rock gardens, containers, and borders.

'Regal Mist' Muhly Grass

'Regal Mist' Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris 'Regal Mist') is a small ornamental grass with long, narrow, glossy green leaves and very fine deep-pink flower spikes that together present a misty or frothy effect. It is particularly lovely when backlit by sunlight, as shown here. The plant grows to 3 feet tall and as wide. A perennial, it flowers in September and goes dormant with the first frost. Gardeners value it especially for its bringing a softening effect to the garden or landscape, and it is especially effective en masse.

'Red Head' Fountain Grass


'Red Head' Fountain Grass
(Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Red Head') is a Proven Winners ornamental grass with narrow leaves and a very upright habit that bears a great abundance of very soft-appearing 10-inch long pale purple-pink flowers in autumn. It grows to 24 inches tall and as wide. Its unusual flowering makes it a standout in the garden and landscape. It also makes an excellent container plant.

'Red Rooster' Sedge

'Red Rooster' Sedge (Carex buchananii 'Red Rooster') is a superb accent plant for its vigorous, sharply upright, fine-textured foliage and its color, which is considerably more intense than with other reddish brown sedges. It prefers full sun and grows 16-24 inches high with a 36-inch spread. Its distinctive habit and color makes it also in container mixes. Common names include Leatherleaf Sedge.

'Adagio' Maiden Grass


'Adagio' Maiden Grass (Miscanthus sinensis 'Adagio') is an ornamental grass that features exceptionally beautiful white flowers in summer and fall. In full sun to partial shade and almost any soil it grows rather quickly in tight clump to 4 feet tall and as wide, with flower plumes extending another foot or so. An excellent plant for garden or landscape, its flowers are superb in dried arrangements.  

Welch's Pink Beautyberry


Welch's Pink' Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana 'Welch's Pink') is named for the pink color of its midsummer flowers and very light pink of its autumn berries. A cultivar of the American Beautyberry, a plant native to Missouri and southeastern states, it likes full sun but will take partial shade and can grow to 6 feet tall with a similar spread.

'Carol Mackie' Daphne


'Carol Mackie' Daphne (Daphne x burkwoodii 'Carol Mackie') is an exceptionally lovely dwarf shrub that in features grayish-green leaves with golden margins and, in spring, beautiful clusters of fragrant pink flowers. It likes full sun or part shade and grows in a nicely rounded shape to 3 feet tall and as wide. Ideal as a specimen plant or foundation planting, it's a mutation named for the woman who discovered it in her New Jersey garden.

'Princess Zoey' Crape Myrtle


'Princess Zoey' Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia x 'GA0702' 'Princess Zoey') is a beautiful dwarf crape myrtle and one of four such plants developed by Dow Whiting of Nixa, Missouri, and named for his four granddaughters, Zoey, Kylie, Lyla, and Holly. This one has literally gorgeous flowers that emerge cherry red with splashes of pink. It grows to 4 feet tall by 3 feet wide, making it perfect for small-space gardens, landscapes, and the back of the garden border.

'Princess Lyla'Crape Myrtle


'Princess Lyla' Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia x 'GA0804' 'Princess Kylie') is another lovely dwarf shrub ideal for small-space gardening. It boasts lovely rose-pink blossoms and dark green foliage that turns gold in autumn. It grows in a mounding habit to 1 1/2 to 2 feet tall and as wide. Because of its small size, it also makes a terrific container plant.

'Princess Kylie' Crape Myrtle


'Princess Kylie' Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia x 'GA0803' 'Princess Kylie'), another in Dow Whiting's 'Princess' series, has beautiful magenta blooms and interesting gray-green foliage. It grows in a mounding habit to 2 1/2 to 3 feet feet tall and as wide.

'Class Act' Sedum


'Class Act' Sedum (Sedum 'Class Act') is a very special succulent. It bears beautifully rounded clusters of rose and pink flowers on upright mounds of ilght green leaves. Very striking in the garden, if given full sun and good drainage, it grows to 16 inches tall by 14 inches wide. Like all sedums, when established it tolerates drought and heat. Note: Introduced in 2008, 'Class Act' won the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit.

The Waterfall


in the summer of 2013, the water feature became even more beautiful when the pool below the waterfall filled with water hyacinths.

Coral Drift Rose


Drift roses, crosses between groundcover roses and miniature roses, are compact roses that work beautifully in gardens, containers, and hanging baskets. The Coral Drift Rose (Rosa hybrida 'Meidriifora') is an evergreen plant that features a profusion of deep-coral-orange blossoms on bushy, glossy foliage. The leaves are very small and the foliage stays attractive through winter. It grows to 1 1/2 feet tall and 2 feet wide.

Peach Drift Rose


Another in the famed Drift series of roses, Peach Drift Rose (Rosa 'Meiggili') is one of the most floriferous of all dwarf shrubs. Like other Drift roses,
it works beautifully in gardens, containers, and hanging baskets. From mid-spring to the first hard freeze the plant bears an enormous abundance of with flowers a soft peach in color. The foliage is glossy green and attractive through winter. The plant grows to 1 1/2 feet tall and 2 feed wide.

Little Devil Dwarf Ninebark


Little Devil Dwarf Ninebark
(Physocarpus opulifolius 'Donna May') is a beautiful addition to garden or landscape for its small pale-pink clusters of flowers in June and rich, deep-burgundy foliage throughout the growing season. In full sun to partial shade it grows 3-4 feet tall by 3 feet wide. A Big Bonus: It keeps its neat, compact shape without pruning, but may be pruned for shape.

Plum Passion Nandina


Plum Passion Nandina (Nandina domestica 'Monum') is said to have the most beautiful coloration of all Nandinas. New leaves in spring and summer are a very deep purple-red, turning slightly redder in winter. Small and finely cut, the leaves also provide lovely texture. In full sun to part shade it grows 4-5 feet tall by 3 feet wide. Summer flowers are sprays of pinkish white and if cross-pollinated with others of its kind the plant will produce bright red berries in autumn. Common names include Plum Passion Heavenly Bamboo and Sacred Bamboo.

'Sterling Silver' Bluebeard


species plants all carry the common name Bluebeard for their blue flowers, and Bluebeard 'Sterling Silver' (Caryopteris x clanodensis 'Sterling Silver') is a gorgeous example that stands out for its distinctive silvery foliage as well as its vivid blue-violet flowers. Given full sun this unique shrub can grow 2-3 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide. Common names include Sterling Silver Bluebeard.

'Orange Storm' Quince

'Orange Storm' Quince (Chaenomeles speciosa 'Orange Storm') is an outstanding flowering quince introduced in 2010 that features large, double, vivid-orange flowers. In part sun to full sun it can grow in a mound to 3-4 feet tall and as wide. Thornless and deer-resistant, it's easy to grow, tolerates drought and heat, and can be pruned to shape after flowering. Spectacular in the early spring garden, the flowers also make superb cut flowers.

'Compacta' Korean Spice Viburnum


'Compacta' Korean Spice Viburnum (Viburnum carlesii 'Compacta') is a deciduous shrub with beautiful clusters of very fragrant white flowers in spring. In sun or partial shade this dwarf hybrid can grow 4 feet tall with a nicely rounded shape. In fall the green foliage turns a lovely wine red and berries appear red at first, then gradually turn black. Said to be among the most fragrant of plants, its name refers to its rich, spicy scent. This photo is of the October planting in the Winter Garden.

A Mature Korean Spice Viburnum


This photo is of a mature Korean Spice Viburnum, not the 'Compacta' hybrid but showing the species shape and bloom Common names for this shrub include Koreanspice Viburnum and Korean Spicebush.

Fanny's Aster


Fanny's Aster (Aster oblongifolius 'Fanny') is a wildflower that's found great favor with gardeners for its late-season color. In full sun and average soil it grows in a neat clump to 1 1/2 feet tall and 3 feet wide (sometimes a little larger) and in late October and November bears an enormous abundance of lovely inch-wide, light blue flowers. Bonus: It tolerates heat and drought.

'Professor Anton Kippenberg' Hardy Aster


'Professor Anton Kippenberg' Hardy Aster (Aster novii-belgii 'Professor Anton Kippenberg') is an outstanding dwarf Aster ideal for small gardens and borders. Given full sun to partial shade, it grows to 15 inches tall and as wide and is bursting with small blue-violet flowers. Depending upon the region, gardeners may know this plant as Michaelmas Daisy.Note: This plant often appears on the market with the spelling "Kippenburg."

'Erika the Blonde' Dogwood


'Erika the Blonde' Dogwood (Cornus sericea 'Erika the Blonde'), so named for its beautiful golden yellow leaves in spring and summer, is also a standout in the winter garden and landscape  for its bright red bark. In sun or part shade the tree grows to 5 feet tall and 6 feet wide. 

Dwarf Himalayan Pine


Dwarf Himalayan Pine (Pinus wallichiana 'Nana') is best known as a beautiful miniature version of Himalayan Pine. It likes full sun and well drained soil and grows slowly, about 6 inches per year, into an attractive conical shape that can reach 3 1/2 tall and 3 feet wide. Even better, its long, silky blue-green needles give it a lovely soft appearance in the garden or landscape.

'Gowdy' Oriental Spruce


'Gowdy' Oriental Spruce (Picea orientalis 'Gowdy') is an unusually lovely conifer whose uniquely uniform, short, rich green needles and gently draping branches make it a superb accent plant. A slow grower, in time it can reach 12 feet tall by 8 feet wide. Bonus: It bears unusually pretty, small, pinkish cones. Common names include Spruce Oriental Gowdy and Oriental Spruce Gowdy. 

'Collins Gold' Arborvitae


'Collin's Gold' Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis 'Collin's Gold') is a highly attractive, virtually carefree American evergreen with green-gold sprays of needles that are flattened and splayed, giving it most interesting color and texture. In autumn, the spray tips turn bronze. This remarkable plant in time grows in a beautiful narrow, pyramidal form to 10 feet tall, making it superb as a foundation planting or anywhere in the landscape.

'Tokyo Tower' Chionanthus


'Tokyo Tower' Chionanthus (Chionanthus retusus 'Tokyo Tower') is marvelous tree originally brought to this country as 'Ivory Tower'. It grows in an exceedingly slender form as tall as 10 feet and features glossy deep-green leaves and in May and June is covered with beautiful clusters (panicles) of creamy white flowers. In the fall the tree bears dark blue berries that attract birds and its tan and gold bark exfoliates to provide additional interest. It likes sun but will do well in partial shade. Chionanthus retusus plants are also known as Chinese Fringe Tree, and indeed this plant is often referred to as 'Tokyo Tower' Chinese Fringe Tree.

'Hollandia' Dwarf Cedar


'Hollandia' Dwarf Cedar (Cedrus deodara 'Hollandia') is most notable for its attractive blue-green needles and a compact habit and small size that makes it ideal for garden borders and containers. A very slow grower, it may reach only 3 feet in 10 years. It prefers full sun.

'Little Diamond' Dwarf Japanese Cedar


'Little Diamond' Dwarf Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica 'Little Diamond') is an exceptionally lovely dwarf conifer with a neat, rounded habit and very soft-appearing bright green foliage.With good drainage it does well in sun to partial shade and grows only to about 2 feet by 3 feet wide in 10 years. This one, we think, is a real winner.

'Golden Mop' Threadleaf False Cypress

'Golden Mop' Threadleaf False Cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Golden Mop') earns its whimsical name by being truly mop-like. It's an dwarf conifer of a beautiful yellow-green that grows quite close to the ground. Slow-growing, it eventually reaches almost 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide. It likes full sun and needs regular watering. Its color and interesting habit make it a bright and cheery note in the garden and landscape.

A Very Special Bench

This remarkable bench in the Winter Garden can be transformed into a beautiful memorial. The stone marker reads

   Memorial or Tribute Bench
Help This Bench Become Your
 Special Memorial or Tribute
    Your Special Inscription
 Engraved on a Granite Stone
     Placed in This Location
  For Details Call 417-891-1515

Japanese Umbrella Pine


The evergreen Japanese Umbrella Pine
(Scidopitys verticillata) is absolutely unique. The only member of its genus, it's existed for some 230 million years, according to the fossil record. Gardeners find it appealing chiefly for its deep-green, flattened needles, which appear in whorls around the branches and give its appearance a softer texture. With sun to partial shade, it can grow to 20-30 feet tall and 10-20 feet wide. Sometimes it's commonly referred to as, simply, Umbrella Pine.

'Pink Storm' Flowering Quince

'Pink Storm' Flowering Quince (
Chaenomeles speciosa 'Pink Storm')

'Scarlet Storm' Flowering Quince

'Scarlet Storm' Flowering Quince (
Chaenomeles speciosa 'Scarlet Storm')

'Scarlet Storm' Flowering Quince Up Close

A closer look at the flowers of 'Scarlet Storm' Flowering Quince. 

A Mystery Grass

We think this ornamental grass a wonder for adding color and texture to the winter garden, but we don't have a clue to its name. If you know, please help us out. We would greatly appreciate it.

Blue Anise Sage
blue-anise-sage-jpg.jpgWhen it comes to "true blue" flowers, Blue Anise Sage (Salvia guarantica) is for us the winner, as no plant we know has flowers so intensely blue.If given full sun it can reach 5 feet tall and as wide. With much shade, though, it can turn gangly. Native to South America, the plant likely should be treated as an annual in the Ozarks. Hybrids are available with flowers in various shades of blue, violet, and purple. Common names include Anise-Scented Sage, Brazilian Sage, Brazilian Blue Sage, Giant Blue Sage, Hummingbird Sage, and Sapphire Sage.

'Farrow' Arctic Fire Dogwood Close Up

A closer look at the amazing color of the 'Farrow' Arctic Fire Dogwood.

'Covey' Lavender Twist Redbud

This incredible plant is the 'Covey' Lavender Twist Weeping Redbud (Cercis canadensis 'Covey'), and it is indeed a weeping redbud, with branches that cascade toward the ground. Beautiful all year long, it likes partial shade to full sun and grows as tall as 5-6 feet and as wide as 5-8 feet. The flowers in spring are a lovely lavender and the leaves then come in large and shaped like hearts.

Soft Serve False Cypress

This beautiful tree, probably the only conifer with such soft, flowing lines and texture, is aptly named the Soft Serve False Cypress. And guess what, it exists only because of one of our local Missouri boys, Dow Whiting. Dow, who with his wife Linda owns Garden Adventures Nursery in Nixa, developed it. Indeed, its botanical name is Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Dow Whiting'. If you would like to know how the plant came to be, Dow tells the story here.

'Aurea' Himalayan Golden Cedar

The 'Aurea' Himalayan Golden Ceder (Cedrus deodara 'Aurea')is considered by many one of the most beautiful of all conifers for its elegant, stately habit and the golden coloration of its needles in spring and early summer, which turn to yellow-green in fall. Reaching 35 feet tall and 15 feet wide at full growth, it can be spectacular in the garden or landscape.

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