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Gardening Archives

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Welcome to features we've been asked to keep online or simply couldn't let go, like saving good old flowerpots we think we may need someday.



Judy and the Botanical Center
judy-1-jpg.jpgFrom October 17, 2010
It was a gorgeous Sunday afternoon when legendary singer Judy Collins stepped onstage in Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park in Springfield, Missouri. Judy then shared with a most appreciative audience a keen sense of humor, colorful stories, and a great many of the classic songs that brought her world fame, all in a voice seemingly as clear and brilliant as in her youth. The concert capped a full week of events celebrating the grand opening of the new Botanical Center.


We have to say,
Bravo! and Brava! to all of the men and women who, through more than 10 years of hard work and generous contributions of time, energy, and money, made the Botanical Center a reality. 




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 Bluegrass & Blossoms
It happened in midsummer 2008 in a shady grove by Lake Drummond in Springfield, Missouri's, Close Memorial Park. All kinds of people came, the young, the old, and in-between. Designed to raise awareness of the mission to build a Botanical Center in Springfield's Close Memorial Park, the event was a winner on all counts. We have pictures, and a bit of story.


Bluegrass & Blossoms 2008



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 A Big, Bigger, Biggest Butterfly Festival
from July, 2010
Springfield, Missouri's Butterfly Festival happens this weekend, Saturday & Sunday, July 24 & 25, in the city's Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, 2400 S. Scenic Avenue.
The main attraction, of course, is the Bill Roston Butterfly House filled with free-flying butterflies and the creatures in all four stages of their life cycle, but this year's fest is bigger than ever, with as many as 25 vendors. Vendors include the Southwest Missouri Camera Club, Global Fayre, Inspirations by Claudia, Earthworks Design & Creations, Design Specialties, Naturally Photography, Springfield Hot Glass Studio, Gladewinds, the Discovery Center, Smiling Sun, the Missouri Prairie Foundation, Wickman's Garden Village, Peggy's Flowers, My Two Hands, and others. Master Gardeners, Conservation Nature Center people, and city recycling people will be there as well, and classes will be held on Saturday morning in butterfly photography, butterfly identification, and gardening for butterflies. It's all free and a wonderful chance to see, enjoy, and learn about Missouri's beautiful native butterflies. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 11-4 Sunday. It's huge fun, not to be missed, and if you go you'll see our friend at left, our state's Spicebush Swallowtail.
Note: During the Butterfly Festival, admission to the Japanese Stroll Garden in the park will also be free. In addition, the free tram noted below will be taking people from the parking lots to the Butterfly House and the Botanical Gardens.



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 A Bulb Bonanza
On a brisk November Saturday morning, Barbara St. Clair turned up rarin' to go at Springfield, Missouri's, Xeriscape Garden in Phelps Grove Park. The mission? To join her fellow Master Gardeners in making the best use possible of an extraordinary gift. Have a look....

A Bulb Bonanza



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 Wickman's Fall Festival
Each year Wickman's Garden Village, one of Springfield, Missouri's oldest nurseries, holds its own Fall Festival. It's a fun event with craftsfolk, a barnyard petting zoo, grilled hotdogs, cold drinks and garden clubbers, designers, and landscapers fielding questions. We think the 2004 festival especially caught the gentle, pleasant spirit of gardening in our region. Have a look....

The Fall Festival



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 Autumn Beauty
Amateur photographer Bob Deroy caught this remarkable photo of an iris in bloom in late autumn in Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park in Springfield, Missouri. The park contains 21 beautiful botanical gardens that, with19  gardens yet to be added, will be the setting for a new Botanical Center. Bob caught several striking garden photos and posted them online here. We thank Bob for sharing his work with us.




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 A Peek at the Lawn & Garden Show
The biggest gardening event in the Ozarks is The Lawn & Garden Show at the Ozarks  Empire Fair Fairgrounds in Springfield, Missouri. It's everything from seed, plants, and garden decor to tools, equipment, and lots of free expertise. Here are some highlights from the 2005 show...

The Lawn & Garden Show



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 Big Fun--The 2010 Butterfly Festival
The Second Annual Butterfly Festival in Springfield, Missouri, made the summer of 2010 extra bright and colorful with games, vendors, crafters, special exhibits, and lots of Missouri's gorgeous native butterflies. Thousands came and loved it, and you'll see why by clicking here.



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 One Nursery's Christmas
Lisa Bruckman, working with the indoor plants at Wickman's Garden Village, was on the move in the greenhouse with a prettily packaged gift poinsettia. Wickman's, one of Springfield, Missouri's oldest nurseries, does nice things at Christmastime, especially with poinsettias. Come and see.

One Nursery's Christmas



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 Deja Vu?
George Deatz caught the more aesthetic side of the 2008 ice storm on a visit to Springfield, Missouri's beautiful Close Memorial Park. George, the president of Friends of the Garden, the nonprofit group that helped fund the new Botanical Center, took the pictures February 12-13, 2008. He caught this usually much warmer boy and his dog, and much more.





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 2005 All-America Selections
A new cherry tomato, remarkable for its looks and its sweetness, was one of six winning All-America Selections for 2005. Have a look.


2005 All-America Selections



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 2006 All-America Selections
Six beautiful garden flowers, an ornamental pepper, two edible peppers, an herb, and a very special carrot were the All-America Selections winners in 2006. All were rated the best in nationwide garden tests.



2006 All-America Selections



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 2007 All-America Selections
Five beautiful flowers and a very special pepper made up the All-America Selections for 2007--judged nationwide to be the best performers in the garden with average care. Each won in 2-year public-garden trials for vigor, bloom, color, and other superb qualities. All should thrive in Ozarks gardens--and here they are. (Thanks to AARS for the photos and info.)

2007 All-America Selections



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 2010 All-America Selections
Seven beautiful garden flowers and a very special watermelon are the All-America Selections winners for 2010--all rated the best in nationwide garden tests. Have a look.

2010 All-America Selections



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 2011 All-America Selections
The beautiful new 'Arizona Apricot' Gaillardia stars in the 2011 All-America Selections. Joining it are two more gorgeous flowers and five extra-special vegetables. To see them all, click here.



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 2006 & 2005 All-America Roses
2006 and 2005 were both banner years for All-America Rose Selections. Breathtaking is the word. See for yourself.

2006 & 2005 All-America Roses



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 The 2007 All-America Roses
Three stunning new roses are the All-America Rose Selections for 2007--judged nationwide to be the best performers in the garden with average care. Each won in 2-year public-garden trials for vigor, bloom, color, and other superb qualities. All should thrive in Ozarks gardens--and here they are. (Thanks to AARS for the photos and info.)

The 2007 All-America Roses



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 Colorful New Flowers and Vegetables for 2007
The National Garden Bureau each year announces special new flowers and vegetablea coming on the market in spring. The 2007 choices are definitely worth knowing. Have a look, and thanks to the NGB for the photos and info.

New Varieties for 2007



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 New Flowers & Vegetables for 2006
The National Garden Bureau each year announces special new flowera and vegetablea coming on the market in spring, and 2006 saw a literally amazing array of 35 beautiful plants. See for yourself. (Thanks to the NGB for the outstanding photos and information.)

New Varieties in 2006



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 New Flowers & Vegetables for 2005
If you think this 'Brilliant' Phlox is pretty, just have a peek at the other National Garden Bureau selections for 2005.

New Varieties for 2005



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 The Iris Show
Among many stunning varieties exhibited in the Iris Society of the Ozarks 2008 Iris Show was this almost other-worldly variety, 'Genetic Artist'. We'll be posting others soon.




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 All-America Selections Classics
The All-America Selections organization, founded in 1932, is celebrating its 75th Anniversary by honoring five plants as classics--plants proven over the years to be especially superb. To see them, just click on All-America Classics.



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 Master Gardeners Take a Garden Tour
From Master Gardener Dieter Beam comes this beautiful photo of the Singufield Reserve Gardens in Jefferson City, MO. Stone, Taney, and Christian County master gardeners toured the gardens during the recent Master Gardener State Conference in 2009. Note: See next entry.



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 Master Gardener Conventioneers
Master gardeners who attended the state conference in Jefferson City include top row, from left, J. W. Pace,  R. J. Jacob, Julie Jacob, Anne Wigg, and Kathryn Kufahl; and bottom row, from left, Joe Kleiber, Rosanne McEvoy, Marilyn Burkhardt, and Marsha Beam. We thank Dieter Beam for use of the photos.



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 Can You Find the Kidnapped 'English Girl'?
The photo is of a statue called "English Girl" stolen recently from the beautiful English Garden in Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park in Springfield, Missouri, it's white concrete, 30 inches tall, and depicts a young girl with 3 kittens.  If you provide info resulting in the arrest and conviction of the person who took it, a $500 reward is yours.




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 A Winter Wonder
Springfield's Close Memorial Park is one of the Ozarks' loveliest outdoor places to visit, even in winter. Click below for proof--snowy photos from Friends of the Garden President George Deatz.

Close Park in Winter



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 More Good Reading:
How a Beautiful English Garden Came to Be
Among the loveliest of the botanical gardens in Springfield, Missouri, is the English Garden, which you can see on this website here. We're very fortunate to be able to share with you two superb articles on this garden written by its creator, Peter Longley. Peter, novelist, theologian, lecturer, and horticulturist. His The Quintessential English Garden and The English Garden in Close Memorial Park can be found here.




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 A Sea of Daffodils
Bob Deroy of Springfield, Missouri, modesty about his photos notwithstanding, takes some remarkable pictures and now and again sends us one. This sea of daffodils with a Bradford pear in the background he caught on Easter Sunday in Springfield's Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park. We thank him for the chance to share it here.



Gardening Archive Odds & Ends
red-celosia-jpg.jpgThe link below will take you to smaller monarch-and-lantana-jpg.jpgodds 'n ends that have appeared on the website that people started urging us to keep for future reference. If you're curious, click away.

Gardening Archive Odds 'n Ends



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 Jerry's Wake
A great many southwest Missourians lost one of their dearest friends last fall. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people Jerry encountered delighted in his hilarious sense of humor, encyclopedic mind, and expansive spirit. They remembered him in the good and proper Irish-style wake he'd wished for. To see how it went, click on

Jerry's Wake



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 A Midwinter Day's Dream....
from January 29, 2010
In the midst of winter a warm day came and to everyone's surprise hundreds and hundreds of folks turned up to frolic in Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park in Springfield, Missouri. Some had wondered if people would really take to the park and the new Botanical Center and here in January the parking lots were overflowing and there were so many kids at play you could close your eyes and hear them laughing.



A Very Special Rose Garden

serendipity.jpgThis summer's searing heat, drought, and iceberg.jpgpests were extra-hard on our Ozarks roses, but a few good rains and cooler temps had them blooming beautifully again. Commercial photographer Ruth Smelser had plenty of reason to smile at the resurgence. She for 23 years took care of a unique Rose Garden in Springfield, Missouri's Phelps Grove Park and only recently retired. To see why she loved her years with the garden and the beautiful job she did, click here.



A New Prairie Garden
compass-plant.jpgAnother new botanical garden has been added to Springfield, Missouri's Nathanael Greene/Close Park. The Kickapoo Edge Prairie Reconstruction Garden is a joint creation of the Friends of the Garden, the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Springfield-Greene County Parks Department, and the Missouri Prairie Foundation. It displays over 40 species of native grasses and wildflowers, such as the Compass Plant shown at left. We'll be posting pics of this garden soon. Meanwhile, you can download the intriguing details of this marvelous project here.



We Love It!
giant-frog-jpg.jpgOne of the things we're itching to do on this website is to create a Garden Art page filled with whimsical and otherwise endearing goodies that can be placed in the garden. Imagine, then, our delight at spotting this magnificent creature while driving by Cross Creek Architectural Artifacts in Springfield, Missouri. We had to stop. Owner Jason Hill told us it's cast concrete, weighs nearly two tons, was created by a St. Louis artist, and is priced at $3500. Worth every penny, we'd say if we had 350,000 pennies. For now, we'll settle for having a new favorite froggie.



Jade and Jade
jade-and-jade-jpg.jpgThe young lady's family were just entering the Japanese Stroll Garden when we mentioned that the huge rock just inside the entrance is supposed to be one of the world's stroll-garden-jade-rock-jpg.jpgbiggest jade rocks.
      She lit up like Christmas and said, "I'm really excited ! My name is Jade!" Naturally, we had to photograph the two jades together. The rock one, we know, weighs 10 tons and was found in Alaska and given to Springfield by a generous donor. The other Jade weighs much less but is clearly a real sweetheart...and she loves her namesake.
      Note: the Japanese Stroll Garden is now open for the season and can be seen at 2400 S. Scenic Ave. in Springfield, Missouri.



A Good Hosta Mulching
tom-hauling-mulch-jpg.jpgIt was a beautiful mid-March morning, a lisa-and-ann-jpg.jpgperfect day for doing some real good in this world, and members of the Greater Ozarks Hosta Society set to work mulching the entire Hosta Garden in Springfield, Missouri's Botanical Center. At left Tom Lakowske hauls a wheelbarrowful, at right Lisa Bakerink and Ann Gunion talk it over, and, finally, it's the-mulched-hosta-garden-jpg.jpgdone, and done beautifully. This very special, hugely popular botanical garden has been undergoing a major revitalization, reworking, and improvement by the Society, and this season should be lovelier and more helpful to visitors than ever. We hope you can visit it in person at 2400 S. Scenic in Springfield. Meanwhile, to pay it a preview visit, click here



A Surprising Spring
barbara-at-work-jpg.jpgBarbara St. Clair, president of the Master Gardeners of Greene County, Missouri, was hard at it in the beautiful Xeriscape Garden in Springfield's Phelps Grove Park. She was working to catch up and keep up with the burst of bloom our near-record-setting warmth in March brought the Ozarks. Barbara, who's in charge of the garden, says this spring is unlike any she's ever seen in our part of the country. For more of the Xeriscape Garden's surprises, click here.




A Special Nursery Worth Knowing
tony-schaffitzel-jpg.jpgWe're shameless in our praise for Springfield Business Journal editor Eric Olson and his writing, and this time he's outdone himself by capturing the true essence of a very special nursery. Gardeners in the Ozarks region around Springfield, Missouri, are very fortunate to have some of the best independent, local growers and nurseries in the U.S, and one of the best-loved is Schaffitzel's Greenhouse. To see why, check Eric's illuminating article here.



A Nursery Worth Knowing
everett-and-kevin-chapman-jpg.jpgOzarks gardeners need to know about the Willow Green Gardens & Tree Nursery in Rogersville, Missouri, and now they can, thanks to a superb story in the Springfield Business Journal. You can read Editor Eric Olson's tale of father-and-son nursery owners Everett and Kevin Chapman and the good things they do simply by clicking here. Thanks to the SBJ for the link and the photo by designer/photographer Aaron Scott.





The Cherry Blossom Kite Festival
island-jpg.jpgHey, want to have a good time this weekend? it's one of the best events in the Midwest--"The Cherry Blossom Kite Festival" in the Springfield Botanical Gardens in Springfield, Missouri--and it happens *tomorrow* (Saturday, April 5, 2014). It's all about seeing for FREE the beautiful Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden. It's about flying kites in the park, too, if that rings your bell, and if you don't have a kite, you can buy one for only $5 there or in the Botanical Boutique Gift Shop in the Botanical Center. (The Stroll Garden, by the way, is now rated five out of five stars all over the Internet by travel agents and trip advisors, and you can see why tomorrow.) Admission is usually $3, but again, tomorrow it's FREE.
       Oh, by the way, there'll also be booths with Japanese crafts and games, Oriental snacks, and more, wood carving demonstrations, a chance to make your own soap carvings, and some special activities on the Roof Plaza of the Botanical Center. You'll find it all at 2400 S. Scenic in Springfield. See you there, maybe.




Stepping Up
msu-grass-garden-help-jpg.jpgThe Ornamental Grass Garden in the matt-msu-grass-garden-help-jpg.jpgSpringfield Botanical Gardens is huge and lush, and, as you might imagine, its cleanup job in winter is a real bear. This year, however, some 30 great young people, all horticultural students from Missouri State University, stepped up to the plate in a Martin Luther King Day of Service msu-group-grass-garden-help-jpg.jpgand, incredibly, got the job done. Above left, Elizabeth Sevill, Jared Simmons, and Hanna Wilson are after it, above right Matt Long proves why they called him "the best worker," and at left Katie Steinhoff, Botanical Center director, thanks the group for their invaluable help. Yay for MSU, we say, and please add our thanks to one and all.






A Great Gift Idea
fog-gift-card-offer-jpg.jpgHold on to your hats because this is a *great* idea-- a *perfect* gift for friends or better who love to garden--a membership in Friends of the Garden (FOG). That's the group of over 1,000 volunteers of all ages and all walks of life who create, maintain, and improve the beautiful Springfield Botanical Gardens in Springfield, Missouri. The membership costs $25 and is *tax-deductible* and here's what it includes:
· A Friends of the Garden membership card
· A season pass for two to the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden
· The Bimonthly FOG Newsletter and special FOG mailings
· Participation in the Butterfly Festival and other FOG events
· A one-year subscription (5 issues) to Ozarks Living Magazine
· Discounts on gardening seminars and workshops
· Admission to American Horticultural Society Gardens across the U.S.
· Retail nursery discounts
· A10% Botanical Center Gift Shop discount

and best of all, in our opinion...
· Networking with the co-members of a lively, knowledgeable gardening community
· Putting one's gardening and other skills to use and learning new skills
· Pride in making a contribution that will benefit people today and for generations to come

       All you have to do to give this unique and wonderful gift is to call the Botanical Center at 891-1515, and someone there will fix you up. They'll even give you a great card to let your friends or loved ones know what you've done for them.




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