The Green-Ink Notes on the Today's Notes page have caught some folks' fancy enough that they've asked us to keep them online for future reference. So, what the hey, here they are:
From November 16, 2010
We had a really nice experience last week at the new Botanical Center in Springfield, Missouri. It was an orientation for volunteers who want to help out there. Katie Steinhoff, the Center coordinator, provided us a great picture of exactly what botanical centers are and how they benefit one and all. She also led a nifty tour. We took a few pics. At left above is the Center from the outside. At right, Katie describes what takes place in the Center's spacious, airy lobby. At left, volunteers are heading to learn about the Center's offices, including the woman shown, Mrs. Yuriko Mizumoto Scott, for whom the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden in the park is named. Mrs. Mizumoto, by the way, identified the yellow flowers to her left for us as 'Golden Rain' Spider Mums. At right is a closer look at the plant, which seems about 5 feet tall, not counting the container. As always, you can click on these pics to enlarge them. This one enlarged looks like the mum that ate Detroit. At left is a picture that we hope suggests the unusually serene, restful atmosphere of the Botanical Center building. On our few visits there, we've found it to be uniquely so and very relaxing.The pic at right shows how beautifully the building realizes one of its most important design goals by admitting the maximum amount of natural light. The pic at left is an artist's rendering of a feature designed to, well, just knock the socks off everybody visually--a huge stained glass window to be installed in the panels in the previous photo. If you're wondering why this pic looks a little weird, it's of a glassed-in image and reflections. Flash--Shortly after we added that picture we learned that the window had just been installed, so we fairly raced to the Center to catch the photo at right. Are your socks still on? Ours aren't. We think the stained glass window alone is worth a trip to the Botanical Center. We just wanted here to give you some casual sense of the tour and orientation. We have to give the experience five stars plus as the best possible way to really understand the Botanical Center and what it will do--and is doing--for all of us. Katie has scheduled two more orientations, the first on Saturday, December 4, from 9-11 a.m., the second on Monday, January 10, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. If you'd like to take part or have any questions, you can call her at (417) 891-1515.Life goes on. Now we're heading out to our yard and garden for--what else?--some serious cleanup. Stay warm.
From December 10,
Call us wacky if you will, and we probably are, but just on a lark we're posting these
pictures of bromeliad blooms.
We know nothing about
bromeliads but saw these in the greenhouse on a recent visit to
Wickman's Garden Village in Springfield, Missouri, one of the Ozarks' oldest
nurseries. We'd never really looked at bromeliad blooms closely,
and we couldn't resist photographing them. We don't know the varietal names
of the plants, or anything else, really. We just like the colors and thought you might too. As with all the photos we post
here in the green ink, you can click on them to enlarge them, if you care to. Oh, on second thought, we do know one
thing about bromeliads. The pineapple's one. That pretty much covers
it, for us. Update: Linda
Siler of O'Quinn's Orchids and Water Gardens tells us that epiphytic
bromeliads grow in trees and are best grown in the home in
sphagnum moss or orchid mix or mounted on decorative pieces of
wood or rocks. Right now, she says, people can see about 50 at
O'Quinn's, located at 2936 W Republic Road in Springfield,
Missouri. Note: All of the
above bromeliads are growing in soil.
From January 25, 2011
(January 25) sees the start of Master Gardeners classes in Greene
County, Missouri (the heart of the Ozarks, don'cha know) at the new
Botanical Center at 2400 S. Scenic Ave. in Springfield.
classes will be held every Tuesday and Thursday from 1 to 4 p.m. through March 10th and
will cover horticulture in general, along with such specific
subjects as soil management, plants, landscaping, lawns and turf, and pest control.
There's a $135 fee for the course. That may sound daunting to some, but to be perfectly honest about it, it's a
pittance for what it does for its participants. The fact is, we
can't say enough good about the program or the people it transforms
into Master Gardeners. All you have to do is talk with a few of them
or simply see the work they do to understand how empowered, capable, confident, and
accomplished they really are in the wonderful world of gardening.
We always like to sprinkle a few photos in this green-ink section and this time around we're
very happy to show you some of what these remarkable people create
and contribute to the community. Starting with the picture
at upper left of Master Gardener Dana Allyn at work, these are all
photos of two marvelous projects of the organization, the Xeriscape Garden and the Master Gardeners Demonstration
Gardens, both in Springfield, Missouri. (As usual, you can click on
the photos to enlarge them.)
You can see more of these
gardens by clicking on Real Gardens at left, then choosing whichever
you prefer, or both.
Above is Barbara St. Clair, who
oversees and beautifully manages the Xeriscape Garden and who, we
just learned, is the new president of the Master Gardeners of Greene
Oh, we almost forgot. The young woman
working so hard in the first photo is Dana Allyn, also a Master
If, after you see what these folks can do, you
think you'd like to become a Master Gardener too, all you have to do
is call 417-881-8909. Like the tv guy says so convincingly, "What
are you waiting for? It's easy."
From January 28, 2011
SOMETHING NEAT is happening with the website these days, so we thought we'd tell you about it here in the green-ink section.
At left is a photo we just discovered. It's Pink Muhly Grass, a wonder of a plant we'd forgotten we ever photographed. And at right is another marvel, Arkansas Bluestar. We'd forgotten about that one, too.
We won't tell you what the other pictures are, but if you iike, you can click on any of them to go to a page identifying them, read about them, enlarge the photo, and find related items by clicking on the link above the photo.
We discovered these photos while going through our backlog of unposted pics and info, the items we just couldn't get to because of the old day-to-day stuff of life.
(Don't ask how big the backlog is or how far back it goes. We're much too embarrassed to answer. I mean, if we told you there are hundreds and hundreds of photos going back more than five years, you'd think us...well, we don't know what you'd think us, but we doubt it would have anything to do with efficiency.)
To our surprise, digging through this repository of untended goodies is turning up a world of items that should be useful to gardeners, which, after all, is the whole point of this website. So, as our favorite winter project, we're continuing to dig through all and picking and posting as many of those more useful photos and snippets of information as possible.
We hope you like what we're finding and can put some of it to use in your own gardens come spring.
Note: Definitely don't miss the plant at lower right. It's a winner all the way for everybody's garden, and if you click on it, you'll see why.
As always, we really appreciate your visiting Ozarks Gardens.
From March 1 2011
WELCOME to our little green-ink section and a sprinkling of spring-theme pics and notes.
At left are some white French crocus that appeared in a country yard near Springfield, Missouri, last spring. If you click on the pic, or on any in this section, you'll go (as if by magic) to a page with good info on the subject, a chance to enlarge the photo, and a link to related items above the photo.
Oh, at right are some dwarf iris we really like. They, like the crocus and a world of cheery daffodils, grape hyacinths, trilliums, snowdrops, and other spring-blooming bulbs naturalize beautifully throughout the Ozarks.
At the moment we're euphoric over our current temps--70 degrees as we write--after hitting 11 below zero about a week ago. (That was just in the Springfield area. Folks north of us had it even worse.)
Naturally, this sudden warmth has opened a universe of possibilities that has us completely at sixes and sevens. What do we do first? Mulch the leaves, check the tools, plant some seeds, or take a nap?
It'll sort itself out, of course. It always does. Sometimes, perhaps like yourself, we think about making the new garden and mutter to ourselves, It's an awful lot of work. Maybe we won't do one this year. But then the old garden thing kicks in and we're at it once more and not the least bit sorry and growing more and more excited at the prospect of this year's flowers and the deep satisfaction they bring us, our friends, and our neighbors.
Oh, speaking of daffodils, if you'd like to really know about them, and it isn't hard at all, just click on the photo at left. It'll take you to a caption that spells out all of the daffodil types--trumpets, large-cupped, small-cupped, etc.--and a wonderful link to the American Daffodil Society website and great pictures of same.
We'll leave you for now. We need to go plan the spring garden. Or maybe catch that nap first, so we'll, you know, have lots of energy and all that.
As always, we really appreciate your visiting Ozarks Gardens. Here's wishing you and yours a splendid springtime.
From March 14 2011
CAN IT GET ANY SILLIER than the pair below? Or more fun?
Probably not. We had to laugh when we saw them sitting drolly on the counter in the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center gift shop.
They're called "Sproutlets." They're absurdly inexpensive and include everything a kid needs to plant 'em up. (We'll pretend they're for kids only.)
The gift shop has lots of fun stuff, even $5 kites you can take out the door and fly on the spot. Just think, you can see the Center and the botanical gardens and fly a kite, too.
We keep thinking that on this website we need to tell everybody in detail how wonderful the new Botanical Center really is. But that's a daunting task--there's so much good about the Center and what the people are doing there and the gardens and the lake and the playgrounds and the special events and more that it's overwhelming.
For now, please just take our word for it that the Botanical Center and its many attractions are not to be missed. You and your loved ones can see and experience it all in Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park at 2400 S. Scenic in Springfield, Missouri.
We may post more here later, even a photo or two, so you might check back. Meanwhile...read on.
From June 19 2011
WHAT IN THE WORLD is going on? Suddenly in the Ozarks we've gone from a May filled with torrential, flooding rains and nights in the 40's to a heat wave in early June.
These are weird turns even for the climatically-quirky Ozarks, and for most of us they've added up to a huge delay in getting our gardens planted.
Rather than dwell on our misfortune, we're sprinkling a few pics here of Ozarks gardening that's gone well; for example, the Stokes Aster and 'Jay' variety daylily at left that turned up in a rural Greene County, Missouri, garden. Then there's the Spiderwort at right, a familiar roadside Missouri wildflower that's blooming beautifully even as we speak.
At left is a pic we call "Serendipitous Hibiscus", a happenstance cluster of reseeded scarlet Hibiscus we just happened on in central Springfield, Missouri.
These are all pics from the website pages we call Garden Finds and More Garden Finds. They're just little scenes we encountered while driving about the Ozarks. We like them because they're fun and also at times most revealing of the cleverness, ingenuity, and extreme good will of our Ozarks gardeners. Oh, and we might add humor, as exemplified by the scene at right.
The last photo here is a portion of a beautiful round flower bed we happened upon in Republic, Missouri. We just liked it for its mix of celosia, marigold, ornamental grasses, and you name it.
Withal, these pictures remind us that whatever the weather, eventually Ozarks gardeners are going to get the job done, and that includes sharing these and other cheering, heartening scenes with whomever happens by.
You might like to check out the other Garden Finds on the site. You'll find them in the links in the left margin.
That said, we're going out and try to catch up a bit with planting and weeding before the infernal heat hits us again. Please note our use of the word "infernal" rather than some other terms that came to mind.
From June 19 2011
DOES THIS PICTURE look anything like your place? It's
actually our own side yard, and real testimony to the sporadic,
fits-and-starts gardening we're all stuck with doing in this
insufferably hot Ozarks summer.
For fun we thought we'd show you a little of our
own fits-and-starts garden; no big deal, just a few little things
that by surviving the heat are lifting our spirits enough to keep us
from giving up.
First is our favorite plant, 'Painter's
Palette" at right. A perfect canvas in the garden on which to show
all other garden colors, it goes with everything. It also reseeds freely, so you don't have
to buy tons of it. The lady who does our favorite neighborhood garden
tipped us off to it, and you can see how she uses it here.
The big white ball at left is a dusk photo of the
Incrediball Hydrangea, which blooms spectacularly all season long. In
its second year in our garden, it's already 5 feet tall and covered
with monster flower heads nearly a foot wide.
At right are
some wild delphiniums that come up each year all on their own, a note we really
At left is our very favorite rose. It's 'Oranges 'n
Lemons,' which besides beautiful coloration has a most wonderful citrus scent. This single blossom is the only one
intact at the moment because Japanese Beetles prefer this rose
over any other plant in our garden and are busy ravaging it. Not to
worry. They'll do their damage and then move on, while we avoid
wasting time and money trying to control them.
At right is
the explosion of hostas in a shady portion of our side yard. We had no idea the
biggest one, 'Blue Angel', would reach 6 feet across and we're a little
intimidated, but, of course, we like it.
We found the Yellow Loosestrife at left at a Farmers' Market
three years ago and it's raised our spirits every year.
Like most Ozarks gardeners, we love coneflowers and this year we
were most surprised to be sent a brand new variety, 'Little Annie' at right. It's a dwarf
coneflower that will grow to no
more than a foot tall. Pretty neat, we thought. It looks a
little bedraggled here because it's just been planted, but we like
the blossoms and are looking forward to seeing it fully grown.
The super-red Lily with the unique sheen is another
Farmers' Market buy. We've forgotten its variety name but we can tell
you that in four years, it's been a joy.
Another plant we
really like is the plain old Bee Balm at right. There's just something in the shape
and texture of the flower, its rednesss, and the scent of the
leaves...and of course it attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds
So there you are. Again, no big deal, just a
few small things that are doing okay and please us in our
spit-and-chewing-gum gardening this summer.
Oh, we almost
left out the wild kittens abandoned by their mother in our utility
shed about three weeks ago. We decided to feed them till they could sort of fend for
themselves, and now they're growing and frolicking and following us
around in the garden constantly to "help" us weed and dig and plant.
They think Dr. Scholl's shoes from Walmart are a perfect place to
feel safe and sleep.
Maybe they are.
gardening. And stay cool.
From August 14 2011
WE'RE REDOING some pages on this website right now, and one
we're working on is about Schaffitzel's Greenhouse, for a long time
one of our very favorite nurseries.
The photo at left
reminds us of nothing more nor less than a Norman Rockwell painting,
for us the very essence of this family business founded in 1949.
At right is Tony Schaffitzel, who with his brother Mike at lower left runs the retail nursery
end of the business. Their mom, Barbara, who is also a retired
nursing administrator, grows a world of plant stock for the nursery and the family's flower shop in
greenhouses at her house in Fair Grove, Missouri.
If you want
to cut to the proverbial chase about Schaffitzel's, you can click here
and see what's happening with their page. Or you can keep reading
here in the green ink.
For us, Schaffitzel's is all about helping neighborhood gardeners get the job done. They're
long on substance and don't fool around with fluff--for example, the
homemade sign at right. This down-to-earth way of doing business
works big time. Tony says, "We've got guys who've been shopping here
40 or 50 years."
We have to talk about plants, of course.
Schaffitzel's starts with a great outdoor lot filled with such basic
treats as the sea of Coreopsis varieties at left and the beautiful water
hyacinth right below it. They also bring in such intriguing varieties as
the white 'David' Garden Phlox at right, and one of our very favorite plants,
the 'Mystic Desire' Dahlia below it, which, thanks to
Schaffitzel's, now grows in our own garden.
We could go on
and on about the plants at this remarkable nursery--they sell around 50
kinds of perennials, lots of annuals, and some native Missouri plants.
For more, though, it's best to click on the link above.
Oh, by the way, this isn't an ad. As many visitors
already know, we don't sell ads on this website--we just tell
people about garden stuff we think they might like or find helpful,
and that includes plantsellers.
We should let you know that
Schaffitzel's is located in one of the oldest neightborhoods in
Springfield, Missouri. The address is 1771 East Atlantic. We think it's
character alone makes it well worth visiting.
other news, some people have asked us to keep these topical
green-ink notes online because, as one put it, "They're sort of
bloggy and interesting." So, to oblige, we've put a link to them.
You'll see it at your left. We're calling them, cleverly, "Green Ink
And in even other news, we could write a whole
essay about the ongoing, incessant heat wave in the Ozarks. But you
already know about that, don't you.
And stay cool.
From September 3 2011
SHIRLEY ANDERSON, at left, loves to garden. Here she shows off a 'Pinstripe' Petunia, one of countless thousands of nifty plants she grows as the greenhouse manager for the Wickman's Garden Village nursery in Springfield, Missouri.
One of the busiest people we know, Shirley nonetheless also does a garden at home, one we'd call a good, old-fashioned neighborhood garden. She let us catch some close-up pics in it the other day, and we want to share a few with you here. Take, for example, the 'Mt. Fuji' Morning Glory at right. We really like it. We even like the ants. We hope you do too.
Then there's the 'Tie Dye Blue' Morning Glory growing up on the arbor at left. Shirley's not crazy about its "floppiness," but we like the "it-might-be-time-for-a-nap" effect.
Shirley's garden is full of nice surprises, and of course we had to get a photo when we spotted the Black Swallowtail Caterpillar at right, busily chewing away on its very favorite cuisine, a nice, fat, juicy Bronze Fennel. We know, it looks for all the world like a Monarch caterpillar. It isn't, though. Its markings are just a little bit different.
Naturally we had to get a shot of the Praying Mantis at left. That's because we love Praying Mantises. Don't ask why we love Praying Mantises. The heart has its own reasons. At any rate, love or no, it isn't much of a photo. We really tried our best but couldn't coax the Mantis onto the top of the stem.
The plant at right is, believe it or not, a Wild Poinsettia. We especially like its foliage. Oh, and the reddish plant to its left is a 'Haight-Ashbury' Hibiscus, so named because its leaves resemble those of, uh, another plant.
Wrapping up our impromptu little visit to Shirley's Garden is the bug's-eye view at left of the old-fashioned, tried-and-true favorite of many generations of gardeners, the Sweet Pea.
It's all just a small sample of the goodies in our favorite neighborhood garden. If you're curious, you can see much, much more of it for yourself here.
We'd like to thank Shirley for keeping her nifty home garden going through our insufferably hot Ozarks summer this year, and for letting us revisit it once again.
That's the news from the green-ink section this time around.
From September 6, 2011
A Real Sweet Deal....
We don't usually do "day after" stories on this website, but we have to this time around if only to inspire you to make a note not to miss next year's Greater Ozarks Hosta Society Plant Auction. This year's Auction, which happened Saturday, was a winner all the way, with a lively turnout, an incredible Sweets Table with homemade goodies, some truly outstanding hostas, lots of sales and terrific bargains, a prize drawing, and, finally, fun for one and all. It all happened in Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, 2400 South Scenic Avenue, in Springfield, Missouri, and it'll happen again next year. Again, do yourself a big favor and make a note not to miss it in 2012. Meanwhile, if you're interested in seeing the particular garden this sale benefits, click here. We promise once more, you won't be sorry.
From November 16, 2011
WHAT A WEEK. Or two. Or maybe even three. We've lost track amidst many gardening events and the always-disorienting shift from fall to winter in the Midwest.
We wanted to catch the garden at left, a special master gardeners demonstration garden in Springfield, Missouri, that we really love, before the first killing frost robbed it of its color. As you can see from the brilliant 'Fireworks' Gomphrena at right, we made it just in time.
Did you know you can grow cotton in your garden? At left is another demo garden treat, 'Burgundy' Cotton, a purple-leaved ornamental variety that does beautifully in the Ozarks.
We didn't expect nearly so much life and color in the garden so late in the season, and some of it just about knocked us out, like the 'Silky Yellow' Butterfly Weed at right.
Some of the garden's most beautiful fall-blooming plants were clearly at their best. Our favorite examples were the towering Tatarian Asters at left, which can grow 7-8 feet tall. They certainly made that height and in addition were literally bursting with blossoms and loaded with Monarch butterflies.
Equally colorful and compelling were the plants grouped at right, namely the 'Pow Wow Wild Berry' Coneflower, 'Purple Dome' Aster, and 'Class Act' Sedum.
When you get right down to it, it's hard to beat Knock Out Roses for season-'round color. We were happy to see the beautiful drifts of Rainbow Knock Outs at left still growing strong.
We've hardly touched this garden's wonderful autumn character. For now, though, we'll leave you with another winning example, the 'Sapphire Blue' Sage at right, a plant highly engaging on its own but even more so when combined with other colors.
We've had that first frost by now, and even a second, but it didn't get much below freezing so we're not sure what's still going on in the garden. We can, however, refer you to our page here, which shows it all year-'round. Or you might visit it in person in the Botanical Center complex at 2400 S. Scenic in Springfield. Whatever the season, it's worth it.
From December 5, 2011
ONE OF OUR FAVORITE NURSERIES, Wickman's Garden Village in Springfield, Missouri, held a nifty scarecrow-making contest for their fall festival this year. They also auctioned off the donated scarecrows and gave the proceeds to the Ozarks Food Harvest, an agency that feeds men, women, and children in need.
At left is a favorite we're calling The Bridecrow. I mean, really, have you ever?
At right are The Three Palscrows.
We made up these names up because we don't know any better.
Below, from left to right, are The Haveasnortcrow, The NASCARcrow, the BlondeBraidscrow, and the BoyHowdycrow.
Finally, we have The Fishercrow, The YayforMecrow, and The BeautyQueencrow.
And there you have it. You can click on these scarecrows and blow them up bigger, if you're not too afraid.
We love it that Wickman's did this contest, and we love it that the auction earned $700 for the Ozarks Food Harvest.
From January 12, 2012
GOOD GRAVY, IT'S 2012! How is that possible? How can it be? We were just born the other day....
Oh, well. Ours is not to reason why, ours is but to work on the website. Why? To make it more useful and maybe a little more entertaining for folks who like garden stuff.
For those who've asked how we do the site, at left is the first picture ever published of our central operation's Coffee Table Division, as presided over by our CEO, Amy Winehouse the cat. As you can see, we've spared no expense to put your finger right on the pulse of gardening in our region. The bag of cat food, it should be noted, is the preeminently nutritious and concomitantly costly Science Diet Kitten Formula, a gift from a friend who clearly wants us bankrupted by Amy's appetite. We're happy to report that Amy has since switched her allegiance to less costly chow.
It should be noted that Amy's drug of choice is tuna.
Please do not share this photo with anyone, as it is highly classified top secret corporate stuff. We're only sharing it with you because we trust you.
Moving on, we weren't kidding on the Home Page about adding tons of fun to the site. We have so much info and so many photos we've been remiss in posting, and at the same time the garden world in the Ozarks has grown so exponentially in the last year that we haven't been able to keep up.
Is there still time to wish you and yours a Happy New Year? Then so be it. Rejoice--we're all still alive! We shall prevail !
From January 28, 2012
WOW AND DOUBLE WOW ! When the Frogometer in our back yard showed it was snowing Thursday, January 12th (and the Frogometer is never wrong), our hearts sank for the annual Friends of the Garden Open House & Winter Party set for that evening. With biting cold, fierce winds, and lots of slickety spots on the roads, we feared nobody, but nobody, would show up.
But frabjous joy, calloo, callay, we couldn't have been more wrong that day. Look what happened.
It was a record turnout, standing room only, and a terrific time for all, with lots of delicious foods like those few shown at left, desserts that inspired vows of dieting, lots and lots of extremely nifty door prizes like the handcrafted wine box plant stand at right and the miniature house at left, a great talk on plants that survived the Ozarks summer of 2011, and an inside look at a major Friends meeting.
Listen, if you missed this event this year, mark it on your calendar for next because it's huge fun and a unique chance to meet and make friends with a wonderful gardening community.
As for the Friends of the Garden, they described the night with no little surprise as "Fantastic," "Spectacular," and "The best Open House we've ever had."
We have to add a note, too, on the amazingly generous folks who contributed the door prizes--plants, gift bags, gift certificates, floral arrangements, hanging baskets, bird feeders, bird houses, pottery, handicrafts, and more. They include Botanical Center Boutique, Carson's Nurseries, Fassnight Creek Farm, Friends of the Garden, Garden Adventures Nursery, the Greater Ozarks Hosta Association, Marisol International, O'Quinn's Water Gardens, Peggy's Flowers, Perkins Restaurant, Schaffitzel's Greenhouse, Steinert's Greenhouse and Garden, WannaGetta Pizza, Wickman's Garden Village, woodworker Don Brown, and gourd artist Bob Kipfer.
From April 18, 2012
EVER WISH you could paint lovely images of the flowers you love? Many people, both gardeners and non-gardeners, harbor that secret desire, and if you're one of them, you might find the following as encouraging as we.
Many years ago a dear friend, Francoise Ursat, a native of France, gave me a painting she'd done, the one at left. Francoise in time went off on various travels, and we were out of touch for a very long time. I was so moved by the simple innocence and beauty of this painting, however, that I've kept it all these years.
Not long back I was thrilled to learn online that Francoise went on to study painting and is doing remarkably lovely work today. The painting at right, Hydrangeas, is a perfect example, and also engaging is the sublime and pleasantly haunting (I think) Spring at Clermont at left.
Happily, I emailed Francoise that I still have her early painting and she, seemingly surprised and pleased, asked that I send her a photo of it. I was of course delighted to do so.
Francoise is modest about her paintings, but we think them very special. If you'd like to see more, you can find them on the Cross River Fine Art website here. (Cross River is a guild of some 18 artists in New York state.)
The moral of the story, if we need cite one, is that if you want to paint the flowers you love, please do. You may want to study painting a bit, or not, but in any event, you'll be putting some real happiness into this world for yourself, and for others.
A spring treat: The Fringe Tree in the White Garden in Springfield, Missouri. We normally avoid the word "breathtaking," but in this case we immediately understood why many consider it Missouri's most spectacular native tree. (Note the delicacy of its flowers at right.)
The tree is blossoming even as we speak, so if you can get to the Botanical Center in Springfield at 2400 S. Scenic you can see it for yourself, along with the rest of the beautiful White Garden. For a preview of same, click here.
From May 31, 2012
WHAT A SURPRISING SPRING for the Ozarks as the near-record warmth in the region has our plants growing with unprecedented vigor.
Nowhere is this vigor more evident than in the beautiful Botanical Gardens in Springfield, Missouri, and perhaps especially so in the Hosta Garden, shown here, which we visited this week.
The Hosta Garden may well be the most popular of the Springfield Botanical Gardens. It's certainly the most popular on this website, and for that matter, hostas themselves are by far America's most popular foliage plant.
We have to share these photos with you because they show you some of the garden at this very moment and also reveal the results of its redesign and revamping. You'll see a note below on the garden's mid-March mulching. That was just a fraction of the work carried out by members of the Greater Ozarks Hosta Society and other volunteers, as guided by Tom Lakowske, the Society's president and hosta lover extraordinaire.
As the photos show, the new Hosta Garden incorporates some exceptionally beautiful design elements, curvilinear paths, berms, island beds, good mixes of color, size, and texture, and attractive companion plants. Like so many others, we've loved this garden since it was first created in 2002. Now we have to say that we've never, ever seen it look more beautiful. Tom and the Hosta Society in our opinion have really outdone themselves. We're hoping you can see for yourself by visiting the Garden in person at 2400 S. Scenic Avenue in Springfield.
We haven't really done this beautiful garden justice on the website, and we hope to rectify that soon. We can, however, give you a preview of it, some background info, and pics of a good many named varieties of hosta here.
One additional note: Recently christened the Springfield Botanical Gardens, the gardens surrounding the city's Botanical Center now number no fewer than 35, an amazing fact when you consider that with only one exception, the Japanese Stroll Garden, all the the gardens have been created and are maintained and improved by volunteers.
That all said, read on.
From June 15, 2012
WE TRY TO KEEP UP on this website with our region's gardening news, but we're always falling short.
This year we're really running behind. For one thing, we've been moving to new living space. For another, our extra-warm Ozarks spring jumpstarted everything in the plant world.
Those two hitches notwithstanding, we'd still be behind. Truth is, gardening in the Ozarks is expanding too rapidly and too greatly for either comprehension or coverage. Never, for example, have we seen so many people flooding our nurseries and garden centers, never so many public gardening activities and events, and never so many beautiful yards and gardens.
We love it, of course. We more than love it. It gets us...right here. For us, the gardening going on in a region or community is a great measure of its health and vitality, and by that measure the Ozarks region is truly alive.
Now that we finally have time, we're playing catchup. The new pics here are of lilies blooming even as we speak, and we'll be adding more of everything.
As we and our gardens--and our gardening world-- continue to grow, we hope you'll join us now and again. Meanwhile...
Happy gardening. Happy living.
From July 30, 2012
IT'S SUMMER, ALL RIGHT. When we see the thermometer in triple digits, we're not at all confused. At left, a visitor from New England waters a parched flower bed as a favor to her hostess. She says our summers are not for her.
The forecast predicts 101 degrees today, so as soon as we're done here we'll be at our "Do-Or-Die Ozarks Morning Watering." That's what we call it and plants like the 'CB Maroon' Coleus at right and the 'Watermelon Charm' Supertunia at left below won't survive this ultra-torrid summer without it.
We just moved and these are some of the plants we're using to revitalize a long-neglected 74-foot border at our new digs. As it happens, they were provided us by the Proven Winners company.
As you may know, we don't do ads on this website. We do, however, tell visitors about really good garden things we come across and these PW plants, as tested by our sweltering summer heat, are winners for sure. Add to the above two the Proven Winners 'Blushing Princess' Lobularia, or Alyssum, at right==the best Alyssum we've ever seen by virtue of its vigor, beautiful spread, and barely visible but captivating trace of lavender in its coloring.
We very much like all three plants, but the one that really knocks us out is a fourth, the 'Lemon Slice' Superbells Calibrachoa shown at left. You can't see it so much in this picture, but the blossoms are white with pinwheel bands of bright yellow and make a most cool and refreshing presence in the summer garden. (Everybody who's seen it just loves it.) Oh, this plant is also quite vigorous, spreads beautifully, and even takes some drought.
To bring this border back to life we mixed these plants with some we brought from our old place. To our amazement, even those we had to transplant in 100-plus heat survived and are thriving. Their success isn't because we're geniuses, though; we just followed the old advice to 1) water deeply early in the morning; and 2) mulch.
We appreciate Proven Winners for letting us grow these goodies. We'll leave you with the pic at right of an especially nice grouping of all four plants here, plus Pentas, plus a white Cosmos.
The good news is, it was absurdly easy to rejuvenate this border, Ozarks heat or no Ozarks heat.
Sometimes things work out.
Here's hoping the same for you.
From October 19, 2012
WE HAVE TO SAY MORE ABOUT THE PLANT SALE ON THE HOME PAGE because in the first place, we were delighted just to learn that the kids at Hickory Hills School in Springfield, Missouri, are growing native Missouri wildflowers and grasses in their own rooftop greenhouse.
The children at this kindergarten-to-middle school are selling the plants to help support the program. All are perennials in four-inch pots at $4 apiece and as you can see at left, all are exceptionally healthy and vigorous. (You can click on any of these pics to make 'em bigger.)
The plants include these flowers: Slender Mountain Mint, Purple Coneflower, Swamp Milkweed, Yellow Coneflower, New England Aster, Gray Headed Coneflower, Foxglove Beardtongue and Ohio Horse Mint, and these grasses: Little Bluestem, Sideoats Grama, Broomsedge and Prairie Dropseed.
We thought it might be good to show what some of them will look like when mature; for example, the Purple Coneflower at right, which will produce even more blossoms.
At left is another gorgeous coneflower, and one of our favorites, the Gray Headed Coneflower,
At right is yet another striking coneflower available at the sale, the Yellow Coneflower.
We have to say it. You just can't have enough coneflowers in your Missouri garden, they grow so vigorously and beautifully. Naturally, when we went to check out the sale, even though we didn't plan on buying anything, well, you know the rest of the story.
Moving on, at left is the Foxglove Beardtongue, obviously one of Missouri's loveliest wildflowers. And below is Ohio Horsemint, which with its blue-lavender blossoms can grow to 2 1/2 feet tall.
The sale continues through today, Friday, October 19, from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you have any questions, you can call (417) 523-7100.
We have to add here that the kids are growing these wonderful plants with the generous help and knowledge of the Master Gardeners of Greene County, the Missouri Prairie Foundation, the Missouri Department of Conservation, Springfield Master Naturalists, the Greater Ozarks Audubon Society, and Springfield Public Schools. Oh, and the parents and teachers are there, too, of course.
And lastly, there's you, and us. We can't think of a better investment in our own gardens, and in our own young people.
From December 10, 2012
GOOD GRAVY, WE SAY. The Ozarks climate is already weird enough, and now this December we've had record heat--all-time highs of 73 on Monday the 3rd and 74 on Tuesday the 4th. That's in the Springfield, Missouri, area.
And now, even as we write, the temperature's dropped to 18 degrees.
Such extreme changes keep us more than a little off-base as gardeners. They put our plants off track as well. Take the Purple Coneflower at left. A friend found it actually blooming in the Springfield Botanical Gardens December 3rd.
Wacky warm spells or no, we have to say that when the thermometer gets down to 18 degrees, it's winter. For us that means, among other things, more time to improve this website. Right now we're adding a good many plants to our Winter Garden page, such as the 'Amethyst' Oakleaf Hydrangea at right.
The Winter Garden is an amazingly helpful resource for Ozarks gardeners because it displays so many plants they can use to brighten their gardens and landscapes in winter, and lately it's been adding more beds, a water feature, and even more plants. Two new ones we especially like are the 'Vintage Gold' Chamaecyparis at left and the 'Color Guard' Yucca, also known as 'Color Guard' Adam's Needle, at right. 'Color Guard' holds its color perfectly all year 'round.
You can visit the Winter Garden in person in the beautiful Springfield Botanical Gardens at 2400 South Scenic in Springfield, and you can see our page on the Garden here.
We're also updating our rather wildly popular Shirley's Garden page. That's Shirley at left, and we think hers the most inspiring neighborhood garden we've ever seen. If you haven't had the opportunity to learn from it, and enjoy it, you might click here. We promise you won't be disappointed.
We could go on about many other additions to the website, but for now, let's give you a breather. Then you can read on....
From January 7, 2013
SOME GREAT GARDEN NEWS: if you live in southwest Missouri and like gardening, gardeners, good food, and free goodies, you'll love the annual Friends of the Garden Open House & New Year's Party.
We wouldn't steer you wrong. It happens this coming Thursday at 5 pm in the Botanical Center at 2400 S. Scenic in Springfield, Missouri, and it's a real winner.
Last year a record crowd turned out for this event and thoroughly enjoyed the conviviality, delicious foods like those at right, door prizes like the miniature house at left, and other goodies.
Prizes for this year's Open House have already been generously donated by the Botanical Center Boutique, Fassnight Creek Farm, O'Quinn's Water Gardens, Peggy's Flowers, Steinert's Greenhouse and Garden, Wickman's Garden Village, Garden Adventures Nursery, Schaffitzel's Greenhouse, the Friends of the Garden, and the Friends of the Springfield Art Museum, and there are more to come.
If you don't know already, Friends of the Garden is the group of more than a thousand volunteers of all ages, backgrounds, and work and life experiences who've joined together to fund, create, and maintain all but one of the 36 beautiful gardens that make up the Springfield Botanical Gardens. And if you haven't met them already, you're going to like them.
Note: We just learned that the guest speaker will be John Price, the new president of the Springfield-Greene County Park Board,
Now, all that said, read on....
From January 12, 2013
A GOOD TIME: It was last night at the Botanical Center in Springfield, Missouri. They called it by several names. First, we heard "the Friends of the Garden Open House," then it was "the Friends of the Garden Open House and New Year's Party," then it was "The Friends of the Garden Annual Meeting," and finally, on the public online announcement they didn't call it anything. They just gave the time and location and said to come.
That particular annoyance aside, it was a good event, with lots of conviviality, delicious foods, door prizes, and a most interesting Friends of the Garden meeting featuring reports on just about every aspect of the wonderful Springfield Botanical Gardens and the Botanical Center.
Prizes were generously donated by the Botanical Center Boutique, Fassnight Creek Farm, O'Quinn's Water Gardens, Peggy's Flowers, Steinert's Greenhouse and Garden, Wickman's Garden Village, Garden Adventures Nursery, Schaffitzel's Greenhouse, the Friends of the Garden, and the Friends of the Springfield Art Museum, and some others whose names we didn't catch. Tom Lakowski passed 'em out and did it with flair and humor, so there were lots of laughs.
If you don't know already, Friends of the Garden is the group of more than a thousand volunteers of all ages, backgrounds, and work and life experiences who've joined together to fund, create, and maintain all but one of the 36 beautiful gardens that make up the Springfield Botanical Gardens. And if you haven't met them already, believe us, you'd like them.
Oh, the guest speaker was John Price, the new president of the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, who filled folks in on some nifty Park Board plans and priorities, which we liked a lot. You may not know it, but Springfield's Park Board in 2000 won the Gold Medal Award for cities from 100,000-250,000 population from the National Recreation and Park Association.
Our point in mentioning all this is that we'd like you to file it away in some nice compartment in your brain so that when the event happens next year, it might ring a bell and you might even go.
Now, all that said, read on....
From January 25 2013
BOY, ARE WE EXCITED. There's a new Farmers Market in Springfield, Missouri.
Two growers we really like, Leo and Laura White, let us know this past week that they and others started the James River Farmers Market (JRFM) and are now open in the Remington's parking lot at 1655 W. Republic Road in Sprngfield.
That's Leo and Laura at right, along with their daughter Ashley, who to everybody's amazement who knew her as a little sprout is now 15.
We get excited anytime we see a new outlet for locally grown foods and plants, and we love the color and life of farmers markets. So we just had to go on the market's first day last Saturday. It was overcast, windy, and cold as could be, but yes, folks were there and buying stuff.
We also saw Roland Netzer, at right, holding his book Echoes from the Hills, which he says "...took me 18 years to write." Roland and wife Katy grow organic vegetables at their Netzer Farms northwest of Springfield and have long been positive forces in local growing.
At left is Lisa Capps, president of the market. Affable as can be, Lisa grows vegetables, fruits, berries, fruit trees, strawberry plants, perennials, and annuals and sells baked goods, canned goods, crafts, and cut flowers. She and her husband Ron, at right, base their Heirloom Gardens operation in Cape Fair, Missouri.
At left is Carl Thayer, another of our favorite local growers, holding what looks to us like a gargantuan sweet potato. Carl and wife Lisa grow asparagus and other goodies and also have neat crafts for sale. We're told that Carl and Lisa are the third largest asparagus growers in the state of Missouri.
At lower right is Sharon Hunt, who with husband Jim raises Belgian Blue cattle, reputed to provide the leanest and most tender beef available. They operate Ozark Belgian Blue Beef in Walnut Grove and sell a wide range of beef products.
We know some of these people from the Greater Springfield Farmers' Market. Indeed, some of them have pages on this website under the "Plantsellers" link. (You might want to check them out.)
At left, the beginnings of the James River Farmers Market on a cold, windy day in January turned out to be much warmer than we expected, thanks to these folks' congeniality and humor.
We said as much to Laura White later, and she replied, "Our goal with this market is to reestablish the kind of market Roland Netzer started 38 years ago, where vendors are all friends and like family."
Oh, for now the market is open from 8 in the morning till 12 noon every Saturday. We think it's a winner and will do beautifully. We're glad to see it add to the marvelous list of sources in the Ozarks for locally grown foods and other good products.
From April 6, 2013
Well, it's time to come up with something else for our little "green-ink note" here. As we sip coffee and type, we have a nice little coating of sleet and ice on the ground, thanks to the major winter storm that swept over the midwest this week. That, of course, fuels thoughts of spring.
We have a whole page about spring on this website, and we've been working hard on it lately to make it better. We can't claim to be a real photographer, but every now and then we catch a pic that even we like, such as the cheery spray of crocuses above, or the pink dogwood blossoms at right. Thank heaven for digital cameras, we say. The ability to shoot away and electronically discard our blunders allows us to live out the philosophy "Even a blind hog finds a mushroom now and then."
On our spring page we've posted a few of our photographic mushrooms in the hope of capturing at least a smidgen of the glory of spring in the Ozarks. Our ice and cold at the moment, of course, has us caught up in what a clever friend calls "the countdown to color." Thoughts of the soon-to-appear dwarf iris at left, for example, we find real cheering, and we're eagerly looking forward to leisurely drives through our city of Springfield, Missouri, to enjoy our neighborhoods in spring color, as shown at right.
If you'd like to see our spring page, and more of what makes the season so glorious in the Ozarks, you'll find it here.
We don't want to get maudlin about it, but we're so grateful to be living in this part of the country, where nature can be, and so often is, breathtakingly beautiful.
From May 8, 2013
How about a little green-ink tour? Just click on any of the photos to go to the feature noted.
At left, we've just added "An Easy Border," the tale of how a gardener
we know moved from the country to the city and found himself in a new
At right it's a good workday for Master Gardeners readying their wonderful Demonstration Garden, to which we're adding new photos and info to the website.
left, we just happened upon this photo of Lisa Bakerink, who does good
things in the gardening world. To find out how, click and go to the
Springfield Botanical Gardens.
At right is another lady doing good garden
things, Lisa Capps of Heirloom Gardens. the president of the new James
River Farmers Market, a group of growers and vendors we're really
Thank heaven the photo at left is really past tense--hyacinth half-buried by a late Ozarks snowstorm--but it'll take you to a much more inviting, and more timely, place on the website.
We have to work hard here to keep up with the gardening world in the Ozarks, and of course, and
to be perfectly honest about it, we can't begin to do it. We do,
however, make a little progress, and most recently it's been to redo our
page on Lilies. Click on the pic at right, and we're thinking you won't
going to end our quick little tour with the photo of our beautiful
Missouri columbine at left, which you can actually see in the wild just
about now in lots of places here and there. This one happens to be
growing in a very special place, one you might like to preview here, and
then, maybe, visit in person.
That's it. All off the tram, please. Coffee and hot chocolate will be served, well, in your kitchen, maybe.
Moving on, some folks like these little "Green Ink Notes" and even find
them helpful, so we've posted a bunch of them for you here.
From June 1, 2013
Well, we can't let this one go by. As if spring in the Ozarks hasn't been freaky enough, Friday and Saturday, May 3rd & 4th, we had sleet and snow, which set a record for the late occurrence of such gifts in the Springfield, Missouri area.
One apparent casualty, we thought, was the bowl of pansies at left. We had hopes, however, and sure enough, the low never dropped below 32 and the following Tuesday our pansies were back, as shown at right.
Another apparent casualty was an orange 'Dreamland' zinnia we'd just planted. It managed to acquire a nice cap of ice and snow and we thought it most likely a goner, as the 'Dreamland' variety of zinnia in the past has seemed especially tender, but lo and behold, it too came back, as you can see at right.
"Whew!" we say.
Our siege of cold and snow and sleet was harrowing for gardeners so eager to get going with their gardens that they'd already planted. It did, however, give us a chance to take some sort-of-interesting pictures. We just liked the tree and the circle beneath it for the photo at left.
Now, and fortunately, it seems we're past our snow, ice, and freezing temps for this year, with a real time-to-plant spring in the offing. The week-ahead forecast for the Springfield, Missouri, area calls for highs in the 60's, 70's, and even an 82 next week, with lows no lower than 43. With that, let's leave our green-ink notes this time around with a photo of the first blossom of spring on one of our very favorite lilacs.
If you like our little "Green Ink Notes", or find them a little helpful, in response to quite a few requests we've posted a whole bunch of them here.
Email this page Printer friendly version
Powered by Machineware Contact the webmaster