Bob Town Blossoms

don-and-sandy-jpg.jpgDon and Sandy Bauer
and their Bob Town Blossoms operation are no longer selling plants at farmers market, Don having turned full-time to the teaching profession he loves. We must, however, keep them on this website because their contributions to the Ozarks gardening world are of enduring value to gardeners in every region.
      As growers based near Halfway, Missouri, Don and Sandy produced and sold some of the most distinctive flowers and shrubs to be found anywhere, and all of almost singular vigor and quality. As if that weren't enough, they also happen to be two of the most likable people we've ever encountered.
      Here, then, are Don, Sandy, and some plants you're bound to remember.

Sharing Knowledge


In his years selling at the Greater Springfield Farmers' Market, Don gained a reputation for being extremely generous in sharing cultural information--and an amusing anecdote or two--with the Bob Town Blossoms customers.


Don's wife Sandy, who seemed to especially enjoy  the atmosphere at the Greater Springfield Farmers' Market, also was exceptionally helpful to customers. 

Roses and More....

Fragrant roses--English shrub roses, floribundas, grandifloras, teas, and climbers--top the Bauers' growing list. "We grow several hundred rosebushes," Don says. "We also grow 'Americana' geraniums in six colors and a limited selection of perennial bedding plants, and annuals like begonia, impatiens, and vinca."

A French Note

The Bauers' love for distinctive roses was evidenced by their offering this unusually fragrant, creamy French hybrid grandiflora rose, 'Jardin de Bagatelle'. Excellent as an accent, as a hedge, or in the landscape, it's a large, bushy plant that blooms profusely. Another virtue: it's highly disease-resistant.

The 'America' Climbing Rose

The 'America' climbing rose is a real prize. Its large flowers (46 petals) are a unique orange-coral pink, intense in color at first then growing paler. It blooms all season long. A hybrid of 'Fragrant Cloud' and 'Tradition', it's also richly fragrant. The plant has a nice upright habit, thrives in dry climates, and was an All-American Rose Selection in 1976. What more could we ask?

'Hot Cocoa' Rose

Catching more than its share of attention at Don & Sandy's spot was 'Hot Cocoa', a floribunda rose with four-inch-wide blossoms in a marvelous color called variously "dusky chocolate," "cinnamon brown," "chocolate orange," "smoky cocoa," and other appetizing appellations. However named, the color is unique and brought the plant an All-America Rose Selections award in 2003.

The 'Heritage' Rose
'Heritage' is a David Austin rose. Who's David Austin? Glad you asked. We've only recently learned that he's an English rose hybridizer who has worked to combine the virtues of old roses (those introduced before 1867) with those of today's roses. David Austin roses are often called "English Roses." David Austin said that 'Heritage' is "perhaps the most beautiful English Rose." It produces small clusters of perfectly formed pale pink blossoms with a lovely lemony scent and, as you can see, does beautifully in the Ozarks.

The 'Knock Out' Rose
the-knockout-rose.jpgDon from the beginning was especially high on the 'Knock Out' shrub rose, which proceeded to sweep the garden world for its ease of culture, unique beauty, fragrance, disease immunity, and abundant blossoming into fall. Bonus: It's especially resistant to blackspot, a fungus that thrives in the Ozarks' high humidity. "I call it the non-gardener's rose because it's indestructible," said Don. Note: The American Rose Society named 'Knock Out' its Member's Choice Rose for 2004.

'New Pink Knock Out' Rose

'New Pink Knock Out' was a sport of the red-blossoming 'Knock Out' rose. The 'Knock Out' shrub roses do beautifully with as little as four hours of sun per day. Happily, 'New Pink Knock Out' has every one of its parent's virtues.

Mixing It Up--With Some Gorgeous Zinnias
mixing_it_up.jpg"We just strive for a good eclectic mix every year," said Don Bauer. That mix includes cut flowers as well as bedding plants, and the cut flowers can be spectacular, as with these Benary's Giant Zinnias. This outstanding Zinnia produces very large double flowers in many vivid colors. Don, one of a very few sources Benary's Giant in the Ozarks, also sold them as bedding plants. In the garden the plants can grow to 30 inches tall and 16 inches wide. As cut flowers, they're not only beautiful, but have a long vase life.

A Very Special Flower

Finally finding success growing this remarkably beautiful flower, Lisianthus, took Don three years, he said. Also known as Prairie Gentian and Texas Bluebells, Lisianthus has uniquely soft, rose-like petals and pure, rich colors. As a cut flower it's unexcelled for old-fashioned flavor, and the blossoms last for most than a week.

More Lisianthus
A closer look at the rich Lisianthus purples. Developed from Eustoma grandiflorum, a wildflower  native to the Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas prairies, Lisianthus cultivars are finding phenomenal success nationwide, especially as cut flowers. The plant, an annual, is phototropic in the garden, meaning that, like sunflowers, it turns toward the sun.

A Shower of Color
calibrachoa-jpg.jpgCalibrachoa, also known as Trailing Petunia and, more rarely, Million Bells, is a marvelous plant that from June till frost features an amazing profusion of tiny bell-shaped flowers in a wonderful range of colors and color mixes. The plant grows quickly into a neat mound 4-8 inches tall and 6-24 inches wide depending on variety. It cascades beautifully over walls or in hanging baskets. It likes full sun but does well in part shade, too. As you can see, it's a literal shower of color. We can't recommend it strongly enough.


The Bauers gained a wide reputation for growing exceptionally healthy and attractive plant stock, and these Vinca varieties are a perfect example. Despite their delicate coloration, Vinca are rugged plants that tolerate heat and drought, grow in virtually any soil, and make a superb ground cover in sun or shade.

Fire Bush

Fire Bush, also known as Scarlet Bush, Texas Firecracker Bush, and by other common names, is Hamelia patens, a picturesque plant with bright red blossoms from early summer through fall. As a bonus, the foliage turns bright red before dropping in autumn. The plant grows into a 4-5-foot mound and is highly attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies.

'Jay' Daylily

Don and Sandy also offered some outstanding daylilies. The 'Jay' Daylily features a 5 1/2-inch wide bright-rose-red blossom with burgundy midribs and a green throat. Thriving in full sun or partial shade, it grows to 24 inches tall, spreads freely, and is a real eye-catcher in the garden or landscape,

'Platinum Palette Freedom Ring' Daylily
platinum-palette-freedom-ring.jpgThe 'Platinum Palette Freedom Ring' Daylily features large, 7 1/2-inch-wide flowers in very pale pink with lighter midribs and a yellow throat. Big Bonuses: This daylily is a rebloomer, blossoming from early-to-mid-season, and the flowers are fragrant. It grows to 25 inches tall and thrives in sun to partial shade. One of the Platinum Palette reblooming hybrids with fragrance, multiple scapes, and sunfast colors, it's a superb choice for any garden.

'Platinum Palette Patriot Dream' Daylily
platinum-palette-patriot-dream.jpg'Platinum Palette Patriot Dream' is another in the Platinum Palette series of reblooming, fragrant daylilies. It features 6 1/2-inch-wide wine-red-purple flowers with white highlights and a yellow throat. Growing to 26 inches high and about 8 inches wide, it has deep-green grasslike foliage and thrives in full sun to partial shade. 

'Chum' Daylily
Perhaps the most subtly colored daylily we know, 'Chum' is usually labeled "light pink" when in reality it contains delicate shadings of apricot, rose, tan, and who knows what other colors. 'Chum' is a repeat bloomer with 5-inch-wide blossoms and grows to 28 inches tall. This Bob Town Blossoms beauty now lives in a West Greene County garden.

The 'Flutterbye' Climbing Rose

The 'Flutterbye' Rose is actually a shrub rose that most gardeners prefer to train to as a climbing rose. It has the marvelous characteristic of bearing beautiful single flowers that change color, so that one plant may show roses of yellow, coral, tangerine, and pink all at once. The flowers have a spicy scent. The plant as a climber can reach 8 feet tall. As a shrub it can reach 5 feet tall and as wide.

Sun Parasol White Mandevilla

Sun Parasol White Mandevilla (
Mandevilla x 'Sunparacoho' P.P. #22,695) is a fast growing tropical twining vine with shiny green foliage and an abundance of pure white flowers with yellow throats. It needs partial to full sun and regular watering, can grow as long as 8 feet, and attracts butterflies. Naturally, it's a perfect plant for trellises, arbors, or other garden structures.

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