In the oldest part of Springfield, Missouri, is a nursery that's been a sort of godsend for generations of home gardeners.
Schaffitzel's Greenhouse, founded in 1949, includes a nursery, flower shop, and two greenhouses.
"We've got guys who've been shopping here 40 or 50 years," says Tony Schaffitzel, who with his brother Mike grew up in the nursery. Today, he and Mike run the business along with Barbara, their mother, who in addition to raising plants and children is a nursing administrator retired.
Barbara runs the greenhouses at her house near Fair Grove, Missouri. "We grow 80 percent of our vegetables out there," says Tony. "We focus on vegetables--that's probably 25-30 percent of our sales in bedding plants."
The nursery also grows and sells a wide array of annual and perennial ornamental plants for the garden and flowers to put in the flower shop. The plants include many newer hybrids and some special choices the family brings in for novelty and variety.
"We do 40 or 50 different kinds of perennials," said Tony when we first talked with him in 2009. "We did some things this year with the Missouri native stuff, I've got some native asters, larkspur,and a light lavender bee balm. We also carry quite a few herbs. They're pretty easy."
For us, Schaffitzel's visually is nothing more nor less than a Norman Rockwell painting. Long on substance with a complete absence of fluff, the place takes us back to a time when nurseries were all and entirely about helping neighborhood gardeners get the job done. We suspect that the feel it has today is the same as in 1949. But you can see for yourself.
Tony Schaffitzel, amiable and easygoing, looks reflectively out over the nursery greenhouse. The family business moved to its current location at 1771 E. Atlantic in Springfield in 1959.
"We started working pretty early," Mike said of his brother and himself. "Pulling weeds and planting a lot of stuff, we were pretty welcome around here. When we really started working to amount to anything, though, was junior high."
|The Nursery Greenhouse|
The nursery greenhouse is packed with colorful begonias, zinnias, impatiens, marigolds, and many other plants, resting on benches beneath a world of hanging baskets of bougainvillea, purslane, petunias, and more.
Debbie Meier, who, it's said, "does about everything" around the nursery, pots up a Schleffera, also known as Umbrella Plant, for the flower shop.
Watering so much plant stock isn't exactly a walk in the park, as Debbie can attest.
|A Homemade Sale|
The Schaffitzels don't dawdle around. They get the job done and move on. We loved this sign,
|'David' Garden Phlox|
'David' Phlox (Phlox paniculata 'David') is a great favorite of home gardeners for its beautiful, highly fragrant, whiter-than-white blooms. If that weren't enough, the flowerheads are extra-large, measuring up to 6 inches across, and the plant is somewhat mildew-resistant. It grows to 3 feet tall in full sun or partial shade. Note: 'David' was the 2002 Perennial Plant of the Year, as named by the Perennial Plant Association.
|Bird of Paradise|
Care to grow a Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae) in your backyard garden? You can, you know, in our hot 'n humid Ozarks summers. This one's doing beautifully in the Schaffitzel's nursery yard. Experts say to give the Birdt at least 4 hours of sun per day, preferably more, plus well-drained soil with some bone meal, and even moisture. It's hardy only to 20 degrees, so should be taken inside for the winter.
|'Barbara Carson' Daylily?|
Since we can't find a 'Barbara Carson' daylily mentioned anywhere, we're thinking maybe this =is really 'Barbary Corsair'. We're hoping, anyway. In any event, it certainly looks like 'Barbary Corsair', which is a real prize, considering that it's a reblooming daylily that grows 30 inches tall with flowers 3 inches wide that some say have a rose scent.
|The Way It Used to Be|
We can't help but feel a twinge of nostalgia every time we visit Schaffitzel's, the place so reminds us of images from our own childhood, scenes that we love recalling for their simplicity and integrity.
|A Sea of Coreopsis|
We're not sure of the variety here, but in summer Schaffitzel's outdoor lot is filled with colorful varieties of Coreopsis and other good, reliable garden plants.
The name Tickseed Coreopsis seems to turn up applied to any variety of Coreopsis. In the nursery trade, however, it most commonly refers to those with very fine foliage and flowers with eight petals. We don't know the botanical name for the pictured variety. All we know is, it's different, and we like it. We hope you feel the same.
|Elephant-Size Elephant Ears|
Elephant Ears (Colocasia esculenta) do wonderfully well in our hot and humid Ozarks summers and always add an element of drama to our gardens. This one, grown in the greenhouse, also illustrates the size and eye-catching power of the largest varieties in containers.
|'Jacob Cline' Bee Balm|
Named for the son of Georgia plantman Jack Cline, 'Jacob Cline' Bee Balm (Monarda didyma 'Jacob Cline') stands out in the garden its extra-large, deep red flowers. Growing to 4 feet tall by 3 feet, it produces an abundance of striking, 2-inch-wide flowers and flowers even more if deadheaded. Pointed, lance-shaped leaves have a minty scent. Given full sun and adequate moisture, it thrives in the Ozarks.
|'Mystic Desire' Dahlia|
|Starfire Garden Phlox|
|Barbara Karst Bougainvillea|
|Angelonia & Company|
|The Autumn Nursery|
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