|Iris and other flowers|
Henry and Evelyn grow about 500 varieties of Siberian, Japanese, Louisiana and Spuria iris on their farm northeast of Springfield, Missouri. They sell the rhizomes at the Greater Springfield Farmer's Market, along with some fresh flower bouquets, to boot.
Among the many specialty iris Henry and Evelyn grow is this white 'Immortality', rated the most popular, most reliable of the increasingly popular "reblooming" irises. "Rebloomers" are varieties that don't bloom just once then go into dormancy, but may bloom repeatedly. 'Immortality', for example, sends up multiple stalks and blossoms from midseason until fall. The plant reaches 30 inches tall and its blooms have soft white petals, a pale yellow beard, and a sweet fragrance.
Many of the couple's irises are certified winners. In this assortment, 'Honky Tonk Blues' in 1995 won the American Iris Society's Dykes Memorial Medal, the highest honor an iris grower can achieve. It was developed by Schreiner's Iris Gardens in Oregon.
Until we saw this bouquet we didn't know Globe Amaranth, or Bachelor's Button (Gomphrena globosa), appears in so many wonderful colors. Native to Central America, the plant now includes flowers in red, lavender, orange, pink, purple, and white. It thrives in the Ozarks in sun or partial shade, grows to 30 inches tall, likes fertile, well-drained soil and ample water, but will take some drought, is attractive to butterflies, and, as you can see, makes marvelous cut or dried flowers.
We don't know about you, but this grouping of Henry and Evelyn's Globe Amaranth in very subtle, muted colors blew us away with its sheer artistry.
A look at some redder Bachelor's Buttons, along with some nice white Statice for contrast.
Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa) is an old-fashioned plant whose snow-white waxy flowers and rich vanilla fragrance stir fond memories for many gardeners. Henry and Evelyn grow this double-flowered cultivar, 'The Pearl', which grows to 4 feet tall and blooms in July-September. A tender perennial, its bulbs should be lifted for winter storage.
The couple's most colorful bouquets feature bright Benary Giant zinnias. Perhaps the most spectacular of all zinnias, Benary Giants grow to 36 inches tall or more and come in many vivid colors with nicely rounded, closely petaled blossoms. They like full sun but will bloom beautifully with as little as 4 hours of direct sun per day. They usually require staking in the garden. A bonus: They make exceptionally beautiful cut flowers.
Henry and Evelyn also grow some truly striking Coxcomb, or Cockscomb (Celosia cristata). Named for the cap worn by court jesters, this unique annual blooms in the summer and fall and grows in full sun or part shade to 2 feet tall with a similar spread. Flowerheads last up to eight weeks and come in red, orange, yellow, pink, rose, and purple. The plant makes stunning cut flowers and dried flowers.
|A Feathery Touch|
Take a base of Coxcomb (Celosia cristata), add a few soft spikes of its subtler cousin, Plumed Celosia (Celosia plumosa), and you have an appealing bouquet with a feathery touch. Not too surprisingly, Plumed Celosia is sometimes called Plume Coxcomb.
|Buckeyes & Cotton|
Yes, you can grow real cotton in the Ozarks, and the Beersmans bring a few bolls to market for fun and to show folks where their shirts come from. For a quarter you can get a buckeye, too, which legend says if carried in the pocket always brings good luck.
|'Caveman's Club' Gourd|
It isn't pretty, but it's sure aptly named. The Caveman's Club gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) is a primitive-looking bit of work that grows 12-18-inches in length and 5-6-inches wide on a vine 10-12-feet long. To get the straight handle, the vine should be trellised, otherwise handles will be curved. Who says Henry and Evelyn don't have a sense of humor?