Don has a reputation for being extremely generous in sharing cultural information--and an amusing tale or two--with customers.
Equally affable and helpful is Don's wife Sandy, who seems to especially enjoy the atmosphere at the Farmer's Market.
|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 is 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.
|'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 'Knockout' Rose|
Don is especially high on the 'Knockout' shrub rose, which swept the garden world for 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," says Don. Note: The American Rose Society named 'Knockout' its Member's Choice Rose for 2004.
|'New Pink Knockout' Rose|
'New Pink Knockout' is a sport of the red-blossoming 'Knockout' rose. The 'Knockout' shrub roses do beautifully with as little as four hours of sun per day. Happily, 'New Pink Knockout' has every one of its parent's virtues.
One of Bob Town Blossoms' more dramatic offerings is Strobilanthes dyerianus, commonly known as Persian Shield. With its metallic cast and leaves of rich purple with subtle lilac and green highlights, this plant really takes visual command in the garden. Of Burmese origin, it was well known in Victorian gardens. In our climate, it's an annual and can reach 5' in height.
The Bauers' 'Logic Blue' variety of Scaevola is darker than the 'New Wonder' variety barely visible at the upper right. Native to Hawaii, the plant grows to 2-3-feet wide and a foot high. It does beautifully in the Ozarks, blooming right up till the first frost. Scaevola's thick profusion of blossoms and spreading habit make it not only a strong accent plant in the garden, but outstanding as a container plant or hanging basket.
Swaying in a Saturday morning breeze is one of Bob Town Blossom's most vivid annuals, a rich blue delphinium with white "bees." The intense blue of this variety makes it an outstanding accent plant in the garden, as well as an exceptionally striking cut flower.
|Light Blue Delphinium|
A delphinium of a much lighter blue. We didn't catch the varietal name of this one, but we'll try to fix that as soon as possible. In any event, it's a prize.
|New Guinea impatiens|
The Bauers grow three colors--purple, red, and white--of the Paradise series of New Guinea impatiens, a very striking annual for blooms and foliage that does extremely well in Ozarks gardens. Don notes that these sun-lovers thrive and bloom with as little as a half-day's sun.
|Mixing it up|
"We just strive for a good eclectic mix every year," says Don Bauer. That mix includes cut flowers as well as bedding plants, and it starts with these unusually striking zinnias.
|A very special flower|
Don says that finally finding success growing this remarkably beautiful flower, Lisianthus, took him three years. Also known as Prairie Gentian and Texas Bluebells, the plant has uniquely soft, rose-like petals and pure, rich colors. As a cut flower it's unexcelled for old-fashioned flavor. The blossoms last for over a week.
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.
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.
The Bauers are known for growing exceptionally healthy and attractive plant stock, such as these Vinca varieties. The couple sell only at the Battlefield Mall Farmer's Market.
Calibrachoa, 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 '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 eyecatcher in the garden or landscape,
|'Platinum Palette Freedom Ring'|
The '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'|
'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.
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.
|Climbing Flutterbye Rose|
|Sun Parasol White Mandevillea|