Certainly one of the most colorful, most-admired displays in the 2005 Lawn & Garden Show was the All About Nature booth, with chimeneas, pots, and decorative goodies galore in warm earthen colors. Would these work in your garden?
|A touch of whimsy|
All About Nature's wares come in a wide range of intriguing--and definitely amusing--shapes and colors.
|All About Nature|
Gina Boyd Burgess greeted guests for All About Nature. The company also sells mulches and stone for the garden.
|Springfield Seed Company|
Guess why they call this company "The Springfield Seed Company."
|Wild Birds Unlimited|
Wild Birds Unlimited brought everything from feeders for all kinds of birds to birdbaths, seed, nesting boxes, and--holy ribbet!--even giant frogs.
This computerized scene suggests there's no moss growing on the landscape designers at Ozark Outdoors Nursery.
|Ozark Outdoors Nursery|
This little girl was ready to jump right into the Ozark Outdoor Nursery rock pond and plantings. This colorful display also won a prize in the visitors' "People's Choice" voting--a second place trophy and a cash prize.
The crew at the Rubberific! display were glad to show us a product we've been most curious about but had never seen--rubber mulch made from recycled truck tires. We like the ecology of the deal, but what does it look like? See below.
|'Redwood' rubber mulch|
We don't know about you, but we were amazed by the fresh, realistic appearance of the 'redwood' mulch. Can this really be recycled truck tires? They swear it's true.
|'Cypress' rubber mulch|
We were no less surprised by the appearance of Rubberific!'s 'cypress' mulch. The fair folk told us that the mulch costs roughly three times as much as the real thing, but that it lasts 20 years in the garden. The product also comes in Earthtone, Cedar, and Weathered Oak colors.
|Help with Recycling|
This City of Springfield display detailed the best recycling alternatives in the area. It also provided Missouri University Extension materials on Missouri wildflowers, growing native plants, how to make and use compost and mulches, and other topics.
|Compost & mulches|
The City of Springfield display even provided samples of the yard waste compost, fine-textured wood chip mulch, and regular wood chip mulch available at the recycling center west of the city.
|Wildwood Landscape and Design|
Landscape designer and architect Kelly Hayes's company created this attractive water feature and surrounding plantings for the show. Not surprisingly, it was another winner in the "People's Choice" voting, being awarded a third-place trophy and a cash prize.
|Wickman's Garden Center|
Wickman's Garden Village, one of the oldest and most popular nurseries in Springfield, Missouri, showed everything from plants to patio furniture.
Wickman's Pat Scammahorn answered a world of gardening questions, as did nursery manager Nikki Petitt. Nikki said the most common question she fielded is what to do about moles. "Sprinkling castor oil around the burrows definitely drives them away," she said. She also has some, ah, less merciful remedies.
Gary Whittaker, publisher of Springfield, Missouri's colorful 417 magazine, also greeted show visitors.
One of the Ozarks' favorite nurseries any time and a perennial favorite (no pun intended) at the Lawn & Garden Show is the Cross family's Hilltop Farm nursery near Ash Grove, Missouri. Here Lindsay Cross has just explained how she recently made a real Medieval sword from a truck spring and is working on some chainmail armor. If you want to know about plants, she'll tell you about those, too.
|An array of plants|
Hilltop Farm is also widely known for the cheery help its visitors can rely on from Candice, shown here, and other workers.
|A rockin' good time|
Ozarks gardeners love decorating with rocks, and the McMullen Landscape Center booth had plenty to see--and feel. The Springfield, Missouri, firm sells boulders, building and landscape stones, flagstone, and other building and landscaping materials.
McMullen also showed several kinds of smaller rocks and gravel. The company also sells mulch, sand, compost, and topsoil.
Ronda Bumgarner helped out at the Shaffitzel's Greenhouse booth. One of Springfield, Missouri's, oldest growers, Shaffitzel's brought loads of beautiful bedding plants to the show.
|Ozarks Ornamental Concrete|
David Fisher and Dana Vest's Ozarks Ornamental Concrete in Brighton, Missouri, spotlighted some unusual statuary, fountains, planters, and other decorative items for the garden.
Frolicking pets can do real damage in the garden, especially with water features and fish. The Invisible Fencing Company of Springfield, Missouri, offers an electronic solution that isn't visible and isn't a shock device. The owners are certified dog trainers as well as garden design consultants. In this photo the young lady greeting visitors to the booth is invisible, too.
|ArborCare of the Ozarks|
Sandy Harrel and her husband Kevin provide the services of certified arborists in their ArborCare of the Ozarks business, located in Springfield, Missouri.
|The big chipper|
ArborCare of the Ozarks comes equipped with this powerful Vermeer brush chipper, which looks like it does everything.
|P & K Irrigation|
Brian and Pat of P&K Irrigation cheerfully greeted visitors to the show. They specialize in designing and installing both residential and commercial irrigation systems. P&K also consults with customers who want to install their own systems.
|Willow Tree Earthscapes|
Adam and Melissa Millsap with their Willow Tree Earthscapes service do landscaping, water gardens, outdoor lighting, patios, and decks. Here Melissa shares some fun with her niece Emma.
Neal Hayes greeted show visitors to the Carson's Nurseries booth. Carson's has two Springfield, Missouri, locations. Specializing in trees and shrubs, the nursery has its own tree farm and offers full landscaping services in addition to selling plants and other garden supplies.
|Karen & Nancy's Iris and Hosta|
Karen Day, co-owner of Karen & Nancy's Iris & Hosta near Willard, Missouri, welcomes show visitors. Karen & Nancy's offers over 2000 varieties of bearded, Louisiana, Japanese, Spuria (Butterfly), and Siberian irises, some 600 varieties of hostas, and even some specialty plants.
|Sometimes Less is More|
Nobody was manning (or womaning) this Conch Construction display at the time, but we just had to photograph a water feature that packs so much visual interest into such a tiny space.
|Waters Blueberry Farm|
Julie and Matt Waters are the brains behind Waters Blueberry Farm in Smithville, Missouri. Julie says blueberries do wonderfully well in the Ozarks. The couple specialize in large (up to 4 ft. tall) blueberry plants that are ready to fruit this summer.
Clay Starnes' CNT Irrigation specializes in automatic lawn sprinkling systems and landscape lighting.