|A Flower Fest|
Richard focuses chiefly on growing perennials, especially peonies, clematis, hostas, garden phlox, and beautiful Asiatic lilies like those shown here.
|Color in Lilies|
Asiatic lilies, botanical name Lilium candidum, come in a wonderful range of colors--whites, pinks, reds, orange, yellow, and pastels--and in beautiful bicolor mixes like this one with brilliant yellow petals flushed with orange.
|Easy to Grow|
Asiatic lilies are smaller than Oriental lilies, growing from 1-4' tall. Though less fragrant, they produce more buds and blooms. Richard notes that Asiatics are the hardiest of the lilies and do extremely well in Ozarks gardens.
|Up, Up, and Awa-a-ay|
The balloon goes up right now, and stays up through the garden season. Platycodon, or Balloon Flower, grows to 2' in height with a long bloom season. It's a favorite perennial for many Ozarks gardeners, for obvious reasons.
|Mystery Balloon Flower?|
This Balloon Flower (Platycodon species) appears to be a double or semi-double pink variety, but Richard couldn't recall the variety and for the life of us, we can't trace it down. Balloon Flowers are named for the shape of their buds, which open into beautiful star-shaped flowers. Perennials, they like sun or partial shade, usually grow to 2 or 3 feet tall, bloom all season long, and make excellent container plants and cut flowers.
Richard and company have acquired a reputation for producing exceptionally healthy, vigorous plant stock, brilliant red geraniums included.
The Plant Ranch also raises snap beans, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, squash, and, obviously, sunflowers. Helping out here at the peak of the season is Richard's niece Heather. The Plant Ranch sells only at the Farmer's Market in the Battlefield Mall lot in Springfield.
|Sprays and Bouquets|
Heather also tends to the Ranch's colorful sprays and bouquets of gladiolas and other flowers.
Airy, colorful, and as appetizing as its name, Pardancanda norrissii is commonly known as Candy Lily.