Ramblings of a Flower Addict

A blog for one who should, in theory, not have a blog.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Hilltop Garden and Ash Grove

Hilltop Garden TourJennifer and I visited Hilltop Garden in Ash Grove, MO today for their open house. The owners were giving tours of greenhouses that normally aren't open to the public. Pictured at left is Oscar showing us the "Hot House." The tour was very interesting, we got to see the behind the scenes of the ornamental horticulture industry, and Oscar was willing to answer any questions we could come up with.

Some of the interesting tidbits that we heard or learned included about how much money it costs to keep the tropical greenhouse warm (about a gallon of propane a year per square foot) and how they have such an impressive showing of hostas later in the year (they have 8000 hostas "sleeping" under plastic in a field).

Jennifer in her natural habitat

I got the shot above of Jennifer striking up a conversation with another Hilltop customer. The conversation turned to Elephant Ears and Jennifer commented to the lady on the left that we always just leave the elephant ears in the ground and cover them for the winter and they're fine. We overheard her commenting to her husband that she really didn't appreciate Jennifer's input... some people.

After the excitement of the tour we drove on in to Ash Grove. We stopped at a service station and used the facilities. Jennifer was tickled with the small town atmosphere (funny since we're both from small towns). The mechanic in the service station gave us directions to a local cafe for lunch as he rocked back in forth in a rocking chair.



We took him up on his recommendation and ate at the Trails End Cafe. Some things are just better in small towns, and a home-cooked meal is one of them. Jennifer dined on "probably the best" pork tenderloin sandwich she's ever had. I indulged in the open-face roast beef sandwich with mashed potatoes and gravy and it was delicious.

We drove around the area a bit more and decided that we liked little Ash Grove. It wasn't a great day for picture taking but the old downtown area had some interesting buildings. We'll go back another time and explore some more.

4 Comments:

Blogger meghann said...

jason and I visited Hilltop Gardens last year, after the lawn and garden show. We liked the big greenhouse that had the elephant ears, and for the first time we saw a 'bloom' from an elephant ear. it smelled really cool, of course, I was already a few weeks pregnant by that time last year and several of the smells seemed off to me. next year, when Sean is running around, I think we will go back. I enjoyed walking the trails they had made.

9:11 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Keys said...

My elephant ears bloomed last year for the first time. They are crazy looking flowers! I don't think mine smelled, but I really didn't get that close. I have been to Hilltop in the summer when they have all of their hostas out and that is the time to go. I was a little disappointed this time, but it really is very early. They did a good job with what they had.
I keep telling Duane that when we buy our farm I am going to landscape acres and acres of it, then we can have weddings, etc. I would even like to build a little guest cabin for a small scale B&B.

12:45 PM  
Blogger meghann said...

ah, I would like to go when everything is in bloom and smelling so wonderful!

7:34 PM  
Anonymous CrazyForHer said...

I love the Ash Grove area and we have been looking at homes (with land to get away from crazy neigbors). I would love to get some advice from you when we move. I never have any luck with flowers of any kind. I could pay you for your time to make my yard look wonderful. :)

8:07 PM  

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