Just Another Winter…

Hopefully, by the time you read this, another winter will have past. This winter has been longer than most, for many reasons, and I am glad to see it go. First it was too warm, then too cold, for awhile it was too wet and then too snowy. For our friends to the north and west it was definitely too icy. The mid-winter surprise of three days and three ice storms was devastating to trees, shrubs and the mental well being of everyone in the affected areas.

It really just sounds like another winter in the Ozarks. As they say „if you don‟t care for the weather, just wait a minute….‟ And if you want to learn about some plants that yawn at these harsh conditions, read on.

It will be our best year yet at the nursery, with more choices, many old favorites and lots of new offerings. We all look forward to seeing you and wish you the best of spring and a terrific gardening year.

Botanical Garden of the Ozarks

If you have not had a chance lately, this spring is a great time to visit the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks. Located on the east side of Fayetteville on Crossover Drive, the garden has taken many long strides this last year. The Carl Totemeier Horticultural Center, a stunning timber frame building, was completed and dedicated last fall.

Much progress on the backyard gardens has been made, with a shade garden, a vegetable & herb garden and a butterfly garden close to completion. A Children‟s garden featuring a lovingly handcrafted tree and pond is taking shape and will thrill young and mature gardeners equally.

Garden related presentations are now being offered on a regular basis. This spring and summer will be a busy time as more structures and gardens are developed. To learn more about presentations or to make a donation or to volunteer, log on to their website at www.bgso.org or call 479-750-2620. Or better yet, just go visit and enjoy the newest garden jewel in the Ozarks.

Garden Club Month

March is Garden Club Month at the Bear, offering a chance for all you garden-savvy friends to get a jump on the season. All you have to do to qualify is belong to any local garden organization. Master Gardeners, members of Plant or Water Garden Societies, Garden Clubs and the Botanical Garden Society of the Ozarks are all eligible. All of you can receive 15% off the purchase of any tree, shrub, perennial or annual during the month of March. Come on down, see the new plants, tell us your garden stories and take advantage of Garden Club Month.

© Bear Creek Nursery

2798 Highway 23 North, Eureka Springs, Arkansas 72631

(479) 253-7466

bcneureka@gmail.com »˜« bearcreeknursery.net

Anne’s Great Bicycle Adventure for Cancer

My sister, Anne Cowan, a master gardener from Bristol, Tennessee, is now well on her way on her amazing journey. Along with 29 other enthusiastic women, Anne has embarked on a cross country bicycle trip starting in California. Depending on the efficiency of the writer, publisher, editor, printer and mailing division at the nursery, she should be somewhere between California and Florida right now.

Anne, who has never met a challenge she did not like, has biked across North Carolina, (look at the map, this is not a short ride; she went across) and toured in Ireland and Italy. In her spare time, through the years, she has hiked over one third of the Appalachian Trail. At a youthful 57 years, she says her inspiration is a 70 year young woman who thinks biking across continents is merely an example of good exercise.

As typical of Anne, however, this is not just a frivolous two month ride. She is raising awareness and funds for two important organizations, The Wellmont Hospice House and the Susan G. Komen Affiliate, both in Bristol, Tennessee. Her volunteer time and sensitivity to terminally ill cancer patients makes her a perfect candidate for supporting these causes.

To learn more about her great bicycle adventure or to make a contribution, log onto www.grahamcam.com and click the link “Anne‟s Bicycle Journal”. She will be posting regular updates along the route on her personal blog. Good luck, Anne and Happy Trails!

Plant News and New Plants

New Agastaches

After trying and liking, we are unofficially proclaiming 2007 as the Year of the Agastache (every year should be the Year of the Agastache). Pronounced Ag-a-stack-ee, these drought tolerant perennials are perfect for the climatically challenged Ozarks.

Colorful flowers accompany colorful names in this useful family. Peach, pink, lavender, blue, purple and an occasional blend are the range of hues available from cultivars Apricot Sprite, Navaho Sunset, Pink Pop, Purple Pygmy, Lavender Haze, and Apache Sunset. Several species are also popular– foeniculum (referring to the fennel like scent), rupestris and scrophularifolia (which pertains to its medicinal properties and shall be called “the fuzzy one” from now on). Golden

Jubilee is a particularly pretty variety that sports golden foliage and blue flowers. It was chosen an All- American winner a few years ago.

Most agastaches have scented leaves, so have been given the common name anise hyssop. The fennel scented leaves are a treat to inhale. If you do not care for the scent of licorice, here is the good news: neither do deer, who will leave these plants alone.

Agastaches come in sizes from one foot to two and a half feet tall and should be planted in a sunny, well drained site. We will have at least ten varieties available this spring at the Bear.

Boxwood Reconsidered

One of our favorite evergreen shrubs may already be common in the landscape but should

still be considered for new plantings. Although boxwood is traditionally thought of as a large hedge plant, there are several smaller cultivars that are garden worthy.

Wintergreen boxwood is a slow to moderate grower known for round leaves and a dense foliar habit. It is easily trimmed to 3-5 feet tall.

Green Mountain and Green Velvet are more compact, newer varieties. Boxwoods take on a golden coloration in the winter landscape, almost glowing in the low rays of the sun.

Its most important attribute, although hard to detect, is a scent that is a repellent to deer. This is a low maintenance shrub that requires only a light pruning in midspring to mid-summer to keep its shape.

Call 479-253-7466 for more information on any of the new introductions reviewed in this article.

Bear Creek Nursery

“ Along with a selection of new annuals, perennials, herbs and grasses, the Bear offers many native trees and shrubs as well as a number of aquatic plants to enhance the pond. Landscape materials and a comprehensive selection of glazed & terra cotta pots round out the products available at your friendly neighborhood garden center. Sound advice is always available from the well informed staff, who will be happy to help you find just the right plant to compliment your garden. Landscape services are available year round.”