Green & Growing FROM THE PROS

Different kinds of gardens nurture body, mind and soul. Here are the gardens that inspire professional garden and plant people.


Sherwood’s Forest, I Love the Zen Quality of a granite sculpture fountain quietly trickling water over black shinny beach pebbles in a garden shaded by a weeping Red Dragon Japanese maple.  The sound of the water is not too loud so one can still hear the sound of the birds, wind and nature in the area.   Keep the garden simple and with pastel colors and the slight aroma of lavender or possibly rosemary growing near by.   From David Sherwood, (314) 966-0028, Sherwood’s Forest Nursery, 2651 Barrett Station Rd. Ballwin, MO 63021.


Greene’s Country Store, My favorite moment in a garden setting is when I have just bailed hay.  May pastures are like a big garden. The field is cleaned up, you walk across the field and you can here your foot steps on the grass stems and when you look you can still wild flowers along the edges of the field and see lots of insects flying around. From Randy Greene, Greene’s Country Store, 636 561-6639 www.greenescountrystore.com, , 8621 Hwy N, Lake St. Loius, MO 63367.


Hillermann Nursery & Florist,  I love to come home at the end of a long day at work.  My outside is filled with a landscape that is full of colors and sounds.  The sounds are of birds and running water.  I have my home registered as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat (as well as my business), which is very easy to do.  Contact the National Wildlife Federation to check out the program.  You need to provide water, food, and habitat.   I feed birds year round, you cannot beat the sound and antics of birds year round.  My husband even enjoys them and tests himself on identification.  Everyone needs a place to relax, so I invite everyone to make your own home the sanctuary you deserve. From Sandi McDonald Hillermann at Hillermann’s, www.hillermann.com,  636-239-6729, 2601 E. 5th Street, Washington, MO 63090


St. Louis Composting, The community gardens that have been installed all over the St. Louis Region recently are the gardens that we would love to have in our own back yards! They offer the peacefulness of your home garden, but also have the advantage of helping beautify and better the communities they are in. Ashley Bement, St. Louis Composting, 636 861-3344, 39 Old Elam Ave, Valley Park, MO 63088, www.stlcompost.com.


Greenscape Gardens, I just recently had the opportunity to go to Gateway Greening’s City Seeds Urban Farm and I was inspired by how that 2 acre piece of land is helping to heal the lives of many individuals in need.  The garden gives the farmers who nurture and tend the plants, a sense of purpose and pride.  It demonstrates to us all how simple and satisfying it can be to grow your own food. From Jennifer Schamber,  www.greenscapesgardens.com, 314 821-2440, 2832 Barrett Station Rd, Manchester, MO 63021.


University Gardens. I grew up on the grassy prairie of north-central North Dakota. My father has been working on his ten-acre slice of paradise for nearly thirty-five years.  One particular bed takes my breath away.  Brimming with hundreds of different plants, each square foot is a new experience and must be investigated on bended knee.  So, there you are, admiring a pink shooting star next to a fuzzy blue bottle gentian.  You turn and, two feet away, a yellow lady slipper orchid is blooming.  Off in the distance, you hear a train whistle or a jet flying far overhead, but there is always, always the sound of the prairie blowing in the breeze.  This reminds me to slow down, breathe … the world can go on without my full attention for a few moments. From Karla Walsch, University Gardens, 314 863-1700,  8130 Delmar Boulevard, University City, MO 63130


Bowood Farms.  My sanctuary and refuge is my backyard garden where I spend many a peaceful hour. When my mother passed away several years ago I started including some of her favorites as a remembrance. Every year I plant a few more fragrant lily of the valley, they always bloom during my mother’s birthday month of May. Another favorite of my mothers was Four O Clocks and Zinnias. Each year when I was young she would give me packets of these seeds to plant in the back of the house. I also have many plants that have been gifts from special people in my life. You can walk the garden and remember stories and smile. From Ellen Barredo, www.bowoodfarms.com, 314 454-6868, 4605 Olive St., St. Louis, MO 63108.