Spoil Your Green Thumb

When the weather outside gets less frightful and little green shoots start to creep up from the soil in St. Louis, where do green thumbs go? I only speak for my own green thumbs when I say Lowe’s, Garden Heights Nursery and Bowood Farms.

Lowe’s happens to be our go-to for all our home improvement needs. They have all the basics there as far as flowers go, but it’s always our staple for things like mulch, gardening soil and fertilizer.

Whenever I feel the mood to step it up from the basics though, it’s down the street to Garden Heights Nursery. There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it. That place makes me happy. Really, really, really happy. And whenever I am happy at a place of business — Crate & Barrel, Urban Outfitters, Whole Foods Bakery, etc. — my wallet is put in immediate danger.

African Daisies

Stock flowers. Always thought the name “stock” was a little lackluster for these beautiful blooms.

Ranunculus. Their only fault is that their season ends by summer.

But seriously, I like Garden Heights because the selection is great and the staff is very knowledgeable. We’ve purchased nearly all of our shrubs and perennials from Garden Heights because of the quality and variety they offer. And on top of that, they keep me up-to-date with a presence on Facebook and Twitter and an e-mail newsletter. Good to know this nursery is with it!

The third gardening destination in St. Louis is Bowood Farms, which my mom and I recently discovered over our lunch breaks a couple weeks ago. We decided to try lunch at Cafe Osage, a bright, airy restaurant tucked away in a more distant corner of the Central West End. We both ordered the quiche and salad, which was delicious (especially the house-made crust). After polishing off our plates, we decided to explore Bowood Farms, which is the nursery attached to the Cafe Osage.

To put it simply, I fell in love with the place. They have a great collection of gifts from soaps to candles to bud vases. And because I thought they were so great, I bought one of their Lollia candles — the Summer of 1982 scent, which is burning on our fireplace mantle as I type, and is oh-so dreamy. Bowood is also an excellent destination for terrarium supplies. I will definitely be back when I finally make mine. And as for the plant selection and quality, it’s the best I’ve seen in St. Louis. There were varieties I’d never seen before, such as a hydrangeas with lime green colored leaves — as green as sweet potato vines. I was also impressed with their array of succulents and indoor plants — the most I’ve seen at a St. Louis nursery.

Succulents in every texture and pattern

Round the curve of tropical indoor plants, and you’ll find the white shelves with all the terrarium supplies.

Bowood is so laid-back, there’s even a cool cat that walks freely around the garden center.

So many gifts with the most unique fragrances. Tobacco Blossom actually sounds kind of interesting.

Bud vases and bowls in all shapes and sizes

Ahhh, yellow hibiscus.

Those lime green hydrangea leaves. Heavenly.

A perfect bed of impatiens that I wanted to fall into back-first. Snow angel-style. But something tells me I would’ve gotten in trouble for that.

The major downside to Bowood is how pricey everything is. But the fact that this place offers such high-quality plants right smack in the middle of the city is definitely something to admire — even if you only stop in for a look around or a bite to eat.

With three go-to garden shops in my little black book of happy places/bank account drainers, you can imagine I’ve been going to town on beautifying our yard. I’m sure I’ll be blogging more about it and  posting pics in the coming days, but in the meantime, two of the things I’m most excited about this year are a cold-weather gardenia I bought for the backyard and the duo of clematises that are finally starting to mature and grow wild in the backyard. More to come!


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Filed under Hobbies, Home Improvement, St. Louis

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