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An attractive picket fence surrounds a shaded walnut grove where is found one of the most recent hosta gardens to gain AHS National Display Garden status. This is the Hosta Garden in Close Memorial Park at the Springfield Botanical Gardens in Missouri and maintained by the Greater Ozarks Hosta Society. Wrought iron gates into the garden carry a significant sign that says: Visitors welcome: the Fence is for the Geese. Geese can be a problem in the Springfield Botanical Gardens but this sign has more significance because of a historical accident that led to the planning of this fenced-in area. In 1999, the Greater Ozarks Hosta Society’s first major attempt to establish a hosta garden in Springfield was at Springfield-Greene County Dickerson Park Zoo, but the freshly planted garden was swiftly devastated by geese. When Close Memorial Park was dedicated in June, 2001, it was decided to establish a bigger hosta garden there, but in consideration of the geese, the fence was built around the area when the garden was developed in 2002. The fence seems to do its job as geese rarely wander into the hosta area, and the grove of walnut trees discourages them from flying in. Attractive wrought iron gates into a garden, however, even if originally installed for a practical reason, do give to this garden an element of mystery and secrecy.
These photos by Sandra Letson accompanied the original article in The Hosta Journal. Click on any thumbnail to see larger image/slide show.
With words from Lisa Bakerink followed by Robin Hoover
Dear Heavenly Father, We ask your blessing on the people gathered here today and we ask for your presence to be with us. Thank you for the gift of life and for the promise of new life together with you and all our loved ones for eternity. Amen
Bronze Statue in Memory of Jon-Michael Eubanks
It is with both a joyful and a somber heart that I stand here today to accept and dedicate this statue in loving memory of a very special young man, Jon-Michael Eubanks.
This statue resided in the backyard of his mother’s home, for several years in remembrance of his life. Now, Robin and her husband Randy, have decided to share his life and memory with all of us and the thousands of people that enjoy the Springfield Botanical Gardens.
On behalf of Friends of the Garden, we gladly accept this playful and lively statue that embodies all we love about children. As visitors enter the park and see this statue and the others here of children playing, the message certainly comes through… "children are precious and children are welcome here." I hope many people stop to read the plaque engraved for Jon-Michael, and as they do, may they reflect on the blessing of their own children and give thanks for them.
Robin and Randy, thank you for your thoughtful gift to the gardens. We hope you visit often and that you find a measure of peace in the serene beauty of these grounds. (Lisa Bakerink)
Thoughts and memories from Robin Hoover
Jon-Michael Eubanks was born on Wednesday, March 9th, 1983 at 2:59 p.m.
It was such an honor, privilege, and adventure to be Jon-Michael Eubanks’ mom.
Jon-Michael loved sports, music, animals, nature, his family, and his friends.
He loved to ride bikes and began to BMX race in 1996. He achieved many awards racing in BMX, including placing 3rd in his division in the 1997 National BMX Competition held in Oklahoma City, OK.
Jon-Michael was a very loving young man. He lost his right leg below the knee at the age of 17, but that did not keep him from working and trying to achieve his goals. But alas, complications got the better of him in April of 2001.
Our lives forever changed when he went to be with his Heavenly Father on April 30th, 2001.
My heart yearns for him every day. So, to honor him, I happily donate this statue of a boy doing a handstand to the Close Memorial Park in my son, Jon-Michael Eubanks, name and memory. We hope it gives a smile and pleasure to all who gaze upon it. And for those who knew him, that it will bring a sense of closeness and hope.
I look forward to the day our Father in Heaven reunites us. Until then, thank you for your continuing support and love for my wonderful son, Jon-Michael Eubanks.
Sincerely, Robin Hoover
Note from George
This wonderful gift In the memory of Jon-Michael Eubanks is located near the flag pole in front of the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center.
The bronze boy has joined two other pieces in the area, a girl doing a footstand and a boy with his dog on a log. These two pieces were initially located in the original Children's Garden that was located near where the Bill Roston Native Butterfly House now stands.
After vandalism that included the actual theft of the original bronze boy doing a handstand and the destruction of a boy and girl on a teeter totter, the remaining two pieces were stored until the new building with it's security system was in place.
Now almost three years after the Botanical Center was opened Robin and Randy's gift completes three of the four original grouping of bronze statues welcoming children to our gardens. George Deatz
Introduction written by Peter Longley, Horticultural Interpreter
Katie Steinhoff views the "Peace Pole" placed at the new Peace Garden. Photo by Frank Shipe.Saturday, June 22, featured the dedication of one of our newest gardens at the park—the Peace Garden. The Peace Garden is actually one of the furthest gardens from the Botanical Center. It is situated south of the Dwarf Conifer Garden, which is looking particularly nice at the moment, and east of Lake Drummond. This garden is the brainchild of Mariel Cardwell and gives a wonderful message for visitors to our beautiful botanical gardens. Gardens are one of the greatest unifying forces in bringing peace across boundaries. This was recently illustrated for me at the American Public Gardens Association conference in Phoenix, Arizona, where representatives from the Royal Botanic Garden in Jordan met with members of the Jerusalem Botanical Garden, the Botanical Garden of Lebanon, and gardens from Pakistan, and shared their enthusiasm for the preservation of their desert plants from their arid climates without any reference to the political tensions of the Middle East.
This ‘Peace Garden’ is dedicated to peace and to peacemakers everywhere: within the family, in the community, around our country, and throughout the world. The garden was developed in memory of Joan Collins, teacher, librarian, and peace activist, who headed the Peace Network of the Ozarks for many years. The peace pillar and benches are of Missouri marble from a local quarry. The words, “Let there be peace on Earth” on the pillar are in four languages: English, Spanish, Japanese, and Arabic. There are six peace symbols on the benches, representing many parts of the world. The dove is universal, the palm tree represents North Africa, the lion the Pacific north-west of America, the turtle the South Pacific, the doe Tibet, and the lion and the lamb the Middle East. It is expected that a Japanese crane will also be added. We hope people will visit the garden, contemplate the possibility of peace in our world, and dedicate themselves to helping achieve a more peaceful world.
It has just been announced that the Hosta Garden at the Springfield Botanical Gardens, 2400 S. Scenic Ave., has been designated an American Hosta Society National Display Garden. The garden was established and is maintained by by the Greater Ozarks Hosta Society. Tom Lakowske, GOHS President, received the phone call yesterday afternoon from member Lee Coates who is attending the AHS National Convention in Milwaukee, WI.
This honor and designation comes after hours of hard work by Tom and other volunteers from the Hosta Society, Friends of the Garden, Master Gardeners of Greene County, other organizations and individuals to develop the garden so it qualified for this special national recognition. Now one of only a few (18) designated display gardens nationwide, what a special asset this garden has become for Springfield and the State of Missouri.
The AHS National Display Garden Program: http://www.americanhostasociety.org/DisplayGardens.html Springfield will be added to this list to become number 18.
For more information on the Greater Ozarks Hosta Society visit their website: www.gohs.org
By Peter Longley
How long will it take us to achieve our goals? In a public garden I imagine we will never achieve our goals as we will always be a work in progress, but some milestones have been reached out at the Springfield Botanical Gardens for which we can justifiably be proud. In a space of little more than twelve years, and mostly within the last eight years, we have received considerable national attention, even international recognition.
Last Friday, we received the wonderful news that our beautiful Hosta Garden tended by the Greater Ozarks Hosta Society currently under the dynamic leadership of Tom Lakowske, has been certified by the American Hosta Society as a listed national display garden for hostas, taking its place in a body of less than twenty such gardens in the nation. This announcement was made at the AHS National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Information furnished by Don Schmidt
Thanks to Don and Nancy Schmidt, the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden is the newest member of the North American Japanese Garden Association (NAJGA).
NAJGA is a professional, non-profit membership organization dedicated to the advancement and sustainability of more than 250 Japanese gardens located throughout the U.S. and Canada. It was formed in 2011 with input from over 200 garden professionals and supported by The Japan Foundation’s Center for Global Partnership. NAJGA focuses on all aspects of Japanese gardens through a variety of programs and services, including workshops and seminars as well as fundraisers.
Member gardens include the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, and now that Don and Nancy have joined NAJGA, the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden will be listed as a member. They had 140 members. Now they have 141. NAJGA did not know that there was a Japanese Garden in Springfield until they signed up and attended the Memphis NJGA 2013 regional workshops on May 1st.
NAJGA Executive Director, Diana Larowe, plans to feature the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden in their next annual Journal which will give the garden considerable national and international exposure.
The Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden is located at the Springfield Botanical Gardens, Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, 2400 S. Scenic Avenue, Springfield, MO 65807, phone 417.891.1515.
For more information on the North American Japanese Garden Association (NAJGA) visit www.najga.org
Find a NAJGA Japanese garden near you or visit one on your next vacation trip, use Garden Finder: http://www.najga.org/cfm/gardenFinder.cfm
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Get news, updates and information from Friends of the Garden about our events and programs as well as what's going on at the Botanical Center.
Friends of the Garden, Inc. PO Box 8566 Springfield, MO 65801 417.891.1515 | EMAIL
The Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center2400 S. Scenic AveSpringfield, MO 65807
The Friends of the Garden mission is to "inspire the discovery, understanding and appreciation of nature by creating and maintaining gardens at the Springfield Botanical Gardens and by supporting the mission of the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center and Park Board."