April 14, 2011

Do you like this?

Vintage Hill Farm is a lovely nursery and farm just north of Interstate 70 and Boonville. Perched atop a hill in the towering bluff and river hill country on scenic Route 87 between Boonville and Glasglow, Vintage Hill's greenhouse and grounds fairly burst with blossoms. Display gardens showcase different kinds of hardy, old-fashioned as well as modern shrub roses, and you'll find about 1700 varieties of perennials and annuals in the greenhouse or on the grounds. The beautifully designed gardens are the backyard of owner Jeff Oberhaus.

Jeff restored the 1900s farmhouse and landscaped with many period plants to complement it. Jeff has a degree in horticulture, and when he bought the hundred acre farm in 1991, he was working in Columbia. Every afternoon, he'd come home and relax by gardening. He opened the business the next year.

Jeff tore down a rickety old backyard shed to make way for flower gardens. In the process of removing three different layers of flooring, he uncovered an old cellar that had been completely covered, its entrances sealed. A lily pool now graces the spot.

The lily pool inspired him to carry aquatic plants. Vintage Hill also carries exotic tropical plants, vegetables, ornamental grasses, and a selection of shrubs and trees that grow well in the Midwest. In fact, Vintage Hill grows the majority of their plants, and Jeff loves to introduce customers to underused, heat tolerant, tough plants that thrive in our Missouri gardens.

Vintage Hill also carries an uncommonly large variety of some common plants. For example, he has 60 cultivars of coleus, which offers many color and leaf-shape options.

Jeff speaks to groups, leads tours, and gives demonstrations on the farm, too. "We try to show people how to use both unusual and common plants in creative ways and combinations." There are many fascinating boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts in the area that can accommodate visitors.

Jeff also raises Scottish Highland cattle and Holsteiner sport horses. You may get a glimpse of them in the pastures while you visit.

One of the things he enjoys best is hearing visitors reminisce when they rediscover a favorite old variety that brings back memories of parents, grandparents, or others. He listens to their stories and smiles.

April 14, 2011

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