Friends of the garden


Volume 3, issue 1, spring 2007


Saturday, April 21, KY3 anchor Ethan Forhetz and reporter Sara Sheffield tied the knot before about 170 friends and family in the Hosta Garden at Close Memorial Park on top of the rock garden hill with a waterfall cascading towards the guests. A background of a setting sun and pink-attired attendants enhanced the scene. The Rev. John Lindell of James Assembly of God Church in Ozark performed the ceremony.

Park crews and FOG volunteers worked furiously to arrange electrical power for the water pump and to plant rows of flowers around the waterfall pool.

This waterfall area is the brainchild of Bill and Judy Roston, with the help of FOG volunteers, hauled tons of rock from their wedding refuge at Honey Branch Cave at Bruner, MO.


On October 29, 2006, the Springfield-Greene County Park Board adopted a 20-year master plan for the combined Close-Nathanael Greene Parks. This plan includes the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden, the American Legion History Walk, the University of Missouri Extension Demonstration Garden and the Gray-Campbell Pioneer House.Within four years, overlooking the vista at Close Park, a botanical building will be constructed that will unify the various elements of both Close Memorial and Nathanael Greene Parks. At Close Memorial Park, the master plan includes the ten gardens already established and maintained by FOG and locates the positions of some 20 additional gardens. The Mission of the combined parks is to become a nationally ranked botanical park.

New gardens

English white garden


ornamental grass garden

Spring gardening activities

Robert Childress

This has been a busy time for the gardens. We continue to construct the day lily garden that will have about 12,000 square feet of planting area. The north half is ready to plant, but we still need to move the gazebo to the center area and complete the southern half. The Day Lily Society will supply plants, but as yet they donít know how many. Also, we will be contacting the hybridizers to solicit contributions for an area dedicated to them.

In the hosta garden the Hosta Society has conducted two cleanup days and has planted annuals in the bridal area. Many of you may have seen the TV coverage of the wedding of Sara Sheffield and Ethan Forhetz who both work for KY3 News. They were married in the Hosta Garden. Dr. Bill Roston contributed and planted annuals the week before the wedding to compensate for the damage and the lost blooms from the freeze earlier that month.

Paul Redfearn and Mike Kohr are redesigning and planting the garden at the entrance to the gardens from the parking area. It was wildflowers, but we wanted to improve the appearance of the area and they are choosing perennials and annuals that will provide continuous bloom. The wildflower plantings were moved to an area adjacent to the butterfly garden.

The white garden suffered from the freeze but seems to be recovering. Roland Netzer, a well-known gardener in this area, has been retained to oversee the maintenance of this garden. Because of the damage, we missed the spring blooming trees and shrubs. Under Rolandís care, we know the garden regains its appeal.

Peter Longley is maintaining his cottage garden and the butterfly gardens. They too had freeze damage, but Peter is working to repair the dead and damaged areas.

The ornamental grass garden suffered less than most and looks good after Dr. Bill Roston and his wife Judy planted annuals around the periphery of the beds. Some grasses are not hardy in this area, especially with the harsh winter this year and will be replaced.

Both iris and lily beds froze and are just now recovering. We are not sure there will be any blooms on the lilies. Gaylord Moore a board member and Extension agent, said he has not seen this type of damage and he doesnít know what the effect will be. We will just have to wait and see.

The bed for the Japanese iris is ready for planting and plants will be purchased and planted later this spring.

On May 5 seventy flats of annuals were planted with the help of 6 new Master Gardeners.

We are looking for volunteers to adopt a small area of any of these beds. It will take about a half-hour a week to maintain. If you are interested in gardening in the park, call Robert Childress, at 838 9454.

Master Gardeners & Other Volunteers at Work, May 5

Garden trees

Old Manís Beard (Chionanthus virginicus L.)

Old Manís Beard, also know as the Fringe Tree, grows along limestone wooded ledges, bluff escarpments, borders of limestone glades and bald knobs in Douglas, Taney and Ozark Counties in southern Missouri. It is a member of the Olive Family that includes such familiar plants as ash trees, lilacs and privets.

Planned Giving (part 1)

Gabrielle J. White, Attorney at Law and member, FOG Board of Directors.

Making a donation to the Close Memorial Park, via Friends of the Garden, helps achieve the plans that have been so painstakingly developed to bring the botanical park vision to the residents of Springfield and Greene County, now and into the future.

1. Donations: What to get your mother, husband, sister or in-law who has everything? You can give them a gift membership in the Friends of the Garden in their honor for a small fee ($25.00) and they will receive this newsletter and other great benefits. But what you may not have thought about it a donation in honor of someoneís wedding, anniversary, graduation, retirement or other momentous occasion. Funds to run the day-to-day work of the garden are always appreciated and help to pay for the daily necessities that are present in any project of this size.

2. Annual Giving: If you would like to make a more substantial gift to the Friends of the Garden and the Botanical Center, you should consider annual gifts to the Friends of the Garden. In 2007, you may give up to $12,000.00 per year, per doanee without the necessity of filing a federal gift tax return. A husband and wife can join together and raise the exclusion to $24,000, even if only one owns the transferred property, through a concept called "gift splitting".

If you are considering any tax or estate planning strategies discussed here you should consult with a tax and/or legal professional prior to making any gifts or changes to your estate plan.

Part 2 will cover Estate Legacy, Charitable Trusts and IRA Charitable Rollovers

Meet Your Board

George Deatz, Vice President

George discovered Close Memorial Park (Springfieldís hidden jewel) on a bicycle ride along the Southcreek Trail. Creek Greenways George moved to Springfield in 1983 from Kansas City. He is a semi-retired sales a sales and marketing consultant and a part-time nature photographer who makes numerous trips to the four corners southwestern states. He also takes photographs at many local locations including the parks and the Springfield Conservation Nature Center where many of his photographs have previously been on display. His wife, Linda, is a Realtor with Murney Associates. They have a son, two daughters and six grandchildren who all enjoy the parks and are FOG members. George is also a member of Springfield Sister Cities Association, Southwest Missouri Camera Club and Ozark Greenways.

Don Akers, Chairman Building Committee, Past President

Don is a native of Springfield, MO. He attended Springfield Public Schools and is a graduate of Drury University. He worked worked in an architectís office during his  years at Drury. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War as an instructor at the Engineerís School in Washington, D. C. His career in business led him to locations across the U.S. in marketing and management positions with Shell Oil Co, Litton Industries, Bell & Howell Corp. and Safeguard Industries. Don returned to Springfield to establish Akers Company, Realtors where he specialized in the development of commercial properties. His professional background serves FOG well in our Building and Development programs.

Susan Boswell, Chairman, Development Committee

Susanís involvement in community Service and interest in gardens began years ago ago in Lebanon, MO, where she was the president of the Garden Club. She helped with organizing and federating a new garden club and also assisted in the beautification of Lebanon. She moved to Springfield in the 1980ís and was on the advisory board of programming for KOZK and the board of the DCO. In 2000, she became a Master Gardener and became involved in the work of various committees, including the Hotline, Plant Sale, and State Convention and hosting garden tours. She brings her devotion for gardens to FOG and is committed to seeing the completion of the Botanical Center.

The Development Committee

The Development Committee continues to center its focus on fund raising for the new Botanical Center. As soon as the plans are finalized, a capital campaign will begin to raise funds for the new building.

We are planning a Blue Grass and Blossoms program, for early July. You will receive information on this event at a latter date. A new member of the committee, Kenny Knauer is a welcome addition to the committee.

The Committee would like to remind you that you can make a contribution to the Botanical Center. Checks should be made payable to the Community Foundation of the Ozarks Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center, 425 E. Trafficway. Springfield, MO 65806. If you would like to take advantage of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 by making a charitable distribution from your IRA please contact Susan Boswell, Chairman of the Development Committee (882-7439).