Hosta Garden at Springfield Botanical Garden Earns National Designation Honor

Congratulations to Master Gardeners of Green County chapter member Tom Lakowske, Class of 2011 who is our Speakers Bureau Chair, State Conference Garden Tour Chair, and President of the Greater Ozarks Hosta Society who received the official announcement June 14, 2013 that the Hosta Garden at the Springfield Botanical Gardens, 2400 S. Scenic Ave., is the most recent to be designated an American Hosta Society National Display Garden.

The garden was established and is maintained by the Greater Ozarks Hosta Society. Tom Lakowske, GOHS President received the phone call yesterday afternoon from member Lee Coates who is attending the American Hosta Society 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. There are less than 20 designateddisplay gardens nationwide, what a special asset this garden has become for Springfield and the State of Missouri. The American Hosta Society National Display Garden Program.

Springfield will be added to this list to become number 18. For more information on the Greater Ozarks Hosta Society visit their website:

Planting A Piece Of The Past: Pear Tree Has Ties To American History
May 23, 2013

Rooted in the past, a small pear tree was planted at a Springfield park to continue a legacy that dates back al­most 150 years before the American Revolution.

Considered the “grandson” of a pear tree that was planted in about 1632 by John Endecott, first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the tree represents part of American his­tory at its new home in the southwest corner of an herb garden by the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center.

The tree was given to the park by Springfield resident Gordon Harmon, who is a descendant of John Endecott. A dedication cer­emony was held Wednesday after­noon, and descend­ants of the Endecott family — now spelled Endicott — spoke of the Endicott Pear Tree’s his­tory and importance.

The tree, brought by ship from Europe to the Massachusetts Bay Col­ony, remains at its original location on property that is now owned by Massa­chusetts General Hospital in Danvers, Mass.

Tom Meshek, president of the Endi­cott Family Association, said the for­mer governor planted the tree with the hope it would be alive for future gener­ations to see long after the original col­onists were gone.

“What planting this tree does is an­chor the family history back to the be­ginning of where it started in the Mas­sachusetts Bay Colony,” Meshek said.

The original tree has survived through hurricanes and was once cut down in 1964 during an act of vandal­ism, but regrew and was bearing fruit when Meshek visited the tree last June.

Since 1997, cuttings of the original pear tree have been collected by a gene bank that preserves genetic material from fruit and nut trees.A clone was grown at an Oregon facility and made available to the En­dicott Family Associa­tion, which has a mission to make sure the tree con­tinues to survive.

Today, about 70 de­scendants of the original pear tree have been suc­cessfully planted in 16 states, with two in Mis­souri so far. “The Endicott family takes great pride in trying to propagate this tree around the country,” Meshek said. Patrick Byers, Univer­sity of Missouri Exten­sion horticultural special­­ist, planted the tree and said it was a unique oppor­tunity to bring people to the garden.

“We can share not only information about the pear tree, but also infor­mation about history,” Byers said.

“This tree has persist­ed for over 300 years, and it’s a tangible reminder of the story of this family and their arrival in Amer­ica. It’s a tie to the past, but it’s also hopefully a link to the future.”

A pear tree was planted in the Master Gardener Demonstration Gardens at the Springfield Botanical Gardens with a legacy that dates back almost 150 years before the American Revolution on Wednesday, May 22, 2013. The tree is considered the “grandson” of a pear tree that was planted in approximately 1632 by John Endecott, the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

April 11, 2014
News Release
Master Gardeners of Greene County, Springfield, Missouri

Master Gardener Hotline Begins Full-time Season Of Answering Your Questions

“What can be more fun than talking to gardeners about gardening?,” says Anise Butler, one of dozens of trained and certified volunteers who staff the Master Gardeners of Greene County Hotline. The Hotline crew answered about 2,000 questions from home gardeners last year, and is now into the second month of the new full-time season, staffing the phone and office from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, March through October.

During the off-season, the Hotline is available on a part-time basis. In addition to help given over the phone, the public can e-mail . Or stop by the Hotline office in the west end of the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center located in Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, 2400 S. Scenic Ave., to bring in a diseased branch, leaf or a pest for identification. The phone number is 417.881.8909, ext. 320.

There is no charge for this service provided by Master Gardeners of Greene County, one of the few chapters in the state to host a hotline.

“Problems can be as simple as one gentleman’s who has tried growing vegetables from seeds, whose plants germinate well, but after a few weeks, dwindle and die,” said another Hotline volunteer, Fred Hamburg. “He did not realize that seed-starting media does not contain nutrients and that he should fertilize when the plant has its first set of true leaves.”

Hamburg adds that some questions “can be much more difficult and require research to answer appropriately. These questions always increase my knowledge, so are beneficial to me as well as the caller.”

Hotline volunteer Karen McDonald enjoys “interacting with some of the interesting personalities of callers who are often involved in unique projects. I often feel that I learn as much as they do from answering their questions. Helping solve their problems or identify bugs or plants is rewarding.”

Pat Swackhammer says she learns so much more than the people who call: “By the time I research their questions, I have been exposed to a wealth of information that I am more apt to retain.” Another Hotline volunteer, Ken Turner, agrees: “The best thing I like about working the Hotline is that you learn a lot. There are so many different types of questions, and, after you do your research, you tend to learn about something you didn’t have a clue about.”

The Master Gardener Hotline is recognized as a designated representative of the Botanical Center with the Sentinel Plant Network, a USDA-sponsored collaboration of the American Public Gardens Association and the National Plant Diagnostic Network. The Hotline is one of three core projects of the Master Gardeners of Greene County chapter. The other two are demonstration gardens in Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park and on National Avenue south of Sunshine Street. For more information, go to