Bowood Farms

Stock Image from www.bowoodfarms.com

Stock Image from www.bowoodfarms.com

Recently, I met Sue and her mom Helen for breakfast at Cafe Osage, a quaint eatery nestled in the Bowood Farms complex.  I've been wanting to visit this Central West End nursery and cafe for quite some time, but never seemed to fit it into my schedule.  This location was a vision of the family to expand their nearly 20 year old farm in Clarksville, MO into the city of St. Louis.  They revitalized and transformed a vacant auto repair shop and a plastics/cabinet manufacturing building into a cohesive nursery, home/garden center, and restaurant.  The day we visited, we were informed they also have plans to open a private event space.  

Baked Eggs with side salad from Cafe Osage in Bowood Farms CWE

Baked Eggs with side salad from Cafe Osage in Bowood Farms CWE

Since the weather was absolutely perfect, sunny and mid-70's, we decided to eat al fresco.  The courtyard patio feels like a hidden oasis; speckled with chartreuse chairs, two large umbrellas, and hedged in with potted shrubs.  The cafe is open year around, so when the air gets nippy or rainy, you can choose to eat indoors.  Bowood grows herbs and vegetables onsite, so you can enjoy seasonal delights on your plate as well as purchasing them in the garden center to take home to use in your own kitchen.  

The garden is quite expansive and is divided into 3 areas.  The first section is in the same area as the cafe.  It contains a wide variety of different shapes, sizes, and styles of pots, planters, and lawn art as well as annuals and potted herbs.   Heading towards the back of the garden/nursery, passing through two large beautifully crafted wooden doors {it's worth a trip just to see those doors} and across the alley, is a second garden area.  

This section housed perennials, shrubs, and the seasons finest pumpkins and gourds.  My favorite part of this second garden was tucked away in the greenhouse.  I was delighted to see fig trees, lemon trees, and persimmons.  I felt like I was transported back to my Italian vacation.  I'm getting the urge to plant something.  Maybe I'll pop over to Dittmer,MO and get some tips from Ivan Stoilov on how to grow figs (check out Sept. 2014 issue of Sauce magazine).  

To get to the third section, you will make a left at the large wooden doors and walk down the alley about 100 ft.  This section contains green and flowering shrubs, and an almost unending variety of trees; hydrangeas, apple, japanese maples, roses, and magnolias just to name a few.  Sue found the cutest shrub dotted with dainty purple flowers, called "sweet pea" which is Helen's nickname.  The staff in each section were extremely friendly, knowledgeable, and willing to answer all of our questions.  

We wrapped things up in the indoor home/gift center.  They offer unique pillows and table runners as well as novel greeting cards and paper goods.  They also carry beaded jewelry, kids games, and vases.  If you haven't been to Bowood Farms yet, plan to set aside a few hours and enjoy wandering around their grounds.  And if my suggestion isn't enough for you, rumour has it that Bowood Farms will be having a big sale starting the first weekend in October.  Here's to beautiful Fall weather, experiencing new places, good food, and gladness!