1011 N. Woodlawn, St. Louis, MO 63122-2803
314-965-3070
Open Mon-Sat 9 am - 5 pm, Sun 10 am - 4 pm

Meet Horticulturist Ann Million

Ann Milion Sugar Creek Garden HorticulturistAt the tender age of 6, Ann began her love of gardening with a pumpkin seed in a 4-inch terra cotta pot. Her brothers and sisters kept knocking it off the window sill, so her first attempt was a failure. But, watching plants grow, improve, thrive, and produce has been an irrepressible love since she was in her 20s.
 
Ann has been at Sugar Creek Gardens since 2003, the longtime rosarian and this by avocation. She finds roses irresistible. Her father raised roses; she raises roses. It seems like the English thing to do. But, she also has many hydrangeas, clematis and heucheras. Boy, does she like heucheras! 
 
A good size shade garden includes many ferns, hostas, brunnera, asarum, plus she tends a small garden dedicated to hardy geraniums. And roses — she has 30-plus. Not to mention an interactive class each year in her garden in Crestwood, called the Garden Stroll. Visitors get tips on garden prepping, cleanup and how-tos on plants. The strolls are scheduled on the last Saturday of May and first Saturday of June, at 10 a.m. Bring a friend and don’t be late!  
 
Ann also has  have several Japanese maples, lots of creeping Jenny to set off the plants, and corydalis—what a lovely plant!

 

Meet Ann In Her Own Words

Ann Million GardenA stay-at-home mom, I started my first garden with a packet of seeds in a 4-foot plot. Utter failure! Then came the flats of impatiens, of course, then perennials, roses, and voila!  Best of Missouri market, Sugar Creek Gardens a vendor, a conversation with our venerable owner, and I am invited to come and work at the nursery! Wow and yikes!!! The customer became the employee and the rest is history.
 
So, 50 years after the pumpkin seed failed, I have seen some successes. I do have to say that I put the plants in the garden and God makes them grow. Why some failures and other successes? I do not always know, and I probably have more questions than answers. I do know that soil prep HAS TO BE THE BEGINNING. Do you feed your children only bread and water? Well, then, put your plants in a well-prepped garden!  I guess I think cotton burr compost is the answer to everything. Well, it almost is.

There are other great products that help, like Bayer All in One, and Rosetone. When you read the tag on a plant, sometimes you have to read “outside the tag.” My Rozanne geranium is about 6 feet across — sprawling. The tag says 20″ tall by 24″ wide. Hah!
 
Plants with which I’m in love and, yes, even overwhelmed, are Moonbeam coreopsis. It may be boring to some, but this neutral yellow goes with everything — I should know! As an attempted artist, color was my favorite aspect of design. Combine that with shape and texture and whoa! Something is happening!

Also, hurray for Heucheras! Kiss-kiss, hug-hug! I could do an entire garden in them. Nothing boring here; Snow Angel, Cherries Jubilee, Peach Flambee…I am in heaven. And speaking of heaven, what about the Heaven on Earth rose? I have two, and in 25 years, I’ve never had a bush with this many flowers! Gorgeous!
 
Wait. What is that fragrance beneath my mailbox? Holy cow it is ‘Glacier Bay’ daylily.  As if the clean lemon yellow and the enormous size weren’t enough!

So you see, if I was any happier I’d have to say I was already in heaven.  Last week, I began to think that maybe our feeble attempts at gardening are actually efforts to find Eden.  Those of us who garden are so blessed with this great escape. Yep, gardening is the great escape. 
 
Amen. Hallelujah!! Pass the compost!!!