Monday, November 19, 2007

Home of the Topiary Tree

The Fort Campbell Courier used to do a one day trip special each week. I am not sure if they still do but the subject of this posting would be an excellent one day trip for families and gardeners. I don't like to travel, but I like seeing new places so I sometimes find myself away from home. One of those places I like to visit and go shopping is Evansville Indiana. Evansville Indiana is just a short two hour drive north of Clarksville on the Pennyrile Parkway. It is well worth the trip not only for shopping but for the great community atmosphere and really nice people. There is so much to do there that it is almost more worth it to drive there than Nashville. Anyhow, on one of my trips I found the coolest, neatest, funnest, family oriented nursery I have ever found. I took a ton of pictures and had fun visiting with Donna Hipp at the nursery. There is no way I could publish all of the pictures but here are a few of my favorites.

This is a picture of a topiary UE, which stands for University of Evansville. I had the pleasure of talking with Donna Hipp, the granddaughter of the original founder of the nursery, Wendolyn Hipp. Wendolyn Hipp is of German descent and migrated down here from South Dakota and began the original nursery. He began the nursery by selling peonies all over the country. It was Jim Hipp, Donna's father who transformed the nursery into what it is today-The Home of the Topiary Tree. Donna said it was funny, her grandfather kept telling her dad, Jim, "You are ruining those trees by doing that!" But from the success of the nursery I would say the trees are a big selling point and Jim found a niche in and amongst the many nurseries plying their trade. Jim passed away one year ago this past June and is buried close to the nursery. The family plans to do something special for his grave.

Jim's favorite tree was the Bald Cypress but he also loved Japanese Maples. I took a picture of a specimen Japanese Maple which was moved recently. It is doing fine and has a great silhouette in a prominent place close to the house on the nursery grounds. The fall color on the tree was wonderful. Donna was telling me that in order to plant trees during this drought, the workers first had to dig a huge trench around the area where the tree was to either be dug or planted, fill it with water and let it soak in, then they were able to get the tree spade into the ground. This extra step slowed down the process of tree planting by some 40 minutes to an hour, which can cost money. I couldn't even imagine what it took to transplant this beautiful specimen Japanese Maple! You can see the nursery loves trees so I included a few special tree pictures in this posting.

Today the family still runs and maintains this wonderful nursery. Donna's mother and brother live on the grounds and the rest of the family is close by. The Jim Hipp nursery is right on 41A just north of Evansville in a small town called Haubstadt. You cannot miss the nursery when traveling on 41A and I know that with as many travelers and people from other states we have living in the Clarksville area, many of you may have already seen and even visited this nursery. It is worth stopping just to have a look and garner a smile or two from your family.

As soon as you drive in the long drive you realize something is very special at this nursery. You are greeted by several specimen topiary trees and several huge rocks. One of the rocks says, "Hi, I'm a Rock". Well, duh! but the silliness sure makes one smile. Next you will see huge buffalo statues, then Clydesdale statues pulling a covered wagon and so on. One of the first statues though is a gigantic eagle flanked on either side by large trees trimmed in a columnar fashion. I could not help but think, "Screaming Eagles". I mentioned this to Donna and told her about Fort Campbell. She told me they were VERY patriotic at the nursery and I believe her. I have included a picture of the eagle. I have found most people in the Evansville area to be patriotic and very supportive of the men and women serving in the military.

Donna and I had several connections and I was delighted to talk with her. She and her husband actually honeymooned in my home state of Maine. Donna also has bowling balls in her garden and has a clawfoot bathtub she wants to make into a pond! Donna, the next time you and the hubby come through Clarksville on your way to Nashville give me a call and we can go shopping! I like daylillies too! Thanks for visiting with me Donna and it was a pleasure meeting and talking with you about gardening!
in the garden....

1 comment:

  1. This looks like a really neat place to visit...