This weekend some of the North Iowa Bloggers took a trip to visit the Natural Plus Nursery in my hometown of Clear Lake, Iowa.
I asked one of the owners, Mary Hopper (on the right), if Mr. Awesome could tag along, because as most of you here know plants are “his thing”. She had no problem with that, and treated us all like family while we were there.
When we got out of the van and started walking towards the building there were some men unloading a truck and it was obvious they were hard at work. We didn’t want to get in their way, or slow them down, but a man stopped what he was doing and came over to say Hi. He pulled off his work glove and introduced himself as Dave. Dave is Mary’s husband and showed that not only is he diligent in his work at the nursery, he’s also dedicated to customer service and hospitality.
The morning started with fruit, donuts and coffee in their retail building, followed by a thorough tour of the grounds, and then a scavenger hunt that Mary put together.
I was impressed with the number of plants, trees, flowers and shrubs that they had on display as they are gearing up for their upcoming open house that begins on April 30th.
They had a good amount of Fruit Trees, which I adore. I have a theory that if something is going to be taking up real estate in my yard, it needs to be multifunctional. Many of the fruit trees are not only beautiful but they will provide shade in time. The biggest benefit of course being that they produce an edible fruit.
Our lawn is used for playing on and is filled with kids during the summer months. The kids are welcome to help themselves to the raspberries and some of the vegetables in the garden (as long as they steer clear of the jalapenos!) I wish we would’ve planted edible trees years ago so the kids could be enjoying the fruits now. It’s never too late though, so we will be adding more fruit trees to our yard this year (we put one in last year as a trial and it’s doing well).
The metal lawn décor caught my eye. I love unique pieces and they had many there. I found the perfect metal flowers for my yard, as I can never seem to remember to water mine, or bring them in when it freezes! I think metal art and hardy hostas are just my speed!
We met for the morning at 9am, and the way the sun hit the leaves of the plants and made the dew on the grass glisten was just gorgeous!
The Rhododendron flowers were full and vibrant! They were the perfect shade of purple for taking family selfies by.
Fun Fact: In 2013 Dave and Mary Hopper purchased the nursery from Dave’s parents, Dave and Linda Hopper. Dave and Linda Hopper had established the nursery in 1978, and a year later they built the A-Frame that they use as their retail building using.. get this…RECLAIMED BARN WOOD! How cool is that?!
You can read more about their business by visiting their website: http://www.naturalplusnursery.com/.
If you’re local, Natural Plus Nursery has donated a $100 gift certificate for the North Iowa Bloggers to give away to one of our lucky readers. Enter Below!