What better way to really start off our blog than with a story announcing our plans for the creation of our Botanical Garden. The garden is being created in my grandfather’s honor, Frank Frisella, and in memory of all American Nurseryman that have paved the way for the horticulture industry before us.
My grandfather loved sharing knowledge and helping out all those in need. I remember his stories of train hopping and traveling cross-country with some not so great characters because he wanted to help them. He always wanted to make a difference in peoples’ lives. It was during those cross-country travels and traveling across Europe during World War II that he fell in love with horticulture.
While in Europe he came across Chestnuts, which influenced him to plant a grove of Chinese Chestnuts at his home here in Missouri. It was there while growing up, that I have some of my fondest memories of my grandfather. We would walk through the grove during the brisk, late fall air afternoons, splitting apart those thorny shells to get to the chestnut.
He was known in the St. Louis area for bringing in and trying new, unusual plant material that you couldn’t find anywhere else at the time. Our farm in Illinois spanned over a couple hundred acres and at times seemed more like a personal collection of his, than a nursery. Some of his favorites that we are incorporating in the garden are the Persian Parrotia, Tanyosho Pine, Trident Maple, Chinese Fringe Tree, a few varieties of Japanese Maple from our Illinois farm, European Beech and Lacebark Pine.
He was a great man who truly loved what he did. His whole life he left us all to wonder whether he was really working or playing.
I am proud to be able to help with the formation of our Botanical Garden in his and other American Nurseryman’s honor. Our main purpose with the garden is to share our knowledge of the plant and animal kingdoms in hopes that it makes a difference in someone’s life. Ultimately we hope that this knowledge exchange helps lead to better understanding and coexistence with the environment and betterment of our world.
On October 8th, we will be having a tour of the garden in the works. Just the way my grandfather would have wanted it.