Hard Work U.

College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri, is unique in that students do not pay tuition.  Instead, they each work 15 hours a week at a specific job on campus.  If they need help paying room and board, they can work during the summer months to earn that.

The campus is stunning and all the students we met were outgoing and polite.  The building behind this pond is the cafeteria.  One of the campus jobs is cooking the meals.  I don’t know how much supervision is involved, but at other places we saw, mostly students doing the work and running the place.

There is a large museum featuring Ozark crafts, dishes, furniture, etc.  The vehicle shown is from the Beverly Hillbillies show.  Students were selling tickets and walking around answering questions.

Some years ago, a major news channel did a show about the university and gave it the nickname Hard Work University.  It stuck and has been proudly adopted by the college.

This large bed has banana trees (I think that’s what they are), Elephant Ears, salvias, and other hardy plants.

This is a Tropical Milkweed (Asclepias Curassavica).  Actually, there is a controversy brewing about this plant right now.  It is obviously not native and could have a fungus growing on it that is harmful to the Monarch Butterfly.  Since this is the only plant where Monarchs lay their eggs and is the only food source for their caterpillars, there is concern about this.  Research is continuing, and the opposing opinions are strong.

Another job for students is running the grist mill and the store that sells cornmeal.

In other buildings they make stained glass, jams and jellies, and fruitcakes.  All these employ students to cover their tuition.  At the entrance to the campus, visitors check in, where a student gives them information about the school and how it all works.

One of the amazing things to us was how many visitors this campus draws.  So there are plenty of customers for their products.

Wondered what kind of pine this is.  Very stately.

Something for other private schools to consider.

Students in the Horticulture department were having a plant sale, featuring Crysanthemums, Celosias, what looks like Cattail pond plants, and whatever the tall tropical plants with the big leaves are.  Some of the greenhouses were open.  In one, they were selling succulents.  I asked one student if her major was horticulture.  She said no, but she grew up on a farm, loved plants, and wanted to work in the greenhouses.  So I guess students get some choices about their jobs.

What a truly pleasant place to spend a day.

“Chop your own wood and it will warm you twice.”  Henry Ford

San Antonio Gardens, Part II

The hot summers and mild winters of San Antonio make it possible to grow tropical plants there.

sanaI fell in love with the Potterweeds (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis).  This is a red one.  It is supposed to be drought tolerant and grow like a weed.

sana1While standing in front of this bush for several minutes, I saw several different kinds of butterflies.  I think the one on the left is a Gulf Fritillary and the one on the right, a Common Mestra

sana3This Angelonia or Summer Snapdragon (Angelonia angustifolia) is an annual with upright flower spikes that resemble miniature snapdragons.

Only Angelonia from the Serena series can be grown from seed.

sana4Don’t recognize this plant.

sana5Bat-faced Cuphea (Cuphea llavea) gets it name from the dark area on the tip of the flower.  It takes a good imagination to see a bat face there.sanaccI tried to get a picture that would show the face, but I don’t see it.

They are native to Mexico and Central America and are only perennials in zone 10 and higher.sana6In this part of the garden, there are four square beds that form a large square with walkways in between.  Each square has the large tropical plant that probably stands 8 or 9 feet tall with shorter flowering bushes surrounding it.  The tall plants look like giant cannas, but they are probably something more exotic.  And none of them had flowers.

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sana7This Blue Potterweed has a Praying Mantis posing for a picture.

sana8Tall trees provide nice shady nooks.  The lady in red is one of several volunteer Master Gardeners working in the gardens that morning.

sana9Our group is observing huge Crape Myrtles and listening to the extension agent provide information.

sanajEasy to recognize Lantana is a good old reliable in Texas.  This particular one might be ‘Dallas Red’.

The unusual butterfly is an Orange Skipperling.

sanajjHardy Hibiscus do well in our area, also.

sanajjjWish I knew the name – no label.  In the Shrimp Plant family?

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sanakkkYellow Jabobinia or Brazilian Plume (Justicia aurea) grows in light to full shade in zones 8b and higher.

sanalFrustrating when botanical gardens don’t have everything labeled.

sanallVariegated Tapioca (Manihot esculenta ‘Variegata’) is an annual except in zone 11 and further south.

sanalllIt is a non-bloomer that loves heat and the sun.

sanamLike the light play through the Elephant Ears, which are native to Asia and the Indian subcontinent.

sanammsanammmThe horticulturist at this botanical gardens must also love Potterweed, since they use it so much.  Here it is with Potato Vine.

A visit to a lush tropical garden is a treat.  Even though it doesn’t translate into useful information for my garden, it’s fun to see what other parts of the world grow.

“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”  Napoleon Bonaparte