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Quailcrest Farm: "Everything you could need for your herb garden"

Katherine Ryder Published: April 1, 2012 12:15 PM
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Located just on the edge of Ohio's Amish country, this family business began as a "perennial nursery" in 1975. Quailcrest is well known throughout the state for its herbs, perennials, old roses, flowering shrubs and scented geraniums for the serious and hobby gardener.

Quailcrest offers a wealth of gardening information and ideas as well as eclectic shopping, relaxing gardens, woods to wander in, an assortment of dogs and cats, sunshine and fresh air.

Libby Bruch, mother of current owners Toby, Rusty and Ginna, always wanted to have a small business and spend her time outdoors.

At the time when Libby started the business, there were very few retail perennial nurseries that existed, none of which were in Wayne County.

What was once a business of 200 field-grown perennials has now become a one-stop shop for herbs, scented geraniums, flowering trees and shrubs and, of course, perennials.

The staff at Quailcrest Farm is well educated to assist customers with any questions regarding the care for their plants and the landscaping for their gardens.

"We have a small staff, but we maintain all of the gardens we grow ourselves, as well as all of our plants," said Ginna Phillips, part owner.

"We truly have a very large quantity and variety to choose from. Maybe five percent of what we sell comes to us finished, we grow everything else."

Quailcrest houses hundreds of herbs, both culinary and ornamental.

"We have the largest selection of herbs in northeast Ohio of common and uncommon herbs," Ginna said.

During the 37 years Quailcrest has been in business, two devastating fires have swept through the farm.

The first in 1986 destroyed the old bank barn and gift area that housed the dried flowers, workshop, offices, storage and greenhouse headhouse.

Rising to the challenge, the new Phoenix gift shop was quickly rebuilt from the ashes of the century old bank barn and the greenhouse was relocated to the existing dairy barn, which was renovated to become the garden barn.

The Phoenix shop also was destroyed by fire on Christmas Day of 1999. Fourteen years after the first fire, the Bruchs began again, this time moving a 170-year-old barn and restoring it into a gift shop.

The area of the two previous fires has been turned into a stonewalled garden featuring plants grown on the farm.

Something the business has struggled with over the years has been its location. Not the grounds themselves, but rather where the farm is.

"People think we're out in the middle of nowhere and we're not," said Dulcie Simonds, staff member of Quailcrest. "We have relied on out-of-town business for the majority of our existence."

Along with the gardens, Quailcrest Farm also has a spacious gift shop and event center.

The staff at Quailcrest identifies the gift shop as "eccentric," mostly because of the range of items there are to choose from. With home dcor, garden art and accessories, Lindsay Phillips sandals, soaps and lotions, clothing, journals and currently a display case of dorm necessities in Wooster High School colors.

"It's a fun gift shop and it changes all the time," Ginna said.

Upcoming events for this year include the Spring Garden Fair, the Herb Fair and the Christmas Open House.

The Spring Garden Fair will kickoff Saturday, June 9-Sunday, June 10 and will host 40-50 exhibitors.

Featured items will range from garden accessories to jewelry. This two-day affair will be spread out all over the grounds with food, prizes and a good time.

The Herb Fair will be Saturday, Sept. 8 and will feature 70-80 exhibitors and is a more exclusive event. The annual Christmas Open House will be Saturday, Nov. 10-Sunday, Nov. 11.

Quailcrest Farm is located at 2810 Armstrong Rd. in Wooster. The business is open Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. March 27-Christmas Day. Extended planting hours begin April 29-June 10 and are Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, Noon-5 p.m. Each January Quailcrest closes for planning and planting for the new spring season. For more information call 330-345-6722 or visit www.quailcrest.com.


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