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Quailcrest Farm

Where Gardens Grow More Beautiful With Time, Inspiration and A Personal Touch

By Emily Roebuck • Amish Heartland Contributor Published: June 2, 2014 9:00 AM
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For more than 25 years, the Spring Garden Fair has been growing, blooming and bringing the beauty of arts and crafts from local artisans into the picturesque surroundings at Quailcrest Farm in Wooster. The works being showcased at the fair follow a garden theme with pieces of jewelry, iron work, antiques, pottery, garden whimsies, stone work and clothing just to name a few.

This year the fair will take place on Saturday, June 14th and Sunday, June 15th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be food wagons, kettle corn and homemade ice cream to enjoy.

Quailcrest Farm is a family run business with family members - Ginna Phillips, Rusty and Toby Bruch - and staff being responsible for maintaining a beautiful setting of gardens, shop areas, greenhouse selections and special events. Lola and Sarge act as unofficial furry greeters welcoming customers with a wagging tail and a smile to make everyone feel right at home.

Libby Bruch began the business in the summer kitchen of the large farmhouse with just 200 perennials in 1975. Customers would pick their plants straight from the perennial fields to add to their own gardens. The business grew from there along with the help of her husband Tom.

Over the years, Quailcrest Farm has expanded and added the Tracy Barn (named after former owners Walter and Edna Tracy). The barn serves as a venue for receptions for weddings that take place on the grounds and can also be rented out for birthdays, baby showers and graduation parties.

The display gardens at Quailcrest Farm offer an ideal setting for reflection and inspiration. Each plant and flower has been selected and researched to highlight the grounds and make the most of the beauty of the surrounding hillsides. It is not hard to believe that many who visit this area of Wayne County are reminded of the Tuscan countryside. The trees and farmland surrounding Quailcrest fade off into the distance, reminiscent of the rolling hills and views from high vistas, echoing the landscapes of green below.

Every year Quailcrest has new varieties of alpines, shrubs, evergreens, echinaceas, and new varieties of old favorites such as baptisia and gaillardias. There is also a large selection of vegetables and heirloom tomatoes.

"We have all of the accoutrement you would need to make the perfect environment for fairy gardening as well," said Ginna Phillips. "We've noticed that little gnome gardens are gaining in popularity this year. Rock gardens and fairy gardens are something we really enjoy helping people conceptualize and create with all the fun items and plants we have available."

Quailcrest Farm also has the largest selection of herbs in the area. There are 18-20 different thymes, different mints, lavender, rosemary and 12 different types of basil. The smells of an old world kitchen fill the air as you explore the first third of the greenhouse, which is herbs. The second third is annuals and vegetables and the remaining third is perennials. Stevia plants are also available for people looking to have that readily available at home, something that isn't as easy to find.

Many of the staff members at Quailcrest have been there for 17 years or more. Cathy Garlock is the Quailcrest Farm grower. The entire staff works with customers who may come in with any pot, large or small, to help them decide what plants to choose for their home and garden. In addition to this, Ginna creates the many beautiful containers sold at the farm.

"We are all gardeners here," said Dulcie Simonds, who works in the greenhouse. "As long-time gardeners we know exactly how different plants will do and can give our customers more insight into what they are planning. We want to make their garden beautiful so they can enjoy it for years to come."

The Q Boutique in the shop carries clothing, shoes, galoshes, a huge selection of scarves and jewelry. Silk floral arrangements and wreaths are done by designer Chris Smedley, who has been on the staff for over 20 years.

"Wreaths can be brought in each season and Chris will help customers dress them up," said Simonds. "She will get them ready for the next season and bring them back to beautiful. Customers can bring in color samples and we will do special orders as well."

Quailcrest Farm also carries greeting cards, stationary, kitchen gadgets, gourmet sauces, dips and dressings. There is a recipe book available, "Quailcrest Soups and Such" that tells would be chefs how to use herbs from the garden in delicious ways. Gift items also include hand soaps made in England, lotions, beautifully designed kitchen towels, handbags, hats, purses and tote bags perfect for the beach this summer.

In addition to the Spring Garden Fair this month, Quailcrest Farm will also have their annual Herb Fair on September 6th and the Holiday Open House on November 8th and 9th.

This past month Quailcrest Farm held its first "Quail Cup" where old time baseball was played on the grounds. The North Canton Hoover Sweepers, Akron Black Stockings and the Mansfield Independents all came out for a rousing three game series. The baseball games were free and there were hot dogs for sale for $1.00 along with apple pie.

Harkening back to the 1860s, the "Quail Cup" is just another way that Quailcrest creates an environment bringing all those who visit back to the beautiful things in life. Gardening is a transforming experience, a tradition that not only takes us back to the outdoors and the beauty of a flower but in some ways, back in time.

Quailcrest Farm offers a unique selection to enhance your home surroundings. The extensive selection of herbs, perennials, unusual annuals, trees and shrubs are all pieces to the puzzle that will allow a garden to grow and mature beautifully over time, just as the farm has done and will continue to do in the future.

The hours of operation at Quailcrest Farm, located at 2810 Armstrong Road in Wooster, are Monday thru Thursday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, 12-5 p.m., thru June 15. Quailcrest will then go back to standard hours of Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information call 330-345-6722 or visit their website www.quailcrest.com.

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