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Barnyard Blooms November 23, 2009

Posted by Wapello Warbler in Grandview, Local Businesses, Rural Economy.
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by Mallory Smith

Foliage changes with the seasons as do gardening tasks and gifting opportunities. To keep with the natural flow of things, Grandviews’s Barnyard Blooms changes, too.

In the spring their hours start to lengthen and the inventory builds up as planting season begins.

Summer brings more attention to landscaping as well as clients looking for advice about how to deal with insects, fungus and other horticulture challenges.

In the fall the gardening side begins to wind down, gift shopping starts to pick up and the corn maze, pumpkin sales and camp fires keep owners Nicole and Bryce Hoben very busy.

The winter season begins with the bustle of Christmas shopping and then transitions into much-needed time for planning, ordering, rearranging displays and even a little time off.

Barnyard Blooms opened two years ago. This multifaceted business is a fitting undertaking for a young Louisa County couple.

Nicole Hoben, who you will see most frequently at the shop, is the daughter of Jim and Jeanne Mott, both successful entrepreneurs.
Nicole studied Landscape, Nursery, Garden Center Management at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids and worked in Muscatine before becoming a business owner. [Warbler’s note: Nicole was introduced to Nursery/Landscaping in Wapello High School’s FFA program. ]

Bryce Hoben comes from an accomplished Louisa County farm family.

Barnyard Blooms and the corn maze are located on a corner of land they work. The business is considered “agritourism” and as such gives city dwellers the chance to take a close look at farming and ask questions such as “Is that all sweet corn?” (about the many acres of maize in the corn maze and beyond).

Nicole and Bryce’s business brought new life to a 90 year old barn which serves as their garden center, gift shop and office. It also has done much for retail in Grandview and Louisa County. Purchases that before would mean a trip out of county now can be conveniently made closer to home…with gift wrapping and gardening advice thrown in!

Barnyard Blooms has been the source of plants for various master gardener projects including the welcome signs in Wapello, the new jail and the fire station in Columbus Junction. And Nicole regularly makes presentations to Master Gardener groups.

The corn maze draws field trips, church groups and families from the area, as well as from over an hour away.

The gift shop and garden center has it’s loyal following and also serves as a stopping point for people exploring the Great River Road. They frequently have day trippers asking about Langwood,
Red Fern Farm, JD’s Irish Ivy, Plant and Things, and Just 2 Moms, as well as the area restaurants.

Barnyard Blooms keeps a guest book and in it are visitors from
as far away as Finland and Germany.

Barnyard Blooms keeps Nicole and Bryce busy and happily thinking up new ideas. On the agenda for 2010 are a garden tour, ladies night out and of course, a new corn maze design.

Visit the website for directions and hours.

Mallory Smith is the Executive Director of the Tri-Rivers Foundation. She has worked with various community development organizations in southeast Iowa.

This article originally appeared in the Naturally Louisa County Newsletter. The fall newsletter contains a number of articles that will interest you. You can find it here.

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