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The many things sprouting up at Bowood Farms

A place to shop, learn and lunch.

In an old brick building in the Central West End, lots of things have taken root.

"So this is a Bonfire Peach Tree that is just about to explode with flowers. I think one of the great parts about spring is watching everything emerge," says Lizzy Rickard.

As the owner of Bowood Farms, she has a front row seat. But this is more than a nursery with every plant and flower imaginable and all kinds of cool colorful pots to put them in, it's compound with a gift shop full of house plants, gardening tools, cards and candles.

"There's a nice lineup for kids, lots of interesting books, hostess gifts," Rickard explains.

There's also a cafe. It didn't all sprout up at once. The old 1920's automotive repair warehouse was rehabbed and filled with plants in 2006.

"And we've been doing little phases and bits and pieces ever since."

They opened Cafe Osage in '08.

"We're known for breakfast and lunch and a bit of a brunch atmosphere," Scott Davis, the executive chef points out.

He's mixing up the menu every few months to reflect what's growing on the plot of land across the street.

"We have weekly specials that we run through the week that are directly correlated to what our growers across the street are telling us is fresh," Davis says.

That spring menu includes a morroccan chicken salad and a chicken crepe.

"It's a savory crepe, chicken, Bechamel and mushrooms."

Delicious food is one of many reasons to visit this impressive complex that also has a classroom in a beautifully renovated old house across the alley where today's subject is cut flower gardening with Chirstine O'brien, a horticulturist.

"Is the soil warm that's kind of my guide," she says to the class.

It's one of many topics tackled. They do edible container planting, hand lettering for beginners and yoga just to name a few. It's proof you never know what you'll dig up at Bowood Farms.

Bowood Farms

4605 Olive Street

Central West End.

Garden shop hours:

Monday - Saturday, 9 to 6

Sundays, 9 to 5

Cafe Osage

Monday - Friday

7 to 2

Saturday & Sunday

8 to 2