Bob Stewart, co-founder of Arrowhead Alpines, passed away on December 16, 2011 after a long and brave battle against cancer. Bob was a brilliant plantsman, with encyclopedic knowledge of diminutive rock garden perennials to towering evergreen conifers, and virtually everything in between. His genius extended well beyond the plant world, including physics, chemistry, politics, the environment, predator birds, butterflies, and the list goes on. For those fortunate to have spent time with him, Bob could easily weave a conversation through all these subjects and more. And when it came to plants, seeing Bob converse with other elite plantsmen was amazing—listening to his full knowledge firing on all cylinders was an unforgettable experience.
Many simply knew Bob through the Arrowhead Alpines catalog. His opening page letter became legendary—ranging from current events to science to the simple (“Winter Sucks”) and back, of course, to plants. Bob tackled this annual, monumental task and produced an epic catalog. Readers got to know him through the thousands of plant entries written with sharp wit in his personal stream-of-consciousness style.
To say this catalog got around would be quite the understatement. While admiring plants in gardens around the world, it wouldn’t be unusual to bend down and read a label that said “Arrowhead Alpines – Fowlerville, Michigan.”
Brigitta Stewart, Bob’s wife and Arrowhead Alpines co-founder, will continue to run the retail and mail-order nursery. The printed catalog will no longer be published; current plant listings will be maintained on the Arrowhead Alpines website.