Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Antique Rose Emporium in Brenham filled with vintage garden charm

The first stop my friend Pam, of Digging, and I made on our way to a delightful gardening weekend  Houston was at the Antique Rose Emporium.  Sadly, with our late Texas spring, we arrived before all the roses were in bloom.  We saw buds galore, though.

In spite of missing the roses in bloom, the rest of this destination nursery's gardens were filled with beautiful plants, charming vignettes, and lovely gift shops.

We were greeted upon our arrival by this beautiful monarch - having second breakfast on a lantana bloom

As I was perusing the plant table with 4" pots, I was suprised to find another greeter - but this one was sleeping on the job.  He slept through my camera clicks as I had to get a picture of him curled up so cute among the plants.
And the tables were full of pretty plants that all called out to me: "take me home, take me home."
We had a full day's garden agenda, or we would have loved to lounge under this beautiful tree and enjoy the scenery.

 I was fascinated by this beautiful tree and its bark.
The view out to the amazing rose display - I'm not sure if they would be called obelisks, but they are amazing.
While the garden is filled with roses and perennials, it also has a sculptural side - filled with yuccas, agaves and cacti.
This decades-old building houses garden items for sale and is well preserved.
 What a life -- being a duck in this garden.

The building is so charming.

And I was fascinated with the preserved structure - imagining folks living in here a long time ago.

The hellebores were getting a head start on the roses, though they were still shy.

Another pretty area to stop and sit or gaze across the garden.
While blue is my favorite - this white delphinium really stood out.

On the path to the secret garden - drawing visitors in, wanting more.

Wish, anyone?
Circular paths wind around the rose towers.
More drought tolerant plants along the path.
There's so much to see -- time to sit a spell again.
Having a ginormous artichoke in my own garden, I was wowed by this beautiful display.

What a show of color on this kale.
 The cute kitty napping on the plant table near the entrance can rest easy with this dog on the grounds.

 What a pretty vegetable garden - filled with healthy plants and surrounded by a lovely fence.

I loved wandering around the grounds on my second trip to the Antique Rose Emporium.  It's a delightful gardening jaunt, and well worth the little drive.  In a word, it's charming.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Cottage garden entwined with beautiful edibles highlight of Houston trip

We saw lots of interesting, beautiful and creative gardens when my friend, Pam, of Digging, and I visited Houston for the Garden Conservancy's Open Day Tour two weeks ago.

My very favorite -- a cacophony of color, texture and layers so entwined that taking it all in was a project in and of itself.  But a delightful one, not to be missed.

It wasn't on the tour; it was recommended by Pam's sister.  We had high expectations for the house at 605 Peddie Street, and we weren't disappointed.  The owner, landscape consultant, Terry Gordon Smith, was hand watering the garden with a hose when he found us oohing and ahhing over  his creation.  He was very welcoming and proud of his garden and we enjoyed learning about the garden's evolution and the weather and conditions in his Houston garden.

No lawn in sight, this garden is filled with evergreens, perennials, annuals, fruits, vegetables and herbs.

The bottle brush trees were pruned very high, making a dramatic statement towering over all the other plants.
Up close and personal - I almost can't count how many plants are encapsulated in this close-up photo.
With so many plants filling the garden, the view from every angle is unique.
The delphiniums were gorgeous.  I love blue in the garden and there just aren't that many good choices for us to incorporate it into our gardens.  I've had delphiniums, but the deer thought they were tasty!
Even the edibles make beautiful examples of perfect color combinations.
Tight shots like this make the veggies look like abstract art.
 Pam's working on some of those close ups, too.
 Love the color combo of the delphiniums against the brightly colored house.

This was a delightful garden and, like the garden at 1514 Banks that I posted about, helped to give us a broader perspective of Houston gardens than just those one the tour.  Our weekend was totally garden-licious.  More to come soon about another cool destination nursery and restaurant combo.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Whimiscal garden art makes Arbor Gate Nursery in Tomball a must-see visit

What would a weekend garden tour trip be without a nursery tour to go along with it?

Not as much fun, that's for sure.  So when my friend, Pam, of Digging, planned our Houston Garden Conservancy Open Days trip last weekend, we had two nurseries on our fun-filled itinerary:  The Antique Rose Emporium in Brenham (I'll post about it soon), and The Arbor Gate in Tomball, a whimsical destination nursery packed with garden art of every imaginable type.

They describe their nursery as: "an inspired collection that includes unusual plants, artisan-created decorative pieces, and a constantly changing array of items that bring beauty, comfort, and even flavor to the home and garden."

 There were two lovely shops with home and garden gifts galore.  I could get lost in a place like this.
 This giant metal rose sculpture truly is a Carefree Beauty - no blackspot here.
 Darting among the metal statues, I'm not sure who was more curious - me or this duck?
I was intrigued by all of the birdhouse art.  I had my eye on one, but ended up with a piece of glass art instead.  Now I wish I'd splurged and bought one of each.
 The wall of the store was lined with talavera painted creatures.
 This bevy of terra cotta cats seemed to be watching us wherever we went.
Unlike these two lazy porkers, who paid us absolutely no mind.

 I think the duck was looking for a date here, but the herons weren't interested.
 And the pottery - boy was there a lot of pottery.
 And more critters.
 And more birdhouses.
And it wouldn't be a nursery without some ceramic mushrooms.
I particularly liked this sea of ceramic fish swimming through this bright bed of chard.  They looked like they were trying to talk to us.
They also had a wide variety of glass garden art - I almost bought this one, but ended up with a different piece - same colors but a different shape.  It hasn't found its perfect home in my garden yet, so that will have to be another post.

 You can see Pam was having a great time loitering among the plants.
 More animal garden art.  I'll bet that dog doesn't wake its owner up at 5:30 on the weekends (like some dogs I know).
 Their poppies were stunning.
I loved these Spanish-inspired colorful garden stakes.

 And more cute 'shrooms.
 Flying bugs ...
...and flying pigs.
 I cannot tell a lie - a beautiful succulent from this table went home with me.
Here are more of the glass sculptures.  They remind me of the amazing chihuly glass, and they were reasonably priced.  I can't wait to find the perfect place in my garden for the one I bought.

They also had a wonderful selection of plants and the nursery staff were very knowledgeable.  We shared stories and asked questions and identified a few new varieties of plants to try back here at home in Central Texas.

Gardens and shopping.  Kind of like peanut butter and jelly.  We had a blast.

If you're in the north Houston area, make time to visit this magical nursery -- you'll be glad you did.