Saturday, November 7, 2009

A little blogger road trip...

Thirteen Austin-area bloggers gathered bright and early this morning for a road trip down to San Antonio.

Our agenda: First, a stop at the Madrone Nursery, then on to the San Antonio Botanical Garden, and then a visit to the Antique Rose Emporium.

Come along with me, won't you?
This giant tree is actually a Bottlebrush tree, whose bloom you see above.
It was a perfect day for garden oggling. Sunny, slightly breezy and warm, but not hot. The climate in San Antonio is slightly warmer and more tropical than Austin, and several of us had a discussion about the increased use of tropical plants in San Antonio gardens. These Monarchs were having lunch while we walked around.
The Garden has a Cycad conservatory with many different species, like this Dioon edule.
There was also an arid desert exhibit. I found this one fascinating, but sadly, it wasn't labeled. And I simply neglected to get the names of some plants, because there was so much to see.

There were several varieties of Orchids tucked in around the large Cycads in the conservatory.
This was some sort of Crown of Thorns variety.
This Mexican Giant Turk's Cap was stunning. You clearly can't get the scale of these gorgeous blooms, but they were huge compared to the more common variety.
Due to San Antonio water restrictions, none of the water features in the garden were on. Even bone dry, this is a beautiful hardscape fountain.
We were stunned by these beautiful Papayas. Their wispy yellow blooms and these engorged fruits with massive leaves caught our attention right away. I wonder, could we grow them here in Austin?
Above and below are photos of the bloom of this unique Butterfly Agave.

No label on this guy either. But we did laugh about the extra spines all across the face of these Agave leaves -- as if the traditional spines along the edges weren't enough to deter anyone from getting too close!
These geese were hanging out by the lake, waiting for some bread being tossed out by the family in front of us. What a great place to live!
There were many beautiful grasses throughout the Garden.
The pairings of plants were so well done - around every corner we saw yet another vignette worthy of photographing.
I loved this little understory-looking tree. Its common name is Lucky Nut, or Thevetia peruviana. I have just the place for one of those!
I think this is Agave Victoria Regina.
Big-*** Agave! (That's the Latin name!)
We saw some huge Weeping Cypress trees and discussed how much easier they would be to grow than a Weeping Willow, but with the same cascading foliage and effect. Pam of Digging, Eleanor of Garden of E, and Jenny of Rock Rose go in for a closer look.
We all took this photo. We were fascinated by these sparrows perched on this grass, eating the seed heads.

The giant Bugs exhibit was at the garden today -- the praying mantis was my favorite.
No, this isn't a Sedum -- it's a Pacific Chrysanthemum. Several bloggers loved them and came home with them after we found them for sale at the Antique Rose Emporium.

Had to get a photo of this one -- Agave Havardiana!
It was like an Gardener's E-ticket ride today. Next post, the Madrone Nursery and Antique Rose Emporium.


EAL said...

What a fantastic trip! Makes we want to get some WNY blogger road trips together.

Pam/Digging said...

It was a fun, fun day. You're fast with the post. I came home and had dinner with the family, then watched a movie (Cheri) with my DH. I haven't looked at my photos yet, but I downloaded 333!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a great Bloggers day out. So much inspiration here. YOu really must have the Agave Havardiana for your garden.

getgrounded said...

Wow,sorry I missed seeing that. I can only hope that my bottlebrush tree won't become as gargantuan as that one! I took a class at Zilker, and the speaker talked about growing papaya trees here; they won't make it through most winters. However, he said you can literally go to the store, get a papaya to eat and bury the seed(nut) from it, and a tree will grow quickly in one year. You just have to do that each year. Could be fun. I can only imagine the plants you returned home with!

Diana said...

EAL -- It really is fun for us to have these periodic outings and get to share garden experiences in person.It's a great group.

Pam - Wow, that's a lot of photos. I didn't look to see how many I had but it was a bunch.

Lisa -- There was a lot of inspiration, especially since I grow many of those plants in my own garden. And it's fun to find plants with your name on them.

GetGrounded -- Missed you, it was fun. The Papayas were really quite cool. I suppose we could plant a seed and grow it as an annual - maybe start in the greenhouse, or even grow on in a (shudder) pot. Did get some cool plants. THAT's another post, tho!

Janet said...

Great field trip with LOTS of bloggers. We don't have that many bloggers in our area. I really love the Monarch on the Mexican Sunflower, perfect combo. The variety of agave is really fun to see. Looks like it was a fun day all around!

mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

I tried to take the same photo of that butterfly agave but couldn't get my camera to focus on the flowers. I'm glad your shot turned out I have a reference.

It was a heady day...I feel like I saw too much to absorb. I'm going to be completely lazy and let everyone else write it up. I always think it's fun to see what everyone else picked up on when we have group outings. Sometimes the same image attracts a bunch of us and other times we see completely different aspects of the same place.

I always learn so much from seeing a place through other people's eyes.

Diana said...

Janet -- We do have lots of bloggers -- maybe something like 35, though some of those are not very active. It makes outings so fun.

MSS - Lucky shot on the butterfly agave. I like to see what caught everyone else's attention, too. It was funny the few times we all rushed to shoot 1 particular thing, like those birds. I can't wait to see the other posts, too. Thanks again for the cilantro and Mt. Laurels -- I think those trees have a date with my dirt today!

Meredith/Great Stems said...

Last night it was predicted you'd win on the post-tour blog post, getting yours out first, Diana. Glad to see you were up to the challenge you knew nothing about! Great photos. Pam had me beat on the number of photos -- I was just shy on 300 images, I'm afraid.

I'm supposed to be out in the garden right now, but I snuck on the computer while the house was quiet this morning with all the sleepers. So my post will be up sometime this morning, after all!

Linda/patchwork said...

Looks like you all had a great time. It was an ideal day for garden touring.
Thanks for sharing.

Lancashire rose said...

Isn't this fun..First we go on the tour and then we get to go on it again and again. Thanks for taking me along again. It was a great day but I was dead tired by the time I got home. Made dinner watched Fargo again and went to bed early.
I started my post at 6am but in between all the other things to do with going away I just finished.
I bet you will be out planting today and it's a great day for it. I rather like the warm misty days for gardening.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

How fun that you all can get together for such an interesting and fun blogger road trip!

Diana said...

Robin -- It was fun to see all the wonderful gardens and plants and to dish "dirt" about our gardening, too!

Gail said...

That was a fantastic tour! Some of those agaves are gorgeous and I loved the shot of the sparrows! gail

Annie in Austin said...

You boggled my mind with that first shot of the Bottlebrush, Diana, then delighted us with the photo of what I thought was a red-orange Tithonia. So glad you all had a terrific trip to the SA area.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Amy said...

The Austin bloggers don't waste any time! Your photos turned out beautiful. That amazing. I'm glad you have more posts. I posted the pics I had but I definitely missed some because of my camera battery :/ It was a great day and I'm glad to get to know you.

Cindy said...

I have been enjoying everyone's photos. You guys are amazing photographers.

I had so much fun with you all. Thanks so much for stopping by.


Diana said...

Meredith - that's funny you thought I'd be first. I thought for sure Pam would be first! Ha. It was fun to ride in the car with you and get such a nice chance to visit. Love your photos. You got several that I completely missed.

Linda/Patchwork -- Glad you liked the tour. It really was the perfect day for it.

Lancashire Rose - I was so tired, too. Glad my DH had dinner and pie all ready for us. I still haven't planted though. Sunday it rained all day and yesterday my daughter was off school and I had a dinner meeting at the house. Dentist today so I am shooting for tomorrow and planting day!

Gail -- the Sparrows were so darned cute flitting about those seed heads. They looked almost like butterflies in the way they were zipping back and forth!

Annie -- we missed you, but I'm glad to know that at least you were gardening and with us in spirit, and getting to take the tour after the fact anyway!

Amy - Had a great time touring with you and getting to visit more. You got a lot of great photos in spite of the camera.

Cindy --

Diana said...

Cindy -- So nice of you to post our photo on YOUR blog! We had a delightful time there taking in all the wonderful roses and plants. Thanks again for all your hospitality!

Cindy, My Corner of Katy said...

Diana, it sounds like y'all had such a fun day! The papaya trees at San Antonio BG were in bloom when I was there and I should post some of those pictures. I'd never seen the blossoms before and they're just gorgeous. To have those and then to have yummy papayas to eat would be awesome!

Aloe said...

Hi, I stumbled on to this website and a young Aloe marlothii plant caught my attention. Surprised to see your comment:
No label on this guy either. But we did laugh about the extra spines all across the face of these Agave leaves -- as if the traditional spines along the edges weren't enough to deter anyone from getting too close!
I live in South Africa and I love plants and

Aloe said...

Hi, I stumbled on to this website and a young Aloe marlothii plant caught my attention. Surprised to see your comment that it had no label and the many thorns all over the leaf surface. Its not an Agave but an Aloe. I love plants and photography. Live in South Africa.