In addition to the legendary selection of roses, they carry annuals, perennials, succulents, trees, native plants, bulbs, seeds, containers, garden ornaments, organic garden supplies and gifts. Their competitive prices and seasonal discount sales make it easy to stock up on plants and many of my favorites are available in the 4" pot size too. In the fall and spring great seminars and events are presented.
The photos for this post are from two visits made in October, the demonstration gardens were toured on a weekday and additional photos were taken on a much busier Saturday, October 22, during their annual Festival in the Roses and Art in the Garden events. Even though the 2011 summer heat and drought took its toll and the fall rose blooms have been delayed, the gardens are still impressive and there's always something blooming.
The large entry arch of Texas cedar sets the stage.
I often find newly arrived plants at the front entrance as seen on this day.
Walk into the gardens where roses are presented in combination with natives, hardy perennials and other plants to beautiful effect.
First a tour of the business side. Containers, arches, and all types of garden ornament are found in small groupings throughout the sales display area.
The big bottle tree is a favorite sight
Picnic area by the greenhouse
Bat face cuphea blooming away in front of the gift shop
No plants on the porch at check out!
There are several cats in residence at the ARE. Spot is the friendliest and loves cameras. He jumped up on this table to pose and then jumped down to follow the camera again. According to the staff, he's in more than a few wedding photos too.
The veggie garden is inspiring
Herbs and veggies for sale in the shade
More herbs in the sun
The Hacienda de las Rosas is the special event center at the far end of the gardens
Rose petals line the path when an event is held here
Inviting porches welcome visitors
Texas Mountain Laurel 'Silver Peso' (sophora secundiflora) with blackfoot daisies
Gomphrena is striking with a sotol
It's a popular place for weddings
Gregg's mist flower borders the lawn
Each October Mike Shoup, founder and owner of The Antique Rose Emporium, shares fascinating stories from his many years of finding and propagating old roses. This year his topic was "The Ultimate Garden Plant" and he included information on how they care for the roses in the demonstration gardens. About 90% of the time is spent pruning the climbing roses to follow the architecture of the trellis or structure. His best pruning advice is to be "ruthless."
This year he shared the story of discovering the Louis Phillipe rose brought to Texas from France around 1834.
I try to attend each year and learn something new every time. Like many others, he has completely changed my view of roses in the garden.
Art in the Garden event vendor displays were set up in the gazebo garden.
Rusty Toad Ironworks - bottle trees and planters are especially striking. She also has a booth at Wimberley.
Colorful concrete planters and faux bois garden furniture also on display
Finally, a tour of the demonstration gardens. No captions needed -
Worth a visit any time of year, the gardens are beautiful even when dormant. The Antique Rose Emporium hours are: Mon-Sat 9am-5:30pm, Sun 11:00am-5:30pm
You can look back at three other nurseries in the San Antonio area highlighted during October, Rainbow Gardens #1 at 2585 Thousand Oaks Drive in north central San Antonio, Rainbow Gardens #3 on Bandera Road northwest of the city and Hill Country Gardens in New Braunfels.