This week the spotlight is on the Medina Garden Nursery along State Highway 16 just east of the town of Medina, Texas. After an hour of driving northwest from San Antonio into the beautiful Texas Hill Country I wasn't sure what to expect. What I found was a pleasant surprise.
It felt a bit like driving up to someone's garden and that's just what it is. Medina Garden Nursery grew out of the owner's interest in native plants. The nursery is in Ernesto Cariño's yard and acreage along the Medina River where he and Ysmael Espinosa have built display gardens around his stone house to teach customers about the beauty and durability of native plants. You can read more of their story in this article from the Native Plant Society of Texas newsletter. The article relays the facts, but Medina Garden Nursery turned out to be even more than I had expected.
A pretty and rustic cedar arbor welcomes you to come on in and see the selection.
Abundant cowpen daisies lining the parking area punctuate the welcome.
¡Bienvenidos! Beyond the arbor is the blue gate entrance to the nursery.
Bat-faced Cuphea and white Plumbago, two of my favorite container plants, also say welcome.
Just wandering the rows and rows of native plants was more than enough to keep the aspiring native plant geek in me busy for hours
They have also added benches, arbors and structures to give the nursery a home garden feel
Most of their native plants are propagated on site and some are very hard to come by anywhere else. As far as they know, they are the only ones propagating Brownfoot (Acourtia wrightii) for sale. Another special plant is native Salvia greggii which Ysmael found near Bracketville. There are so many colors of Salvia greggii produced by commercial grower selection it's nice to have the original red for my garden.
Ernesto led my husband and me on a tour of the beautiful demonstration gardens around his house. Because the soil is so good in this location near the river, he brought in caliche for part of the garden to show his customers these native plants will grow anywhere in the Hill Country. Most of us with caliche would cringe, but it was effective.
Lush and tropical, this garden is quite different from most native plant gardens in the Texas Hill Country.
A stone bench similar to the one in the nursery
Ernesto pointed out that this shade garden near the house stays cool on even the hottest summer days. The demonstration gardens worked their magic, white Turk's cap shown here is one of the plants I purchased for my garden.
The blue gate ahead leads into the nursery.
A look back up the stone path.
The blue gate, most of the blue in the garden is the same shade.
Ernesto's garden also has a beautiful gate and arbor along the driveway.
After Ernesto's tour of the demonstration gardens around the house, Ysmael gave a tour of the large butterfly gardens at the back of the nursery.
There were plenty of butterflies like this queen butterfly at work and so many bees the buzzing was noticeable.
We continued walking down to the Medina river where there were plenty of native mealy cup sage and frostweed in bloom.
Walking back up from the river you can see the large butterfly gardens across the back of the nursery.
While their primary focus is on Texas natives, they do carry a few tropicals like milkweed for butterflies and adapted plants which grow well in south Texas.
As we drove away, I immediately began making a list of plants to purchase on a return trip which I hope will be soon. They are working on a website which should be up and running this winter.
Medina Garden Nursery
13417 State Hwy 16-N
Medina, TX 78055
Mon Closed or by appointment
Pam at Digging has another Austin nursery giveaway for you this week.
To see my visit to Milberger's last week go here.