First to the agave, yucca, and succulent display area. This beautiful array of spikiness made me catch my breath.
A demo garden with a variety of agaves on display runs along the entry drive. We call those gray succulents 'ghost plant' and are hardy in our climate.
Agave Victoria-reginae with sedums. "Pack it all up, I'll take it!"
More of the large selection of yuccas on display
I quickly loaded two Nolina texana or sacahuista basketgrass into my wagon. If you are a reader of The Desert Edge you will know David Cristiani often uses nolinas in his projects and I have wanted to add this one to my garden for a few years. Oddly, the Nolina texana sold in San Antonio nurseries is called beargrass and is much rougher than the one sold in Austin. David discusses the difference in this post. Pam has also featured it in this post on Digging and in her book. All of that plant geek explanation was to say that I needed to find it at an Austin nursery and am pleased to finally have the variety I want.
Possumhaw holly is a favorite native shrub which produces these stunning red berries in the spring.
On to see the rest of The Natural Gardener.
Tops on my list was the Herb Garden designed by Lucinda Hutson. Photos of this garden are among those I consulted when planning my own circle garden. Pam has also profiled Lucinda's garden for her blog Digging.
The garden is divided into sections for showcasing regional herbs from around the world. This section is Provence with herbs typical to this south of France region. I'd like to return in the fall sometime to see this spot with all the plants filled out.
The huge veggie garden is the heart of their business and the way it all started back in the 1970s.
Apple blossoms for spring on a nearby tree.
Larkspur blooming in a rock. I just loved seeing this as we have these rocks in our yard and I've had a tough time getting plants to grow in the openings.
I was amused by these two metal cows outside the gate to a field. "We're out, now what?"
Traditional spring daffodils are rare in these parts.
Colorful displays mark the entrance to the tropical house.
These striking butterfly chairs have metal slings. I like the look but didn't sit in them.
Another colorful seating display under a traditional ramada nearby.
I walked over to take a photo of these artful gates and caught the owner, John Dromgoole, bringing lunch to the nearby office.
Having made my plant purchases I headed for the parking lot. The parking lot is worth a mention because it's a pretty amazing operation. When I drove in along the main highway I was concerned with finding the turns which turned out not to be a concern because all I had to do was follow the line of traffic. Did I mention they were busy? Busy enough to have parking associates with radios to direct traffic and scout out parking for customers so numerous they often borrow parking from a nearby church on busy spring weekends.
After loading my nolinas in the car, I headed across the parking lot to the agave and cactus garden near the tent where seminars are held.
This is a very typical Texas Hill Country style garden: simple, xeric, and lined with limestone rocks. What else are you going to do with all the rocks you displace while digging plant holes?
In the back corner this silvery beauty is pushing out a bloom spike.
Entrance to a labyrinth, I did not go in as there were visitors walking the paths and they didn't need some hyper camera-snapping blogger dashing through. "Life is a Journey - Enjoy!" Click, click, click. Oh, gotta run along...
Edging the parking lot is a scene common along the many ranch roads we have in central Texas.
This agave is also pushing out a bloom so there will soon be two blooms in this garden.
Time to wave goodbye to the iconic Mockingbird on the chimney and head home.
I enjoyed my visit to The Natural Gardener, the staff is very friendly and helpful, it was well worth the time and I checked another important plant off my list.