It's been a while since I've visited Hill Country Gardens in New Braunfels and even longer since I posted about all the changes taking place there. That it had been too long was confirmed last week when Andrea, the owner, commented "it's been a while since we've seen you" after I responded to her Facebook post on weekend sales and seminars.
Hill Country Gardens has been an important native plant resource for local gardeners for more than 20 years. In 2011, Andrea Sanger acquired the nursery from the original owner and has made many improvements in the last two and a half years while maintaining the focus on native plants. In October 2012, Andrea's first anniversary celebration event was one of my first posts on this blog.
Robbi Will of The Antique Rose Emporium was scheduled to speak on Friday morning and I headed up there in time for her talk. It was cold, about 48F, at seminar time with winds gusting over 30 mph. We were a small but determined crowd which allowed for more interaction than usual.
Then it was on to tour the gardens and to see what's new at the nursery.
Andrea was having a parking lot sale with special pricing over the weekend so we'll start out there with a look at the blooming ocotillo and a few of the sale plants.
Across the way I think this is a Tenaza tree in bloom.
White pom-poms, so pretty. Several of our native trees have this type of bloom.
This clever storage bin for soils and fertilizer in the parking lot is new.
The pretty front gates welcoming shoppers
The displays in front of the shop are always colorful
I liked this fountain, it seems very water efficient, the water runs into the slits and minimizes splashing.
Pause to admire this yucca in front of the shop.
The raised planter in the herb and veggie section. Love that corrugated metal theme she has going here and at the soil bins.
The sales area behind the shop with a huge selection of ornamental grasses (two long rows) and native plants.
Cacti on display against the greenhouse.
Follow this pretty shaded path over to another plant display area.
Blooming Strelitzia or Bird of Paradise in the garden, these have to be wintered indoors here. Mine never bloom.
On to the newly expanded plant display area in front of the greenhouse. Hill Country Gardens is a real plant nursery with many of the plants propagated on site. This has allowed Andrea to maintain the price of $6.99 for a one gallon plant while local competitors have raised their prices. The original owner, Chip Schumacher, is a well-known native plant collector so you will also find natives and drought tolerant plants that are not offered anywhere else locally.
The bridge over the pond and a visit to the large silvery agave among other natives. I'm pretty sure this is A. ovatifolia with longer leaves than typical.
Silvery foliage adds so much to the native plant garden.
A cedar arbor nearby. I'm collecting photos of cedar arbors for a project this summer.
This looks complicated
Blooming callistemon in the display area.
Texas Longhorn fans take note. Orange motel chairs in front of blooming Pomegranate 'Wonderful' and a display of fountains. Orange has been catching my attention everywhere lately.
This photo is for local fans of Hill Country Gardens, the expansion of the gardens is progressing and I can't wait to see it finished. This area is huge!
Texas stepping stones are available in three colors and can be interlocked.
Robbi stayed around helped me pick out some tough Texas native plants to add to my garden. I appreciated her expert advice and it was almost like old times before The Antique Rose Emporium closed its San Antonio gardens. I selected Bamboo Muhly, Pink Globe Mallow (which I have not seen anywhere else), Deer muhly (Muhlenbergia ripens) while Robbi suggested Salvia darcyi and Snake Herb which I also added to my wagon.
The newly renovated interior of the shop with corrugated metal and pretty displays. Wow! Is this even the same place? There's Andrea helping a customer back at the sales desk.
Everything is looking good and we are all so impressed with the changes and excited about the expansion. All that and Hill Country Gardens is still the best place for native plants in the Texas Hill Country.