Thursday, September 13, 2018

The Natural Gardener, a stop on the Austin Fling

Let's go back to the first day of the Austin Garden Bloggers Fling, shall we?

The date was May 4th and the weather was wet. I've previously shared rainy photos from the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower CenterThe Mirador Garden and Jenny's Garden (Diana's wet garden is coming up tomorrow). The rain impacted all our stops that day, but I think it was the worst for me at The Natural Gardener. I wanted to shop! I wanted to explore the display gardens! I was soaked and was having a hard enough time keeping my camera dry...picking up plants was difficult. But enough complaining, right?

We had a lovely lunch (which we ate on our wet laps) in that tent where we listened to John Dromgoole, the owner of the nursery, share stories. He was a very entertaining fellow. The nursery has a wonderful history, which you can read about here, if you're so inclined.

Their excellent philosophy: "You can have the garden of your dreams, and you can do it without harsh chemicals and poisons. Organics can handle any gardening challenge; there’s no reason to use old-school agricultural chemicals or poisons any more. Garden organically, and you’ll have healthier soil, healthier plants, healthier food—and a healthier planet. We know you want to live more sustainably and to leave the world better than you found it. We want to help you do that. Let’s work together to create a happy, healthy future- for us, for our children, and for the whole planet. We can do it- one home, one yard, one garden at a time." (from The Natural Gardener Website)

After we ate, we explored.

My camera was aiming for that sweet Agave but once I edited the photo I was entranced by the number of buds on the Opuntia behind it. WOW!

Can you name the man in the poncho? Here's a hint.

The shade sails were acting as rain sails that day.

So many plants!

I wonder who he's scaring away?

My favs...

Dykia 'Grape Jelly'

The sign reads "Hairy Prickly Pear — unusual, super cool, species which is as yet unidentified. The soft, hairy, white spines set it apart from all other prickly pears. Found in Mexico and reportedly cold hardy to at least 18F. Well drained soil"

I stood there trying to rationalize hauling one of these home from Austin but finally came to my senses and walked away (and had one arrive in the mail a couple of weeks later thanks to the kindness of Kelly Kilpatrick).


I think this one may be M. 'Pineapple Express'...

Yucca rostrata bloom.

So many beautiful spikes...

Pennisetum purpureum 'First Knight', I swoon...

I wanted to check out every single one of those little pots, but I was so wet! I wanted to get out of the rain....

I wanted to explore...

Oh look! A building, "tropicals"...yes please!

Euphorbia flanaganii 'Cristata' (aka green coral plant)

Senecio scaposus, one of these little silver sea-anemones came home with me.

And then we were back on the bus. This shot was taken from the window as we drove away...thanks for hosting us Natural Gardener! I hope to come back again someday...

Weather Diary, Sept 12: Hi 68, Low 54/ Precip .82" (WOW)

All material © 2009-2018 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. I an really feel your misery over being wet in this post. I'm glad you managed to do a little shopping and found something interesting to bring home. I think I would have swooned over those Pennisetums too, why do we never see those here?

    1. I see a few dark leaved Pennisetums, never quite that lovely and lush though.

  2. Do come back one day, Loree, and I'll show you around the Natural Gardener again -- on a drier day!

  3. Oh wow. I would have been so bummed about the rain. What a great selection of plants! That Dyckia 'Grape Jelly' looks FAB!

  4. Yes, do go back and see this wonderful nursery again when it's not raining and take your car with you so you can haul more plants home!

    1. Maybe I'll fly down and rent a car to drive back in, quicker trip that way, only half the road miles.

  5. You did MUCH better than I did in covering the nursery. I've looked at my photos and there's nothing worth sharing. I'm disappointed in myself that I wasn't more intrepid about exploring. I recall feeling very defeated by the rain at that point.

    1. I may be a bit more used to having to deal with rain? Although trust me, nothing we see here in Portland can begin to compare to what we experienced that day!

  6. I love the Yucca in that pre-bloom stage. Quite lovely with all that pale green.

  7. I knew you would love that place, Loree. Every time I go there I have picked up spiky plants but put them back when I finally come to my Louisiana-garden senses.

  8. I am lucky to have this nursery on my doorstep. Sure would have liked to have seen that Y. rostrate in bloom but happy to see your photo.

  9. That place was fabulous. I'd be shopping there several times a month if I lived in the neighborhood.

  10. Good morning. I always love your tours and pics.
    The yew-like plant is probably cephalotaxus harringtonia 'prostrata'. They used to be used down south quite a bit in semi-to-full shade. I'm certain they'd thrive in the PNW but finding them may be difficult. Though I believe Monrovia does produce them.
    I remember seeing them used as drifts inside a row of liriope (also a staple down south for edging) and in front of Viburnum or Camellias for background. Great texture contrast.

    1. Indeed they are rather hard to find! But I will keep hunting...

  11. I too loved that place, be damned the rain! I love their motto. I would love to come back some day and visit again, as well as the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center.

    Say...what did you buy at the Natural Gardener? And is it wrong that I wear my new Natural Gardener t-shirt to work at Joy Creek Nursery sometimes? :)


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