Pam at Digging has declared October as Support your Independent Nursery Month. As such, some of the local bloggers are posting entries every Wednesday (I love the sound of deadlines as they go whooshing by) celebrating the more popular independent nurseries in the Austin area. The nurseries we are blogging about are, by no means, the only independent nurseries in the Austin area, and I fully encourage you to seek our your nearest independent nursery.
In case you haven't already noticed, I am completely and utterly behind in posting about our local independently owned garden centers (as in this post was supposed to be LAST Wednesday).
Anyhow, let us commence, shall we?
The Great Outdoors is probably the most visited (by me) of the big local garden centers. This is because it is within spitting distance of my office and so it makes a good lunch-hour-gotta-look-and/or-buy-plants location.
The Great Outdoors is probably most noted for their giant topiary elephant, and possibly secondly for their birds. While most garden centers have cats, the Great Outdoors has an assortment of parrots in their seed house. And let's be honest, I do love me some birds, and some seeds.
Of all of the garden centers, GO is the only place I've actually asked for help from the staff. And they are more than willing to answer your questions or otherwise help in any way they can - in fact, one of the times I just kinda stood there looking forlornly at all the options for flying insect control (I had a problem with gnats at my office). One of the gentlemen was very helpful in getting me set up with the sticky traps (least toxic).
Furthermore, Merrideth (the owner of GO) is probably the second most well known garden guy in Austin (the first being John Dromgoole from The Natural Gardener). Which, is saying something.
So, if you're ever in the South Congress area (by Penn Field), look up the Great Outdoors.