Monday, October 22, 2012

Support Your Independent Nursery: The Natural Gardener

The Natural Gardener is located in southwest Austin on Old Bee Caves Road close to SH71.  As the name indicates, the Natural Gardener is the home of all your natural and organic gardening needs.  The sign above welcomes you as you drive into the parking area.

As we start at the front of the property, there is a large selection of 'hot and dry' plants with a selection of vines closer to the street.

They had multiple varieties of passionvine including this red variety.  I do believe I'll have to go back and peruse this section more indepth.

Coming back up toward the shop, you'll pass through the herb and veggie section.

The NG was stocking up on those plants that you should plant now, rather than when the box stores tell you you should plant them - Strawberries!

After walking by the shade plants section, and glancing at the sun perennials, you pass by the back of the store - a location where they have upcycled projects - most made from oil drums by Haitians.

Heading away from the shop, and passing through the sun plants section, you'll come to the demo veggie gardens.  A few years ago, NG did multiple test plots of square foot gardening in order to develop a soil that provides the best results.

Further on, you'll come to the herb wheel - this is actually a section that I had no idea existed since I'm always "PLANTS!!!" whenever I'm at a garden center and had never wandered this far away from the goods.

Heading back to the store, you'll go through the trees section - and here is the reason why I came to the center - Possumhaw.  I've called for 4 plants in my back yard garden plan, and thustofore I have not been able to find any plants for a reasonable price - the cheapest I had found was $75 a plant for 5-gallon plants.  I even went to the Wildflower sale on the Member's Only sale solely to get possumhaws, of which, they were sold out of by the time I got there 2 hours after opening.  Based on the recommendation of a coworker who said that she got hers at NG, I headed over there after hitting the Wildflower sale.  And lo, the Natural Gardener did indeed have possumhaws - a bunch of them.  AND! Even better! I was able to get 3 for $75.  I only got 3 because that's all I could fit in my car, so I'll have to go back sometime to get the last one.  It is also at this point that you learn how helpful the workers can be - I went to 3 independent nurseries on the north side, was obviously looking at trees and not one of them asked if I needed anything.  Here, I was asked if I wanted help at every turn (of course for most of my trip I was just wandering around).  When I was asked the second time whilst looking at the trees, I asked how they know whether they have female or male trees.  I was informed that they only propagate the female trees because there are always male trees around and once you start getting seedlings, some of them will be male trees thus furthering the process.

After picking up my trees, I wheeled over to the pots and ceramics section - everything is organized by color and it is one of the bigger selection of pots I've seen at garden centers.

Finally, I headed into the shop to pay for my wares - the NG has a decent supply of stuff for birds, seeds, tools and other wares either for your garden or for those who garden (honestly I just noticed the Ollallas in the upper left corner).

I recommend you go enter Pam at Digging's Independent Nursery give away - this week it's a gift card to the Great Outdoors on South Congress.


Roberta said...

Oh, god. I'd like to live feral on the NG grounds. My favorite are the demo veggie beds and I love the little shop too. Oh! And the soil yard. And the meditation walking path. And the chickens but not so much the goats but definitely the little ass. Have you seen the ass of NG? It's really cute! That's right, I just wanted to see how many times I could write ass on your blog comments

Bond said...

Where are the animal photos? That is one of the highlights of the Natural Gardener!!!

Pam/Digging said...

The Natural Gardener is such a well-stocked, well-manned, and charming nursery. It's where I take out-of-towners!

Northwest Native Plants said...

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