Tuesday, October 11, 2011


October has been declared  'Support your Independent Nursery Month' by my friend and fellow gardener, Pam Penick, Digging. Each Wednesday we write about one of our local nurseries. Check Pam's blog for other gardeners joining this cause.

I am fortunate to have one of the best nurseries in Austin right on my doorstep. The Natural Gardener.

 Come take a look around with me and I'll show you why.

After parking my car I always follow the same route around the nursery, heading first to the succulent area. Cactus, agaves, yuccas, so many from which to choose.

Grasses mingle well with agaves and you will find a good selection of the best grasses for our area.

They have a fresh delivery of herbs. Some of these herbs can also be planted in among the dry succulent beds. It's been a long hot summer and with cooler days coming now is the time to plant some of those winter herbs.

We have such a wonderful winter growing season for cool season vegetable crops. Step into the shade house and pick out some chard, cabbage or broccoli.

Feed your soil with some home brewed compost tea.

The nursery has some wonderful decorative artwork from wall plaques to spinning mobiles.

Here's a pot that would be just perfect for my Huernia. I'll have to save up my pennies!

The children have not been forgotten either but parents please take note of this warning!

Take your little ones along to see the goats and...

The chickens.

You wouldn't expect to find a scene like this in a nursery. A beautiful example of man made water feature with horsetail, grasses and a splash of color from red gomphrena.

Or this wildflower meadow.

In the vegetable garden there are plenty of examples of raised bed gardening including this square foot garden.

Need to keep out the critters? Here's a square foot garden with substantial cover.

Lots of creative examples for the home gardener

Like this raised bed made with cedar .

Walking past their antique rose selection, shrub and trees to the back of the property is the greenhouse.

With a varied selection of houseplants from tropicals to large and small succulents.

With a summer such as this last many of us are thinking of rainwater collection. Not always the most attractive objects, I thought these green drums on a stand the best small garden barrels I have seen.

Step inside the main building and you will find an impressive selection of flower and vegetable seeds, cover crop seeds and bulbs. Above the racks a chalk board with information on what to plant now.

Organic products to deal with every kind of garden problem, organic fertilizers, drip irrigation systems and at the desk an associate to help answer your gardening questions.
In this same building you will find, gardening tools, gloves, hummingbird feeders and other decorative garden items. Need a gardening book ? They have those too.

Outside pots in every color shape and size. Disappearing water features, bird baths and garden benches.
Now let's get down to soil. Whether you need a couple of bags or a truck load the Natural Gardener has just what you need. Composts, soils, mulches and granite. Take it home in the car or have it delivered.
The Natural Gardener is a full service nursery which can cater for all your gardening needs.


  1. Fantastic photo tour, Jenny. This is easily my favorite nursery. I hope to make it there this weekend for my fall veggie transplants.

  2. You covered it all, Jenny, except the donkeys. I didn't even realize they have goats now. Great pics too. This is a fantastic nursery -- we're lucky to have it.

  3. Jenny, how interesting that you follow the same route here starting with Agaves. I also follow my own same route every time - and start in the shade perennials! Shows what different types of yards we have, doesn't it? Lovely tour.

  4. You had my attention with that second image...Cactus, agaves, yuccas. So beautiful!

  5. Great tour, and I appreciate how they display bold dryland plants well - that is how they get used. Been there 2X, yet I missed the demonstration landscapes you show so well - maybe my next trip!

    So, the next day, I bought some needed plants from Plants of the Southwest...more to go!

  6. I enjoyed your tour through the Natural Gardener. Even though I do not live in Austin, my daughter does, and I go by Natural Gardener every time I go to Austin. It is truly my favorite!

  7. I never saw the covered square foot garden--that's super cool. I love how this nursery inspires not only gardens but garden projects like that! Thanks, Jenny!

  8. This is one of my favorite nurseries.
    They have a soil yard in Dripping Springs. Last spring, they advertised bedding plants there. I drove out. Not many plants, but that was a very busy place. They were filling huge trucks for big commercial projects, along with the 'regular' garden deliveries.
    Thanks for a fun tour.

  9. Hi y'all! Laura from The Natural Gardener here. I noticed you were commenting on the covered square foot bed and wanted to add that the top is on hinges and you can open it up like a lid. There are legs on the side of the roof that swing down when you open it to hold it up. It's one of my favorite of Roger's creations here:) (Roger is our grounds supervisor.)

  10. This is such a creative nursery, offering so many ideas to gardeners. I love the shade house!

  11. Like I told Pam in her post, I couldn't afford to live in Austin. I would be a nursery junkie.

  12. Your wonderful photos tell the story so well, Jenny. This is a great tribute to this wonderful and inspirational nursery. My post is up at http://bit.ly/q3Oxaj

  13. It is my absolute favorite in Austin also. Beautiful pics... looks so tempting! I was just there 2 weeks ago (great cauliflower and brocolli selection) ... must...stay...away!

  14. Wow, between this post and Pam's, I'm the most homesick I've been since leaving Austin! Hard to believe all the years that I took the Natural Gardener for granted...I've found some nice nurseries here in the Eugene area, but absolutely nothing to compare to NG.

  15. You're so lucky to live close to The Natural Gardener. Great photos.

  16. Thanks for this article...
    I have happened upon your blog several times recently as I plan to revive our garden... today I was looking for advice on pomegranate varieties when I fell upon your list of local nurseries! I only knew about the Natural Gardener, the others were an exciting discovery (yet to be explored)!