Favorite Plants: Barton Springs Nursery Staff

by Jenny Peterson on May 5, 2010

in Gardening Tips

Recently I was doing some shopping at Barton Springs Nursery, and I stopped several of their staff to ask them about their favorite plants. I’ve been going to BSN for over 10 years now, before I started my business, and they have one of the most friendly and knowledgeable staffs around. You know a nursery is good when the turnover of the staff is low–a number of these people have been working there for years, and when I ask them a question, I trust the answer I get. Well, maybe not so much about what stock to invest in, but if it’s about plants, we’re good to go! So in no particular order, we have:

Megan Cole– Megan recommends Gazania rigens ‘Sun Gold’. A S. African native growing up to 8″ tall and 10″ wide, it has that wonderful silvery grey foliage and features yellow daisy-like flowers. Perfect for rock gardens, it prefers full sun, good drainage and occasional watering. I should ask Megan more questions; this is one of the most cheerful people around.

photo by wikimedia.org

Dave Lavrinets– Dave’s pic? Sphaeralcea incana. Uh, yeah, since neither one of us could either spell or pronounce the botanical name, we’re just going to call it grey globemallow and be done with it! I have to say, I love the color combination of the silvery grey leaves and the orange bloom. As with Megan’s choice, it’s quite drought tolerant and loves full sun, so pay attention to those requirements and you’ll have a happy Sphaero–Sphera–globemallow!

photo by wildflower.org

Taylor Chaney– So when you meet Taylor at BSN and he gives you his last name, don’t make a lame joke like, “C-h-a-n-e-y? As in Dick?” because Dick Cheney’s name is spelled with an “e.” Not that I would make such a joke, you understand. So anyway, Taylor’s plant du jour is the awesome Manfreda ‘Macho Mocha’ (X Mangave). This is such a cool succulent–it grows 4-6′ tall and features grey-green fleshy leaves covered with purple-brown spots. Like the other favorite picks, it is quite drought tolerant and prefers full sun to light shade. It’s been reported to be freeze tolerant down to 9 degrees, so that’s a definite plus.

photo by davesgarden.com

Hans Updegraff–Hans is awesome, he didn’t even have to think when he responded: Acer palmatum ‘Emperor Wine,’ or Japanese Maple. This is a gorgeous Japanese maple, suited more for our parts. It’s similar to the more well-known ‘Bloodgood’ in that it’s smaller (about 15′ tall) and has this wonderful foliage that turns a stunning red-wine color in the fall. Love it, love it, love it!

photo by kaboodle.com

Mae Sanchez–Mae is like many of us when asked to name her favorite plant: it changes at least weekly. So today, it’s rose campion, or Lychnis coronaria. It should really be called magenta campion on account of the flower color, but whatever. This is another one of those plants that has the wonderful silvery-grey foliage and grows 2-3′ tall. Although it’s drought tolerant, it’ll take a little moister soil as long as the drainage is decent, and it likes full sun to light shade. I have to admit, I haven’t yet used this plant, but it’s so gorgeous I’m gonna have to give it a try!

photo by oldfashionedliving.com

So there we have it: favorite plant recommendations by some of Austin’s finest Plantinistas! Take a trip down to Barton Springs Nursery sometime (3601 Bee Cave Road, 78746)–I’ll be doing an Austin nursery feature here sometime soon, but until then, just take my word for it: Go. Enjoy. Purchase. And let me know what your favorite plant is!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Carolyn Hopper May 6, 2010 at 12:11 am

I collected some plants for my garden in Annapolis based on how I liked the names – names that made me chuckle. Fanny’s Aster was one. I can’t find it here . Wish I could!
I do like the globe mallow. It grows wild on the hillsides – both a tall variety and a short one. Probably if I planted it the deer would eat it . I don’t see them eating wildflowers very much.

Jenny Peterson May 6, 2010 at 7:27 am

Hi Carolyn! I love weird plant names; that would make a great post, actually. Ilex vomitoria, anyone?

I think Terri posted that watermelon salsa recipe for you! Check the comments for the Avocado-Mango Salsa recipe again.

Linda Lehmusvirta May 8, 2010 at 5:12 pm

A month or so I planted Gazania rigens ‘Bicton Orange’ and I just love this plant! I’m a sucker for the orange mallow, too; I killed one but I may have a better spot for it now. And rose campion, love it too. Love ‘em all! Great suggestions!

Jeannie in Sacramento May 10, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Hi Jenny. Remember me from the #sfgs tweet-up? Hi. I like this idea and think I’ll do something similar in Sacramento. You’re probably in similar zone to us, too, so these plants would work here as well. thanks, Jeannie

Jenny Peterson May 10, 2010 at 9:22 pm

Linda, the BSN staff can always be counted on to give good advice and info!

Hey Jeannie! Of course I remember you! How wonderful to see you on my blog! Let me know if you try some of these and how they work for you. I think I like Dave’s pick, the gray globemallow, the best right now–I love that orange and grey color combination!

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