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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!