Thanks to my friend and Austin landscape designer/writer, Pam Penick, October is being designated as “Support Your Independent Nursery Month!” This summer has been an unusually dreadful one here in A-town–we’ve had over 80 days of 100+ degree temps, combined with almost no rain since April–leading to one of the worst droughts in Texas history and Phase II water restrictions. As hard as this has been on area gardeners, our local independent nurseries have had it worse.
So, every Wednesday during October, Austin area garden bloggers are highlighting one of our cherished independent nurseries, and today, it’s Barton Springs Nursery! Located in southwest Austin on Bee Cave Road, BSN has long been one of my personal favorites, so I couldn’t be happier to lift them up to you today. What’s so special about this nursery? Here’s my Top 10 Reasons To Love Barton Springs Nursery:
10. They’re Weird. But in a good way. This place defines Austin as slightly oddball, but lovable and hip…all at the same time.
9. The Pottery. BSN is one of two places in town where I get my pottery, both for myself and my clients. Great quality, competitive prices and fantastic selection. Can’t beat that!
8. The Carts. What, you say? I said, the carts. You go in and grab a cart to start feeding your horticultural addiction, and you notice every cart has a name lightly written on the end. “Cart Attack,” “Museum of Modern Cart,” “Cart Blanche”–I try to rotate so none of them feel left out. Hey, when something is named, it takes on a persona.
7. Accessories. Garden art, statuary, bistro tables and chairs in funky colors, it’s all there. I love roaming around and seeing what’s new.
6. They Love Me. What can I say? I’m a humble girl, but whenever I go to Barton Springs Nursery, I feel like Norm from “Cheers.” Only they say “Jenny!” and not “Norm!” when I walk in.
5. The Location. It’s located close by most of my clients, and many of my friends live within 10 miles. Very handy when a client says, “Can you add just a few more plants to that bed over there?” when it’s 3:30 pm.
4. They’re Small-ish. Ever go to one of those ginormous nurseries, and you get lost trying to find the shady flowering perennials? Or you’ve been there every week for 10 years and the staff still doesn’t recognize you? Never fear. This place is big enough to have what you need, yet small enough to avoid being overwhelming and impersonal. Perfect for me, and for most people!
3. The Plants. You didn’t think I’d forget the plants, did you? BSN grows a lot of their own stock and offers quality native and adapted plants, very important for this area that has fairly harsh weather. They also carry a wide range of cacti and succulents, antique roses, tropicals and palms. If they don’t have what you’re looking for, in most cases, they can order it.
2. The Shop. Bernadine stocks some really cool stuff inside the shop–cards, tools, hats, fertilizers, candles, wall crosses and small statuary. I’ve picked up things in that shop that I didn’t know I needed–and it’s all displayed so well, and without being junky or overwhelming. When I’m shopping for clients, I usually buy myself something from the shop to say “Happy Gardening!” to myself.
And the #1 Reason to go to Barton Springs Nursery……
1. The Staff. I. Love. This. Staff. A number of them have been around for awhile now–to me, that’s a mark of a good nursery. Bernadine and Conrad obviously treat their people right and train them well–there are no bozos on this staff at all. When I have a plant issue, need bug ID or a suggestion on some good soil amendment to use, these people know what they’re talking about. Mae, Dave, Kathy, Meg, Susan, James—there’s no way I can name them all, but they are each worthy of having an individual post written about them! A huge thanks to you all for helping me to give my clients quality products over the last 10 years.
Visit Barton Springs Nursery:
3601 Bee Cave Road
Austin, Texas 78746
Monday – Saturday 9:00 – 6:00
Sunday – 10:00 – 6:00
To read more from other Austin garden bloggers, check these posts out:
Pam Penick – Digging
Robin Mayfield – Getting Grounded