The Natural Gardener: Support Your Independent Nursery Month

by Jenny Peterson on October 11, 2011

in Public Spaces

We here in A-town love our indie nurseries! We’ve got some awesome ones, too, so Austin area garden bloggers have decided that October is “Support Your Independent Nursery Month,” and every Wednesday we blog about a different one. This week, it’s The Natural Gardener!

Austinites in the southwest part of the city have long had a gem with this nursery–we’re a granolahead kind of crowd here, and The Natural Gardener’s commitment to organics fits right in! But I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I’m starting a theme with my nursery spotlights, and I want to stay with it–so here are my Top 10 Reasons to Love The Natural Gardener:

10. The Labyrinth: Yep, we’ve got a nursery that has a labyrinth. We’re badass that way. The labyrinth was the reason I first visited The Natural Gardener (TNG) years ago. I wound up going the wrong way on the path, but that’s a story for another time.

9. The Organics: If The Hunky Foreman has his choice of where to get soils and mixes, it’s TNG. They have a small soil yard that features many of their Ladybug products–it’s a little more expensive than some other places, but I always think you get what you pay for, don’t you? You want awesome soils, composts and fertilizers, go to TNG.

8. The Tipi: What do I know about tipis? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I just love that there’s a nursery that not only has a labyrinth, but also a tipi.

7. The Size: Sometimes I prefer a smaller nursery because I like the cozy, familiar feel of it. But, TNG’s size has its plusses: When I’m looking for a specific plant and no one else has it, TNG will have it. Case in point: I was filling out a plant order earlier this summer, and I was looking all over for Verbena bonariensis, to no avail. A staffer at another nursery had never heard of it, and another nursery did a head scratch and said they couldn’t remember when they last had it. I called TNG and they said, “Oh, for sure! We’ve got 8 of them and they look awesome right now!” Yesssss.

6. The Xeric area: Specifically, the cacti and succulents. Dang, these people have such a range of varieties–and many times, in sizes that are difficult to find elsewhere. I love scouting out new plants when I’m there.

5. The Animals: Chickens, goats, donkeys, cats and a parrot. And a partridge in a pear tree. They probably have that, too, I just haven’t asked yet. I don’t have any animals yet, on account of my garden is a 150-square-foot balcony, but next year I’ll be moving to an acre. Chickens, here I come!

4. The Butterfly Garden: I love seeing what to plant to attract butterflies! And this garden is so pretty, too.

3. The Vegetable Display Garden: More and more people are growing their own food, and I love how TNG demonstrates what to grow and how to grow it. Sometimes new gardeners don’t have a point of reference for how something grows in the garden–the first time I saw peas in a garden, I wasn’t sure what I was looking at. Hey, I was a city girl, what can I say?

2. The Pottery: Awesome pots, large and small, coolest colors and funky patterns and textures. Very unique–love it!

And the #1 Reason to Love The Natural Gardener….

1. The Beautiful Grounds: You can’t pop in and out of this place. It’s big, it’s beautiful, and you’ll want to take your time and explore. We all recognize pretty plants, but beautiful gardens inspire–and shouldn’t nurseries inspire? My only complaint about this nursery is that it’s so far away from where I live that I don’t get there very often, so I don’t know the staff like I do in other nurseries. But inspiration and beauty abound there–and it’s totally worth the trip.

The Natural Gardener

8648 Old Bee Caves Road

Austin, TX 78735

(512) 288-6113

Mon.-Sat. 8:00 – 6:00 pm

Sunday 10:00 – 5:00 pm

*All photos by The Natural Gardener. To read more accolades about The Natural Gardener, check out these blog posts by other Austin garden bloggers:

Caroline Homer: The Shovel-Ready Garden

Pam Penick: Digging

Jennifer Stocker:Rock Rose

Suzanne Hurley: Vert

Diana Kirby: Sharing Nature’s Garden

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Pam/Digging October 12, 2011 at 12:03 am

I agree with all your reasons to love the Natural Gardener, Jenny, especially their display gardens. And have you noticed that the butterfly garden is laid out in the shape of a butterfly?

Robin October 12, 2011 at 12:29 am

Hey, Pam, I never noticed that before we saw it in this long shot! How cool. The butterfly garden is my fave garden at TNG, or maybe it’s the herb garden. Wait, I think it’s the labyrinth. Or the pots. Oh good grief. Thanks for an entertaining post, Jenny.

Jenny October 12, 2011 at 6:29 am

There is just so much to see there. Those aerial shots are amazing. never have seen the tepee. It’s about the best garden visit you can make. So lucky it is on my doorstep. Here’s the link to my post
http://wwwrockrose.blogspot.com/2011/10/natural-gardener-my-local-nursery.html

Desert Dweller / David C. October 12, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Nice post and summary why to support them, Jenny P! The labyrinth must be a good story. It is a good thing I don’t travel to Austin in a truck with this place looming…

Caroline October 12, 2011 at 8:07 pm

TNG is incredible. Crazy — I’ve been there 100 times and have never seen the tipi or the labyrinth! I guess I’m too focused on the plants. I have plans to go out there on Sunday and I’ll have to make sure to see both.

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