Savannah. Charleston. New Orleans. San Antonio. These colonial-era cities inspire the courtyard garden ideal: green and lush, with beautiful plants, pools and fountains, paved with stone, tiles or bricks, & protected by sheltering walls with gates that reveal a table and chairs for cocktails or an al fresco meal...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Gardening Trip to Houston

Well, the Missus decided it was once again time to do her part to support economic recovery, and to do it at various retail women's clothing stores in Houston. Instead of complaining, I knew it would give me a chance to see and snap some pictures for you of my favorite garden stores and nurseries in Houston. Why don't you come along with me while she's in The Galleria.

First stop, Thompson + Hanson. It's off West Alabama, south of River Oaks. What a great garden design concept store! They have plants, too. I think I bought my black liriope here a few years back, before it ever made it to San Antone.

Here is a view into their spacious, orderly, outdoor area with unique plants and containers you will not see anywhere else.

As you walk all the way toward the back you begin to see their trendy & tasty cafe:

It's called "Tiny Boxwoods," and has great lunch and brunch food in an atmosphere sure to delight anyone from the casual gardener to Frederick Law Olmsted. Unfortunately it's too early for lunch. I'm sure we'll find somewhere else to eat later. On the mini lawn which abuts the cafe, there are large cement fruit.

Next, we're off to Houston Heights, which is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Houston. It is like a little New Orleans in the middle of Houston. Antiques, nurseries, local coffee shops, independent retailers, stately homes, tree-lined boulevards, what's not to love?

We'll first stop in at Buchanan's Native Plants on 11th.

It's full of natives and exotics, and has a great selection of garden decor items which I do not see at home.

I bought a standing head planter and a female classical head wall planter. I just can't help myself. They have such neat things. I'm sure I'll find a place for them when I get home. I may have to move a few things around.

Next, down the street to Another Place in Time, also on 11th. It's called, "Your Uncommon Garden Center," and they're right.

They have an uncommonly large selection of bromeliads and staghorn ferns. It was here that I first bought a "Rangoon Creeper."

It sounds like "crab rangoon" crossed with Virgina creeper, but is actually a tropical vine with sprays of dark pink to white blooms which smell exactly like watermelon. I had one at my previous house. Maybe it's time to get another one...hmmm. (Quisqualis indica)

OK, well, it's time to go down the beautiful Heights Boulevard to Ben's Antique Gardening, which I wrote about before as the source of my fernery's BVM. Look below at the great entrance. Doesn't it just call to you?

It appears to be all junk, but in reality it is a treasure trove of garden paraphernalia just waiting to be rescued, brushed off and placed in a prime garden location.

See the awesomely detailed owl? I saw several of them all over town and couldn't remember having ever seen a cast stone owl before. Finally, it hit me, The Rice Owls! (Sometimes it takes me awhile.) But seriously, don't you think you could find something in there for your garden? I know you could.

Now we're off to Joshua's Native Plants and Garden Antiques. Their selection is much more impressive than their sign, which shows a bit too much patina. They're found at Nicholson and 18th, in the Heights, and they are chock full of random and wonderful juxtapositions, in addition to their wonderful plant and antique selection. How about the Buddha and a giant crawfish?

How about Napoleon and a Texas Longhorn?

It looks like Bonaparte has his nose out of joint from being placed between bromeliads and longhorns. He'd much rather be found in an interior featured on Côte de Texas. And check out the extra security atop the fence provided by old saw blades!

This is a more sedate combination. Apollo stares down benevolently at the colorful tropicals.

Succulents are found in front of a cast-stone plant plinth that The Grackle should purchase immediately.

Seriously, if you can't get creative in your garden after a trip to these wonderful gardening meccas, you are beyond help. Come with me to lunch at Lola's and drown your gardening decisions in fried chicken and waffles, and a lot of other locally grown and raised delicacies.

I've really enjoyed our whirlwind tour of my favorite Houston gardening sources. Thanks for coming with me, and if you know of others in Houston that I need to check out, by all means comment and tell me. I need something to do tomorrow instead of heading with the Missus to another clothing boutique!


  1. Dear Fougéres, What an amazing and fascinating tour through the garden world [at least, retail] of Houston. I have most certainly been with you all of the way and have spent much time, too much indeed, poring over your pictures in order not to miss a single item. What an absolute treat to have all of this within reach of home!

  2. Thank you for this wonderful tour. Garden centres from far-off places are always a pleasure to view. I'm thrilled to recognize many of the plants. The garden whimsies, particularly, are a delight! My favourite? Joshua's Native Plants And Garden Antiques.

    Thank you for adding my name to your blog list. It's an honour that I'll reciprocate.Enjoy your week!-:)

  3. You really hit some of the best spots! Next time you head over this way, try Enchanted Forest in Richmond. I think you'll like it!


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