Monday, November 9, 2009

Austin Garden Bloggers' Field Trip to San Antonio

I was thrilled to have made the Austin garden bloggers' field trip to San Antonio this past Saturday, where we visited the Botanical Gardens and had lunch at the Carriage House Bistro. On the way up, we stopped by Madrone Nursery in San Marcos, meeting its knowledgable and entertaining proprietor, Dan Hosage; on the way back, we visited the Antique Rose Emporium, where San Antonio blogger Cindy Lawrey of A Daily View welcomed us like long-lost friends.

There was sooo much to see and photograph at the Botanical Gardens, including a rose garden, a sensory garden for the blind, a Japanese garden, a large Conservatory displaying everything from desert cacti to 65 foot palms, a Texas Native Trail, and a number of xeriscapes.
Old-Fashioned Garden

By far, my favorite exhibit at the Botanical Gardens was the Texas Native Trail, particularly the East Texas Piney Woods habitat. Don't try this at home, kids, even if you live in San Antonio; as the sign explains, extensive soil modification and irrigation was required to create this exhibit.
East Texas exhibit

The result was stunning: a perfect re-creation of an East Texas lake, surrounded by cypress trees, filled with turtles and ducks.
East Texas Piney Woods exhibit

The light, textures and colors were simply magnificent.
East Texas Piney Woods exhibit

Throughout the exhibit, park benches invited visitors to sit a while and take in the breathtaking view.
East Texas Piney Woods exhibit

I loved the quotation on this memorial plaque.
"Where flowers bloom, so does hope"

Right next door was the Auld House exhibit in the Hill Country section of the Texas Native Trail.
The Auld House

If I had the means for a country house, I would want it to look exactly like this.
The Auld House

Another highlight was the Watersaver Lane exhibit, highlighting six different garden xeriscapes, like this Wildscape Landscape.
Wildscape Landscape

Next to each demonstration garden was an information panel in English and Spanish with tips for homeowners on how to recreate the look in their own garden.
Wildscape Landscape

While some of the demonstration gardens did not appeal to my personal tastes, I appreciated the fact that they would appeal to other visitors who may be wasting water and using chemical fertilizers and pesticides in order to achieve a particular look.
Watersaver Lane house

I loved the metal animal sculptures in the Hill Country xeriscape.
Watersaver Lane garden

The Bexar County Master Gardener representative stationed at the exhibit told me the sculptures had been donated years ago by the artist, whose name she could not recall; the gift shop once had a few for sale, but they are long gone. Pity.
Watersaver Lane garden

My favorite xeriscape was the Country Garden. If only my front yard could look like this! Now I have a sudden urge to paint my front door and shutters a buttery yellow.
Watersaver Lane house

I have oodles more photos, including pictures from Madrone Nursery and the Antique Rose Emporium, on my Flickr page. Thanks to Pam of Digging and Diana of Sharing Nature's Garden for coordinating the trip, to Eleanor of Garden of E and Meredith of Great Stems for driving me here there and everywhere, and to Jenny of Rock Rose and her husband David for toting my plant purchases from San Antonio to Austin -- thank you all for a fabulous day!

9 comments:

  1. Looks like you all had a great day. And, the weather was perfect for you. Thanks for your angle on the day.

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  2. I love your pics of the East Texas lake, which I thought was particularly beautiful this time of year, and of the Auld House, which I've seen before but missed this time. I think the Watersaver Lane exhibit is well done, with lots of great info on the plaques (and website).

    Thanks for joining us, Caroline. I look forward to seeing you again at our next blogger event.

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  3. Hi, Caroline - You took some great photos. I love the beautiful fall colors in your pictures. Well, I guess I missed the Auld house. That was a fun day. :)

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  4. Wow, your pictures are gorgeous! What kind of camera do you have? I'm still sorting through my pictures and need to post about the Antique Rose Emporium. Unfortunately I spent so much time trying to find certain roses that I didn't take as many pictures as I should have. Oh well, I'll definitely be back there at some point.

    And it was great to meet you on Saturday. :D

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  5. My husband and I have been to the SA Botanical gardens but not for a few years - your excellent photos make me want to go back, Caroline.
    The East Texas Piney woods garden is beautiful - Cypress trees get to me every time!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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  6. I grew up, literally, in The Big Thicket. Those piney woods made me homesickkkkk. That is amazing to be able to do that in SA. Glad y'all had a great time.

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  7. I hammered you!!! Check out my blog to see...http://www.wabi-sabihomeandgarden.com

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  8. Thanks, y'all, for yer kind comments! Lori, I have a Nikon D70, and thanks for asking -- it reminded me to update my front page with that info. Poe, thanks for the Hammer - you'll have to give me some time to work on that one!

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  9. Lovely photos and it sounds like a blast! I was in San Antonio that day with my daughters Cross Country team and out of town visitors...wishing I was with you all!

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