Friday, December 4, 2009

Randy and Cheryl's Nursery Crawl to Georgetown

Randy and I had to drag ourselves outta town last Thursday to try and cure the post garden-tour blues that have left us twiddling our thumbs...our soft, supple green thumbs that haven't touched so much as a hoe (pun intended) in weeks. The weather got nasty and I will say that it feels great knowing that all the work we'd put in to gussyin' up our plots actually made it winter ready as well. That fluffy mulch that looks so lush is actually doing it's job keeping things wet n' warm. So, off to Margaritaville...via dry, dry Georgetown. We chose two nurseries...both suggestions from Bob Pool, of Draco Gardens.

The crew was busily putting the soft greens into the greenhouses so we strolled the grounds.

All the usual stuff...the smell inside was refreshing though, cold clean dirt and fresh greens.

Row upon row of freshly murdered trees for the upcoming holiday. We put up our perfect fake-tree Saturday with a "snow-bird" theme. Each year we do something different in spite of the beans arguing for 'sameness.' Last year we did a "Blue Obama" theme that everyone could get behind...we all believed change was right around the corner. I haven't given up hope but I do feel like a lot of the idea's have flown south for the winter...farther south than here.

When we first saw the pond mold, we thought we'd missed something...but no, they're for special order. The good thing is that they can get them in within the week. McIntires is family owned since the 70's and the staff was very kind...and honest. "No" it's not all organic, and they had row upon row of poison to prove it...but they also had everything for the organic gardener. Which reminds me that there's a dermatologist in Quebec, June Irwin who has successfully removed pesticides from the city and there is now a new documentary about her David and Goliath story called "Hudson: A Chemical Reaction." The best news I've seen lately though is about France suing Monsanto for lying about the product, Round Up. I know so many gardeners who think they can't live without it (Randy) and we didn't get a whiff of info about the suit here in the US but they lost and you can't get it in France anymore costing Monsanto a pretty penny(check the BBC.) I'm all for boycotting Monsanto there are sooo many reasons why and now that I know that it does leach into the soil, I'm going to have to go the urine route on killing unwanted saplings...well, spouse will. Apparently male urine is more toxic.

Here's the sad demo of the one pond they did have, reminding me why I haven't gone this route yet. Of course, that was before we'd seen Bob's place.

Ah-ha! I love this little plant and could never remember the's Huernia confusa! It's so pretty when it blooms...tiny velvet, burgundy, star-shaped flowers.
We decided to take a drive around town before hitting our second destination...who do you suppose collects the mail from the top box? Big bird?
I love these old County Seat Courthouses! The downtown was dolled up for Christmas and very, Victorian charming!
Randy contemplating spending his last 120$ on cigars to blow after the Margaritas! You gotta love a man who lives large!
What the*^%(#@*? Georgetown is supposed to be dry? Well, it was early in the morning and the place wasn't opened but what's the buzz?

I love the deep blue of a freezing fall day juxtaposed with the beautiful reds of our beloved Texas Red Oak...I wish it wasn't so over planted. I'm trying to decide on something for my front yard, the Sycamore doesn't have many years left.

The corner shop, which has a "G" atop the side wall...mmmmm perfect for my studio...dreamin'.
There must be some kind of ordinance about the facades on the square because each building was detailed out and seemed to have been freshly painted.
Another stunning old movie house showing "Annie." Fantasy home numero uno for me is an old turn-of-the-century Church, second is a warehouse, third is an old movie house like this one. Wish we had time to catch a show...well, if it wasn't Annie.
Just look at the ornamentation...then notice most of the buildings are empty.

Studio "G" niiiiiiice. Though I fear that with the view of the square my work might take on more of a Norman Rockwell style than intended. Nothing against Rockwell, but his idyllic view of America hasn't been my experience.
Now that's a creative bike rack...I wonder if Bob made it? Well, I forgot to ask.
Bob...what's the scoop?
Nice bench outside the coffee house...too cold to sit on in this weather!
After checking out the university (from the car) and cruising by the Odd Fellows cemetery...we headed out of town onto Forever Gardens, which is easy to miss!

The entrance is charming with hand painted signs and luscious vines.

This Thryallis has the trunk of a tree.
Upon entering the grounds you can see Jon's creative hand. Forever Gardens is owned by Tricia and Jon Martin and was moved to this site some 7 years ago. Tricia the "plant lady" is married to Jon, who according to her "has the vision and builds the walls."
This should clear up any questions about pricing. Nice, simple idea.
They carry plenty of chachkes for the whimsy in you
more whimsy...
They carry some very interesting yard furniture and a few local artists sculpture. The hanging bird feeders are lovely.
My favorite piece of useful whimsy...there must be some formula to explain 'good' vs. 'bad' whimsy, like function plus funky...or some such thing.

This is one fired up Tricia, and she is delightful. Randy and I thought we had the place to ourselves when suddenly we heard a huge crash and some lively yellin'.
Tricia had hit the gas instead of the break on the golf cart propelling her little gang over the garden bed and into a sculpture.

These next few images are works by a local artist who'se name has slipped my sorry!
I think they have a lovely child-like freedom about them.

The plantings around them make them seem folkishly magical.
Here are a few Orchid Peppers that Jon gave to Randy, knowingly so...Randy is a wiz with seeds...I tend to collect the ones that are pretty, then forget what they came from. Apparently these are some of the hottest to be found. We didn't try 'em, I want to taste my Margarita.
The arbors, paths and garden beds are organic and moving.
The arbor covering the steps is covered with Evergreen Clamatis and Cross Vine. All of the plants are Native and Organic...Thumbs up Forever Gardens!
A nice place to read a book.
This huge Rootbeer plant looks lovely under the liveoak. Something I'd have to have seen because the colors aren't different enough, but the size and texture make it interesting.

This is the vine on the entrance arbor, Tricia pointed out the fruit, it's from the Morning Glory family, only evergreen and blooms white.
We had a wonderful time and it's worth the trip. Because of the forecast, most of the plants had been put away...but I'm putting this on my spring list of places to visit. The grounds are gorgeous and the Miller's are devoted! Great place to go!
Now, here's Bob's door. Which he made, along with the Christmas Decorations...those aren't cans...they're bells as ordered by Lynn...Bob's project inventing wife.
This is one of the things I came to see. Bob is the author, artist, gardener of Draco Gardens...a fellow blogger and just all around amazing guy. I think I'm doing all the good with my puny 4 water collection sites at my house, and Bob's saving 24,000 gallons out at his house. Enough to supply all his gardens and tide them over if their well runs dry. The way he bargained for the units and set them a story he'll have to tell, or you can check out his blog.

This is the view from the side of his gorgous cabin in the woods...which he and Lynn built themselves.
True blue as Bob is, here's his Blue Lacy, the official dog of Texas...the highly distracted Miss Bonnie. Randy spent the rest of the visit cracking himself up, teasing poor Bonnie because she's super sensitive about reflection. This is 'before' the ta-kill-ya.

So here's Bob's...not pond, but pond system, rather, a portion of it.
Randy and Bob on the wrap around porch.
Bob says this is Arrow Plant, or some such was beautiful. He's promised me all the pond plants I want...what I really want is for him to come build me a pond!

It was hard to take the whole place in...and all the while Bob is talking a mile a minute about how he and Lynn, did this and that.
I wonder how his Shrimp Plant survived the freeze, mine melted.
A view of the veggie beds from the porch. It's early December and there were beans to last through the month plus an assortment of greens.
Drip irrigation...rainwater, that is. It's hard for me to imagine the planning, labor and time that's gone into everything we were looking at.

Another view of the beds from the pond(s).

Bob build this cleaver gate, you can't really tell but even the Prickly Pear has metal spines on it. He really can do anything he wants with metal!

Here's Bob Pool! As mean and honery as he pretends to be... is a real gentlemen. I asked him where he got the name "Draco" as it's the name of his business as well as his blog, and he told me that he stole it off a sign up the road. Apparently, it's an Indian word which means a good place to camp or be. I concur.

So, Bob planned the crawl, down to the resaurant Corona Jardin. It's been quite awhile since Randy and I agreed on Margs n' Mexican Food and Bob had never been here himself...on account of, he's a beer drinker! Well shoot...ain't we all?

Jackpot. Biggest, bestest, strongest Margarita I've had in central Texas. That's Bob there, sippin' tea, like it was the middle of the day on a Thursday or something?

Well, we were having such a good time listening to Bob spin tails that we had ourselves a second. The drive back to town seemed like a Monet, and the cactus juice must have been top notch because I woke up the next morning with energy. I almost feel like gardening again,
naaaa. Not yet, I think I'll make myself a pitcher and draw me up a pond!
Thanks for the company Bob! Randy and I had a real nice time!

Happy Gardening!


Cindy S. said...

Wonderful! I love the nursery crawls. I don't like most 'natural' style ponds, but Bob's is great.

Linda/patchwork said...

Your crawls always look like so much fun.
Bob's water system is amazing. I saw some of it on his blog.
By the way....the high in the air mailbox is for 'air mail'. There used to be lots of them around Texas on back roads. Good old country humor.

ConsciousGardener said...

Air mail! Nice:)

Julia O. said...

This makes me want to explore Georgetown. How nice to have a nursery crawl friend. And I didn't know about the "alternative" to Roundup - not that I use Roundup. Not sure if I should tell my son about that or not.

Anonymous said...

Whew! That wore me out! Good thing there were margs at the end. So much to digest here, but one thing stands way out, I need more rain barrels! HA Lovely trip. Let me know when you do it again, I want to go too! :-)

mand said...

I chanced on this and love all the pictures. What a great bench - deserves to be outside a bookshop, though! :0)

Sue Catmint said...

Hi CG, thanks for the garden tour of Georgetown. I didn't know about the extra power of male urine - maybe that could be used against Monsanto in some way! cheers, camtint

Bob said...

I had so much fun when ya'll visited. I truely enjoyed the whole day. You and Randy are really good people and polite enough not to notice the weeds. I told Lyn all about it and she was really P.O.ed about haveing to work. If you go to Forever Gardening in the spring, be sure to stop by and visit. Trish said to say hi and told me how much she enjoyed meeting you guys. You know setting that up made me big points there.