I ran across this shot while editing this morning - the light was just great, so I had to share it.
Just a few more weeks until I pick up my cacti that have been overwintering in the greenhouse.
A recent cactus fiend
Last May, I helped my friend Susan create her first cactus garden (http://cactguy.tumblr.com/post/50195257339/i-am-quickly-turning-my-good-friend-susan-into-a).
Well, we had one of the coldest winters on record - and in many cases we dropped from temps in the 70s or 80s in a matter of hours. On top of that, we had snow, ice, and sleet.
Both of us lost some plants. While I only lost agaves and aloes, Susan lost her Ferocactus, an Oreocereus celsianus, and several Agave.
Today, we redid the garden, adding two variegated century plants in place of the Ferocactus, replaced the mulch with pea gravel, added a lot of new potted cacti and succulents, and even a yoga cat statue that I picked up for her husband while in Austin. All that remains from the first attempt are two Opuntia basilaris ‘Baby Rita’ and two Cylindropuntia. Quite the upgrade!
I’ll try to showcase the potted plants later this week.
The Great Outdoors, in Austin, has planters unlike anything I have seen. They are mixing a variety of Opuntia, Mammillaria, Agave, and other genus in classic way, but are mixing it up by placing some of the specimens in natural, woven orbs. I didn’t poke around to see exactly how they are doing it, but it has the effect of the old ship in the bottle. They must be either soaking and stretching the orbs or cutting off the portion around the plant. Either way, they look quite intriguing!
Last week I was finally able to visit The Great Outdoors, Austin’s cool, South Congress urban nursery. I was there for the cacti and succulents, but it is home to all types of nursery plants - from fruit trees and annuals to ornamental grasses, tropicals, and air plants. They also have tons of pottery, organic supplies, garden decor, and gifts.
I was en route to the 17th annual Informal Science Education Association of Texas conference in Wimberley, but left early enough to stop in Austin to meet a friend for lunch at 24 Diner (which you also have to visit) and to take in the sights at The Great Outdoors (TGO).
Upon arriving to Austin, as the drive from Dallas had predicted, it continued to rain, but I knew TGO was non-negotiable, and with the temperature in the low 70s, the rain didn’t bother me. Texas hill country smelled intensely of spring, and the rain also allowed for some great shots of wet plants - and who doesn’t enjoy both of those things!
The staff was fitting of Austin - and exceedingly friendly. I browsed through the Tillandsia (which you will see in other posts), but skipped the rest of the gift shop as they were doing morning cleaning. Their pottery was sorted by color (yes, the organization freak in me rejoiced), and I even picked up a funky little yoga cat for a friend.
The tropical greenhouse contained a small, but brilliant collection of bromeliads and succulents, but the bulk of my time was dedicated to the outdoor cactus and succulent area. The staff informed me that their stock, in part, comes from California, but they do have some local suppliers as well.
I took some photos. OK, I took quite a few photos. They will follow in several posts throughout the week, but all-in-all, I can tell you: TGO lived up the hype: Austin vibe, interesting plants, and great staff. You gotta go!