artichoke

Antique Rose Emporium in Brenham filled with vintage garden charm

The first stop my friend Pam, of Digging, and I made on our way to a delightful gardening weekend  Houston was at the Antique Rose Emporium.  Sadly, with our late Texas spring, we arrived before all the roses were in bloom.  We saw buds galore, though.

In spite of missing the roses in bloom, the rest of this destination nursery’s gardens were filled with beautiful plants, charming vignettes, and lovely gift shops.

We were greeted upon our arrival by this beautiful monarch – having second breakfast on a lantana bloom

As I was perusing the plant table with 4″ pots, I was suprised to find another greeter – but this one was sleeping on the job.  He slept through my camera clicks as I had to get a picture of him curled up so cute among the plants.

And the tables were full of pretty plants that all called out to me: “take me home, take me home.”

We had a full day’s garden agenda, or we would have loved to lounge under this beautiful tree and enjoy the scenery.

 I was fascinated by this beautiful tree and its bark.

The view out to the amazing rose display – I’m not sure if they would be called obelisks, but they are amazing.

While the garden is filled with roses and perennials, it also has a sculptural side – filled with yuccas, agaves and cacti.

This decades-old building houses garden items for sale and is well preserved.

 What a life — being a duck in this garden.

The building is so charming.

And I was fascinated with the preserved structure – imagining folks living in here a long time ago.

The hellebores were getting a head start on the roses, though they were still shy.

Gorgeous.

Another pretty area to stop and sit or gaze across the garden.

While blue is my favorite – this white delphinium really stood out.

On the path to the secret garden – drawing visitors in, wanting more.

Wish, anyone?

Circular paths wind around the rose towers.

More drought tolerant plants along the path.

There’s so much to see — time to sit a spell again.

Having a ginormous artichoke in my own garden, I was wowed by this beautiful display.

What a show of color on this kale.

 The cute kitty napping on the plant table near the entrance can rest easy with this dog on the grounds.

 What a pretty vegetable garden – filled with healthy plants and surrounded by a lovely fence.

I loved wandering around the grounds on my second trip to the Antique Rose Emporium.  It’s a delightful gardening jaunt, and well worth the little drive.  In a word, it’s charming.

Can I watch my artichoke bloom in the garden and eat it, too?

Ok. I know the answer to that.

Eat it or watch it bloom? That is the question.

First artichoke of the year and the answer was simple. Watch it bloom.

I’ve done it before, and loved looking at their amazing flowers.

But as I rounded the corner in the vegetable garden today, it literally took my breath away.

The color, the fuzz, the exotic quality, the intricate petals.

So this was the first test for my new DSLR camera – a Canon EOS Rebel T3i. My number one priority was a lightweight DSLR I can take with me on garden tours and to the annual Garden Bloggers Fling. I have a point and shoot, and my DH has a very high-end professional Nikon that’s heavy and I won’t travel with, but this is really what I need.

Looks like it takes pretty good photos, too. (Though you can’t really tell on Blogger because their photo quality is so low, you’ll have to click on the photo to get a good look.)

But then the artichoke bloom was a brilliant subject!

The other things spring brought with her…

Be careful what you wish for!

We’ve all been whining (well, I have been whining!) about the long, cold winter (don’t laugh if you live north of Dallas) and pining for our Central Texas Spring.

Pandora’s box is officially open.

Spring is here, in all her glory. But she brought some friends…

* Weeds and more weeds
* Pollen and even more pollen
* Caterpillars eating the Mountain Laurel trees
* Grasshoppers eating the brand new Diamond Frost Euphorbia
* oh, did I mention WEEDS?

Oh, I’m not complaining — really. I just have a mile-long gardening to-do list like everyone else. Let’s see…I have 34 plants to put into the ground. (The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center sale was the perfect place to buy 4 inch pots of hard-to-find native plants.) They jumped into my wagon until it was overflowing.

I also got two Hinkley’s columbine baby passalongs from my Dad.


And two pretty passalong Salvias from Lori at The Gardener of Good and Evil.
I have weeds to pull everywhere…literally, everywhere. They seem to love our spring as much as the pretty plants do.