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Annie in Austin
Welcome! As "Annie in Austin" I blog about gardening in Austin, TX with occasional looks back at our former gardens in Illinois. My husband Philo & I also make videos - some use garden images as background for my original songs, some capture Austin events & sometimes we share videos of birds in our garden. Come talk about gardens, movies, music, genealogy and Austin at the Transplantable Rose and listen to my original songs on YouTube. For an overview read Three Gardens, Twenty Years. Unless noted, these words and photos are my copyrighted work.
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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I'll Remember A.P. R. I. L.

Antique Rose Emporium

When my friend Diane Goode first proposed that we make a trip to the Antique Rose Emporium the year was 1999 and I still lived in Illinois. Diane was the relocator assigned to help our family move to Texas and as we drove around looking at houses, our shared love of gardening helped us bond. It took us 11 years to get there but the Antique Rose Emporium was ours last week! I cut a few roses from my no-name tall pink climber and brought them along in hopes the experts could ID it for me.An overcast day and 70°F was perfect for driving nearly 100 miles to stroll the grounds near Brenham, Texas. We stayed for hours...

...reveling in the beautiful setting, inhaling the rose-scented air and enjoying the fabulously lovely wedding area, as our red wagons gradually filled with must-have plants from red columbines to bedding geraniums to Batface Cuphea to Foxgloves to 'John Fanick' phlox.

You can't go to the Rose Emporium and come home without a rose! Diane bought a hybrid musk rose called 'Penelope' and I could not resist the creamy white 'Climbing Iceberg' . It was late afternoon when we left and headed to Brenham for lunch and pie. What a wonderful day!

Pink-splosion was promised by 'Belinda's Dream' and she's delivered! This rose came with many recommendations when I planted it in the dry spring of 2008, never guessing that the drought would go on for another year and a half. 'Belinda's Dream' made a few flowers now and then but was not that exciting. But since the drought broke last fall, she's become established- acting like the plain secretary in an old movie- taking off her glasses, shaking out her tresses and revealing that she's a beauty, after all.

Reyna De Los Coyolles We took the southerly route back from the rose emporium, veering toward Bastrop, with our destination a place Diane had found on Highway 21 in Cedar Creek. I think that "Reyna De Los Coyolles" might mean "Queen of the Cannas", but if anyone knows for sure please tell everyone in a comment.

This is a fascinating & unusual nursery spread out over several acres. There are displays of beautiful pots and quirky decorations:You will see fields of growing plants in bloom:

There are perennials, daylilies and bulbs with the names of plants seldom written on labels but kept in order inside the nurserywoman Heidi's head. If the exact botanical name is important to you, you may have to do some research after you get home, but the variety of plants is stunning! Some things are already growing in containers - some will be dug for you once you choose them. Diane was thrilled to find a plant she remembers from her childhood growing at this nursery - she's been seeking a Cashmere Bouquet Flower for years.

Choosing a Louisiana Iris had me in a tizzy - how could I have just one color when I wanted them all?
But my garden is small and a decision had to be made - blue? Butter yellow?I've wanted a pale yellow iris for some time so this pale yellow Louisiana iris was the winner:Heidi also had gladiolus and Pineapple lilies - had to try one of those....and yay! there was a row of turtle stepping stones in the same design as one bought for our patio a few years ago. We wanted two but could never find another until now.

I'm still regretting that I did NOT buy one of the white & green amaryllis. Guess we'll just have to go back!
Iris siberica-

My blue violet passalong made it through last summer in good shape but there were fewer flowers than last year -

Every single one was beautiful.

Late start for the Divas of the Dirt
in 2010 - our first project usually takes place in February, but this year we weren't able to garden together until April!

Please check out the Divas of the Dirt Blog where we make a front yard vegetable garden, redo the shade beds and have some wonderful food at Sophia's house.

Happy A P R I L!


  1. Oh, Annie, this looks like the perfect day to me! I would imagine it was hard to even make yourself drive home after visiting all these wonderful places. I'm just too afraid to try to grow roses, other than the easy Knockouts, but I do want to plant a climber this year. I think you made an excellent choice with "Iceberg." And the irises...well, it would be hard to choose just one. It looks like April has been an exceptional month for you and your garden!

  2. Oh Annie! I, being rose-challenged, am just thrilled following your virtual adventure. Thank you. I love your "Climbing Iceberg". And of course I love your Iris siberica, being a blue-violet lover. (Plus I have a Siberian Husky, heh heh.)

  3. Annie, I'm glad you finally made it to ARE! Isn't it just a little piece of heaven on earth? I have a hard time restraining myself there and am most impressed with your self-discipline. I believe I need to visit that nursery in Cedar Creek. Soon, hopefully!

  4. What a delightful day. I am proud of you for not bringing home even more roses. What a place. All the places you visited had great stuff. I just wish I had better luck with roses.

  5. Hey, better late than never. I love the name Penelope--a dear cat had that name. Texas is famous for roses, isn't it? A friend's mother lives in Tyler and it's all about roses there. I'm surprised it's cold enough for Siberian irises there. I have like a gazillion should you need some more. They do like it wet.

  6. What lovely arbors at the Rose Center.

  7. The Antique Rose Emporium used to have a nursery in Georgia and we would make the long drive there and buy lots of roses. Most of the roses in our garden came from them and some came by mail order. It was such a beautiful place. They eventually sold it. I was sad to see it close. Have you ever been to Chamblee's - a rose nursery somewhere in Texas. I've bought lots of roses from them too.

  8. What a wonderful day...I'm glad you finally made it there Annie! It looks like a fantastic place to see. Belinda's Dream looks just lovely and I love the pale yellow iris.

  9. Gosh that sounds like a fun day! I like how you described 'Belinda's Dream'. Too funny.

  10. I remember living in Texas how it was known for it rose farms!

  11. What a wonderful spelling lesson here, Annie. When we were moving to Texas from Tennessee, the locator sent us the catalog from ARE. I poured over it and made list after list. It turned out to be less than an hour from our house and we went there many many times. It was not just the roses that we loved about it, many plants from there are living in this garden now, along with many of their roses. A great place, I miss it. Your raised beds look very promising! :-)

  12. I'm going to have to get to Brenham, it looks even more lovely than the Emporium in San Antonio! Wonderful post Annie! Did you get that ID on your rose?

  13. I haven't yet found time for my annual spring trek to ARE. Gotta do that! And that Cedar Creek nursery? Wow! Gotta go there, too.

  14. I can't believe you hadn't been to ARE in all these years. But you sure picked the perfect time to go. You know, I've been there many times, and I don't think I've ever bought a rose there! I've bought ARE roses online and at Barton Springs Nursery, and at Natural Gardener, but not there. Weird.

    I'm glad Belinda's Dream finally took off her glasses and shook out her tresses. I loved her in my former garden and miss her still.

  15. Looks like you had a great day. My favorite day is one visiting garden shops, and I would love to visit Antique Rose Emporium. Those Louisiana Irises from the other nursery are gorgeous, too. Maybe when I retire, I can go on a garden center tour and visit all the good nurseries I see on the blogs.

    Always Growing

  16. Hi Prairie Rose - it was pretty darned perfect, but if I were the driver we'd be very late getting home! Diane seems to have been born with a steering wheel in her hands ;-]

    A funny thing about ARE, Iris - all the roses are one price, which is good for cheap people like me...no need to factor the price into the decision - it was just based on bonding with the blossom!

    It was a long drive, but Diane and I have no trouble talking for hours, Cindy from Katy - we will have to get back again. If my yard had less shade I might have gone overboard - but 6 forest-size trees on 1/4 acre means few spots for roses.

    There were plenty of other plants, so you and Beckie would have had a blast visiting this place, Lisa at Greenbow - just need a magic carpet... or maybe a transporter?

    Hi Monica the Garden Faerie - 'Penelope' is a cool name and it's a lovely rose. We haven't made it to the Tyler rose displays yet.
    The Siberian iris is not exactly thrilled to be here, but they're one of my favorite plants. I collected them in Illinois but now cajole just this one to stay alive.

    I was impressed by the structures, too Katina -there are so many places to walk around, under, and through - even with many other visitors it didn't feel crowded.

    I do remember you mentioning ARE & your roses, Phillip - obviously they grew well for you! Chamblee is in Tyler (mentioned by GardenFaerie above) so it's pretty far - about 4 and 1/2 hours from here.

    I sure hope the pale yellow iris blooms next spring, Leslie - always so much suspense with plants that bloom once a year ;-]

    Going to nurseries with friends is really high on the thrill list, right May Dreams Carol?

    I've seen Antique Rose Emporium and Tyler tags on roses sold at Austin nurseries, Tabor - don't think there is enough soil in Central Texas LOL

    How cool that your locator also recognized your chlorophyll addiction, Faire Frances - and also cool that you could take some of the plants with you to Tennessee. I hope you get a chance to visit ARE again!

    I've never been to the San Antonio location either, Conscious Gardener - you and Randy are better at road trips! No ID except a guess that it's a modern rather than antique rose...not even a guess from the Rose ID forum on GardenWeb.

    How fun that you have an annual ARE trek, Birdwoman - I notice that you have an American Beauty...browsing through photos online makes me wonder if my mystery rose could be a 'Climbing American Beauty.

    Thank you Geos.

    Well,Pam/Digging, there was no point in going to ARE when we lived at the previous house..the only live roses there were wrapped in chicken wire, LOL.
    Until you can get Belinda's Dream back someday - come over for some blossoms!

    We have quite a few fun nurseries in Austin, Jan-all with their own charms - but the Emporium was different in scope & focus... wow - that's a great retirement goal! Good luck!

    Thanks for the comments,


  17. So glad you finally got to ARE in Brenham! Next trip, hit the one in SA, just as wonderful. Yea for Divas work!

  18. What a delightful day and how nice of you to take us on the tour. I've only been to the SA ARE and am eager to go to Brenham someday, too. Loved all those Louisiana irises - posted about mine today, in fact! The butter was my fav too.

  19. What a wonderful trip you two had! It must have driven you mad to choose only one iris (and to keep to only one rose!). But sometimes I find that if I go to a nursery after things are blooming in my garden, I can restrain myself more. Too bad they couldn't ID the rose for you. It's been a long time since I've been to ARE & I'd love to go again. If you Austin bloggers get a trip together out there in the fall, let me know, and maybe I'll come meet you all.

  20. I haven't been over here in far too long. What a fun post. I visited the Antique Rose Emporium a couple of years ago when I was down in San Antonio visiting my older sister. It is a most attractive and inspirational place, as you made clear.

  21. That would be a day in heaven for me, Annie. Fabulously lovely indeed! I'm imagining that rose-scented air...mmmmmm!
    Your white Iceberg is a stunner and I love your description of Belinda's Dream as the transformed secretary :)
    She's a beauty alright.
    Your certainly had an interesting April. I'm glad I finally had a chance to catch up with your posts.
    Hard to believe we're almost into summer! Sorry you're into the hot weather once again but glad you had some good rain. We've finally had a little this week too. It's been drier than a bone here so it's much appreciated.


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