Garden Bloggers Spring Fling 2008

Garden-Related Day Trips

Antique Rose Emporium

April is a perfect time to visit the Antique Rose Emporium in tiny Independence, about an hour and a half east of Austin. The beautiful display gardens (not just roses but ornamental grasses, xeric gardens, a children’s garden, and a kitchen garden), charming gift shops, and huge supply of roses for sale make for a wonderful gardener’s destination. As an added attraction, the Blue Bell Creamery is located in nearby Brenham; for only a dollar, you can enjoy a large scoop of the best ice cream in the country. Click here to see Pam’s visit from the fall of 2006.

A second, smaller, but equally beautiful location in north San Antonio will treat you to the sight of roses blooming with abandon against terracotta-colored adobe walls.

Bluebonnet Trail

Spring in central Texas means bluebonnets blanketing roadsides and Hill Country ranchland in true blue, with other wildflowers like Indian paintbrush, Mexican hat, and blanketflower adding their reds and yellows as the season progresses. We expect to see bluebonnets on the Wildflower Center tour, but if you want more, take a day to drive the Bluebonnet Trail through the scenic Hill Country west of Austin.

Peckerwood Garden

This much-lauded, rare-plant collection garden with the eyebrow-raising name isn’t the easiest place to see. Open to the public only on certain days (see the calendar), prohibiting children younger than 12, and expensive for group tours, Peckerwood, founded by John G. Fairey, is considered one of the best private gardens in the state. Although it’s closed to the public during the Spring Fling weekend, a private tour can be arranged…for a price:

Horticultural tours can be arranged any time of the year for groups or individuals who want a more personalized experience of the garden, with special attention given to history, botanical significance, design, and cultural information. Horticultural tours for small groups of five persons or fewer may be arranged for a total of $75.00 per hour (pro-rated) with a one-hour minimum.

The fee of $75.00 is due upon scheduling the tour to confirm the date and time.

All deposits and tour fees are tax-deductible donations. If you have any questions or wish to arrange a tour, please contact us.

If you’re coming to the Spring Fling and would like to stay an extra day to see Peckerwood Garden, leave a comment below. If several people are interested, we may be able to arrange a field trip. Located 2 hours east of Austin.

Yucca Do, a desert-plant nursery associated with and adjacent to Peckerwood, is open to visitors by appointment only. Contact them at to set up an appointment.

San Antonio Botanical Garden

An hour-and-a-half drive south on I-35 takes you to San Antonio, where the Alamo, the River Walk, Spanish missions, and, of course, shopping attract throngs of tourists. Near downtown you’ll also find the city’s very nice botanical garden lushly planted with a mix of tropicals, xeric plants, and Old South favorites. You can easily spend two or three hours here if you try to see everything. Click here for Pam’s post about the gardens from last summer.

Wildseed Farms

Field-long rows of wildflowers greet you from the highway as you approach Wildseed Farms, the largest working wildflower farm in the U.S. A colorful destination all year round, it’s especially lovely in the spring. As a bonus, it’s located just 7 miles outside of charming Fredericksburg, a German Hill Country town that’s now a booming tourist destination. Head into town for refreshment at a biergarten and then a little shopping. Also worth a look is the Japanese Garden of Peace at the National Museum of the Pacific War on 340 East Main St. Fredericksburg and Wildseed Farms are about 2 hours west of Austin.


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