Just up the road from where I live, on the other side of Highway 71, there is located The Natural Gardener and as the name implies, it specializes in a more natural way of gardening. Not to say that they don’t also follow the standard methods of yard maintenance as they do. So I visited the place back in July of 2012 this time taking my camera with me.
This has to be one of the larger Garden Centers in Austin covering 8 acres in all as not only do they have a large shop that sells all different kinds of gardening items from tools to seeds to knick knacks but they also have a large soils yard that deals in either bulk or bucketful depending on the customer. Surrounding the shop are different areas with both native and exotic plants and flowers, a large rose area, a different area for shrubs and bushes, a very large Cacti area and on and on.
They do not restrict themselves to plants as they also carry garden ornaments and have a large supply of urns and pottery. They have an especially large number of the colored metal statues. The place is laid out so that the public can see much of the growth in the ground as they have several different areas such as the Butterfly Garden, Herb Garden, and the Experimental Plant Area.
Not content with displaying all of their plants and such, they also have three separate water features, one of which is very dramatic as the water flows swiftly down the hill and disappears into the ground. The other two are of the rock variety with waterfalls both very pleasing to the eye.
Tucked up in the back is an area that contains two donkeys, Chico and Kiko, goats and chickens and is a big attraction to the younger folks who visit the Center. The Natural Gardener holds teaching seminars on most Saturday mornings which are free to the public and people can learn about planting and growing roses, caring for grapes, Organic Gardening and a multitude of other garden related subjects.
The owner is a gentleman by the name of John Dromgoole who is also well-known for his Saturday morning organic gardening radio show on KLBJ-AM at 590. He also appears on TV and I had the pleasure of him filming my ponds and interviewing me a couple of years ago.
This is such a wonderful place to shop if you are anything of a gardener at all and even if you end up not buying anything which is doubtful, it is so much fun to walk the grounds or just sit and observe. I cannot do justice to this beautiful place so I encourage you to go on-line for more information and then pay them a visit.
Follow this link http://www.naturalgardeneraustin.com/about-us.html