Welcome to my zone 9a habitat garden near Houston, Texas.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Antique Rose Emporium

At our regular Monday breakfast at Denny's this morning, Bob looked at me and said, "It's kind of a letdown after a weekend with your daughters, isn't it? They're like Abbott and Costello or Martin and Lewis the way they play off each other."

I had to admit that they are highly entertaining girls and they certainly entertained me royally over the weekend, especially that spa treatment on Saturday! My gardener's hands and feet, not to mention my gardener's back, appreciated every moment of the treatment, all of which was topped off by lunch at one of our favorite restaurants.

But Bob has his moments of being entertaining, as well, such as when he took me for our annual spring trek to the Antique Rose Emporium last week. There was never a dull moment!

The drive there and back was quite beautiful. The wildflowers along the way were gorgeous. True, the bluebonnets were mostly gone, but there were plenty of varieties to take their place. I can confirm what so many others have already observed. The wildflowers are especially glorious this year.

Arriving at the ARE, we discovered, as I had anticipated, that the roses were well-past their first flush of bloom. April is really the time to go if you want to see them in their prime. Still there was a lot to see in the display gardens.

This sign makes the visitor feel most welcome.

Daisies go with everything, including roses.

Salvia is really one of my favorite summer plants and I loved the way ARE used it throughout the garden among the roses as well as other plants. When it came time to make my purchases, I picked up several salvias to bring home with me.

I couldn't find a name label for this mound featuring a small white single flowered rose, but it was quite lovely and probably was even more striking a couple of weeks ago.

This rebar "tree" with pink roses growing over it reminded me of the bougainvillea rebar tree made by Jamie Durie in the Victory Garden episode that Channel 8 keeps playing over and over again!

I just love the look of these mixed borders.

Another view of some of the glorious beds.

The combination of colors and textures adds interest to the garden. That yellow yarrow was a real stunner throughout the garden.

Not all of the roses were past their prime. This wonderful red bloomed in many of the mixed borders throughout the display gardens. It blended well with all the other plants.

The walkway leading to the chapel. You can see that red rose used liberally here.

This must be a glorious site for an early spring outdoor wedding.

What a lovely aisle for a bride to walk.

Here's a slightly closer view showing the larkspur that dominated the plantings along the walkway.

The butterflies certainly liked it, especially this Pipevine which was very busy among the larkspur.

We paid our respects at the "graveyard" of broken pots and garden tools.

The "grave markers" were guaranteed to bring a smile...

...or, in some cases, a chuckle.

Old farm implements, like this ancient hay baler, always seem to lend character to the garden.

And, of course, no garden is complete without a bottletree!

I did not come home empty-handed. In addition to my salvias, I got some yellow cestrum, a 'Ducher' rose, some more agastaches (can't have too many of them), and an evergreen wisteria. Yes, it was a very entertaining day for me, even without "Abbott and Costello" to enliven it!

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