Since opening in 1996, the South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center has grown like a weed, from 1 to 182 acres, providing a home for thousands of birds, butterflies, and blossoming plants. Their gardens, greenhouses, trails, and boardwalks are set into the landscape of the Oso Creek, allowing guests to observe species in their natural habitat without provoking the ire of territorial snapdragons. Following a mission to advance knowledge and appreciation of the environment, the organization also hosts classes and workshops on topics such as orchidology and cooking cactus for dinner. Members’ annual contributions help to sustain the nonprofit organization and garner them unlimited admission, discounts at Nature's Boutique, and invitations to members-only events, such as the annual member-plant dance.
For more than 60 years, The Blossom Shop Florist has intricately arranged flowers, plants, and fruit baskets. The large selection of fresh and tropical flowers can be mixed and matched to create a floral display appropriate for special occasions, including birthdays, Valentine's Day, weddings, funerals, and monster-truck rallies. Peace lilies ($65), azalea baskets ($40), and a variety of mixed bouquets ($85+) are appropriate for everyday occasions; a dozen roses ($95) expresse love and two-dozen roses ($165) expresses even more love. In addition to flowers, fruit baskets are also available, such as the fruit-and-blooms basket, a mix of fresh seasonal fruit and a blooming azalea ($85), and the gourmet-and-fruit basket, which contains fresh fruit and a spread of epicurean edibles ($65).
While there are chickens strutting around on the Chickenfarmer's Greenhouse property, they’re mostly for decoration. For the experienced gardeners on staff, the real focus is organic plants and the equipment and accessories needed to grow them. Everything sold at the greenhouse is designed to nurture organic plants, from the locally sourced exotic plants to the house-brand soils and fertilizers to the stunning aquaponic gardens that experienced staffers can install in clients’ homes. The nursery even boasts an all-organic, GMO-free produce stand, stocked with produce sustainably grown onsite. The veggies are grown from heirloom seeds provided by Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, which features decades-old strains of flavor- and nutrient-rich plants. For more decorative needs, the grounds are filled with tropical plants and palms such as hibiscus and plumeria, all sourced locally or created in the greenhouse's plant-cloning replicator pod.
Bonnie's Florist is the home of a floral designer who has been in the business for more than 30 years. They offer a wide variety of flowers and floral setups such as roses or wreaths. They also gladly welcome special orders for floral arrangements to mark special occasions.