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On September 15, 2008, rosemarysims from Mermentau, LA wrote:
Unquestionable one of the great gardens in TX. Not only does it demonstrate how roses are just another shrubby, brilliantly flowering plant in garden design by using them as a part of general and quite good design, they use them with a plethora of native plants and are organic garden proponents. As demonstration gardens go, especially those of the retail ilk, there aren't many that can compare here in the USA, especially as this garden reflects TX so magnificently (and that is actually where it is!). This large garden simply couldn't exist anywhere else in the universe! And their use of whimsy in the garden is unparalleled.
Beyond that, they have an enormous selection of well grown roses for sale which range from species to antique to heirloom collectibles to modern good ones. Many of them are growing in their garden for you to see. And they carry a large selection of TX natives as well as more mundane mainstream stuff that's simply good in the garden. Other than roses, you'll not find much else other than perennials and annuals but that includes unusual grasses.
Prices are moderate to high for plants, but the selection is so good, you can console yourself on the way home by stopping at the Blue Bell ice cream plant. It takes a whole day to really do this nursery, so you'll be ready.
I find staff knowledge and experience to have been uneven over the years. That, and the way they prune and train their roses, is the only reason they are not tops on my list.
On August 10, 2007, chicobeach from San Antonio, TX wrote:
I have visited the shop in Brenhem several times and the staff is always friendly and helpful, always answering my innumerable questions as accurately as they can. They are knowledgeable and the area is so very beautiful, it's like visiting some magic rose garden. I have bought several antique roses and they have all done well in my San Antonio garden until this year due to all the rain we've had. But I LOVE the Antique Rose Emporium, you can find just about any plant you might be looking for.
Now this is how a garden center ought to be operated! This nursery is situated on several acres of land and is beautifully landscaped. Walking around looking at their plants is a treat because of this beautiful setting, with ponds, cactus gardens, cottage gardens, walking trails and much more.
As you would expect, the selection of roses is unsurpassed in this region, and they also sell just about every other kind of plant, too. They have herbs in 4" pots for cheap (I think $1.50 or $2) and 1 gallon cans. Many new and interesting perennials and shrubs.
One caveat: don't forget your checkbook if you intend to get roses. They are quite high in price (around $20 per rose if memory serves me) but healthy, quality plants.
For almost all of us, getting there takes at least half an hour, but it is definitely worth it!