Archive for September, 2011

Shoal Creek Nursery for all your butterfly and hummingbird needs

Tucked away on Hancock Drive is a beautiful bower created by friendly people who are there to help you beautify your outdoor surroundings. Shoal Creek Nursery seems to stock every single variety of lantana that I’ve ever seen. Plants attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies appear to be a specialty, and the nursery even makes available a list of what appeals to these colorful visitors.

Shoal Creek Nursery offers many plants not often seen for sale elsewhere in Austin; an example is ruellia (the so-called “Mexican petunia”) in several colors. Shoal Creek Nursery carries more seeds for more types of herbs, vegetables, and flowers than I’ve seen anywhere else. They aren’t the Italian, Japanese, or Korean seeds found elsewhere from time to time, but an extremely wide array of varieties, including seeds for wildflowers, packaged by several seed companies may be found there right now.

New-season bedding plants already present in variety are dianthus (pinks) and Johnny jump-ups (violas). Spring bulbs of many kinds are expected soon. We’ve usually found a fine selection of high-quality ranunculus (also known as “Persian buttercups” and the model for Mexican paper flowers) tubers at Shoal Creek.

It’s a pleasure to see thriving plants after our tough summer and to plan for the cooler weather that’s on its way. Shoal Creek Nursery is one of Austin’s treasures for gardeners.

Windsor Park library branch

This is the cast-bronze sculpture greeting library patrons at the Windsor Park branch. It’s called “Reading Between the Lions,” by Paul Bond.

We hadn’t been to this branch for a while and were glad we had consulted a map before heading for it, since it’s not that far from the old Mueller airport and there are several dead-end streets nearby.

I still think of it as a “new” branch, even though it’s now more than a decade old. It seems more spacious than some of the newer branches, and it’s very busy, as they all are.

Windsor Park has a fine collection of mysteries and thrillers, a substantial collection of jazz CDs, and ample accommodation for computers, both those at the branch and those brought by patrons. We found some fine DVDs from the Golden Age of Mexican movies (those who love them should remember that the Mexican American Cultural Center is showing a series of comedies starring the great Cantinflas, by the way).

This is one of the branches that welcomes magazines for exchange. Many of ours were gone almost before we set them down.

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