Support Your Independent Nursery: Hill Country Water Gardens & Nursery GIVEAWAY


Each week in October, which is Support Your Independent Nursery Month, I am featuring one of my favorite Austin-area nurseries here at Digging. To make things even more interesting, I’m also hosting a giveaway every week—one from each nursery! This week I’m shining a spotlight on Hill Country Water Gardens & Nursery.


HCWG is in Cedar Park, just a short drive north of Austin, and it’s long been my go-to nursery for pond plants, fish, and water features for the garden. But a few years ago it started carrying a good selection of non-water plants, including native perennials and groundcovers, trees and shrubs, and a nice agave selection, and I found more reasons to shop there.


Right along the street it grabs you with a colorful display garden.


A new, spacious parking lot just south of the original entrance delivers you to this arbor entry. Stroll through and you’ll see their extensive grounds, with pocket gardens planted throughout, ponds filled with water lilies, and splashing fountains. It’s a relaxing place to explore, especially in summer, when the pond plants are at their peak.


But even in the cooler months, like now, the nursery has lots to offer, from xeric plants to garden decor to water features to design ideas, like this circular, stone firepit.


I don’t know who arranges their displays, but he or she does a great job. I find their display tables very appealing.


Just look at this pretty vignette. Doesn’t it make you want those muted colors for a fall display?


Or perhaps a pop of blue and purple is more your speed, with green and white accents and those cool, patterned pots?


Do you like fairy gardens? HCWG has plants and accessories for them.


We still have a month and a half to grow succulents before we get our first freeze.


A passel of flying pigs and blue pots…


…plus a tempting selection of plants attracts one’s attention too.


Plant signs are easy to read and contain key information about size and growth habit.


HCWG is the place to come for a wide assortment of pots. Most of them can be turned into disappearing fountains, if you want, or you can plant them or simply place an empty one as a garden accent.


But of course HCWG is largely known for its water gardens and pond plants. The gigantic pads of Victoria amazonica water lily, with an alligator-skin pattern, float serenely in a large, formal pool.


A dozen raised ponds contain all manner of pond plants, from lilies to reeds to iris to underwater plants that help keep your water clean. Come back in late spring and summer for a beautiful display of lily and lotus blossoms.


Several display ponds illustrate the installation that HCWG offers, if you desire.


The nursery also offers free classes throughout the year on building ponds and installing fountains yourself.


They sell all sorts of vessels for making disappearing fountains, which cycle water up through the top, over the edge, and down into a hidden basin covered with rock. This style of fountain is perfect for a small garden.


Other sorts are fun too.


The nursery is dressed for fall right now, with pumpkins, mums, and grasses staged beautifully around the grounds.


There’s even a spot for a pumpkin-patch photo.


You’ll find plenty of good stuff in the gift shop, perfect for holiday shopping for that special gardener on your list.


And Theresa and Emily, and the rest of the helpful staff, are always on hand to help you find what you’re looking for.

Now for the giveaway! Hill Country Water Gardens & Nursery is giving away a $50 gift certificate to one of my lucky readers! Just leave a comment on this post to enter, and I’ll announce the winner at the end of the week. Update 10/21: The winner is announced here.

Giveaway Rules:
1. You must leave a comment on this post to enter.
2. Only one entry per person is allowed.
3. Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm on October 20th.
4. I’ll announce the winner on October 21st.
5. The winner must go to the nursery with a photo ID to claim the prize within two weeks of winning. Prizes will not be mailed.
6. The winner is not eligible to win any other giveaways at Digging for 2012’s Support Your Independent Nursery Month.

Remember, win or lose, if you live here in Austin you’ve already hit the jackpot with a great selection of local nurseries at which to shop, learn, and be inspired.

Disclosure: I’ve posted about this nursery because it’s one I shop at regularly and recommend to others. I invited the owner/manager to participate in a giveaway for my readers, but my post was not conditional on any donation. Plain and simple: I like this nursery and think you will too.

All material © 2006-2012 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

45 Responses

  1. Anna says:

    What a grand looking place! I’ve never visited it, but I would love to have a water feature to attract birds and other wildlife. Their pot selection looks wonderful.

  2. Beautiful place to be! Happy Fall Ya’ll!! Pamie G. pgraham@gvtc.com

  3. rjhyden says:

    Austin is so COOL !

  4. I love Hill Country Water Gardens! It is an inspiring and fun place to shop.

  5. Charlotte says:

    I go there to drool over the fountains and ponds, and last year I bought a Mexican redbud tree there. But I’m so glad you pointed out the fairy garden supplies. My kids have been begging to create one but I couldn’t think of a good place to start.

  6. Patricia R says:

    Definitely a place I plan to visit!

  7. Mamaholt says:

    Yet another place you turned me on to that I now love.

    We sometimes go here just for “sumpin to do.”

  8. Judy says:

    Looks like they have redone the gift shop. I need to win and spend!

  9. Shirley says:

    Those pond displays are gorgeous, love all the colorful garden accessories.

    I’m featuring one of my favorite San Antonio nurseries this week.

    http://rockoakdeer.blogspot.com/2012/10/milbergers-nursery.html

  10. Randy Washington says:

    A great place to go for BOTH garden plants and water landscape materials, ideas, and accessories!

  11. I love this place. It’s a long way from here, but worth the drive.
    The displays are always inspiring. There used to be that garden train display. It was gone the last time we were there.
    Maybe it’s time to take the trip up there again.

  12. Audrey says:

    This is my go to place!! I live in Leander and drop by almost weekly just to see what they have. I stopped by this morning.

  13. katzien says:

    Right down the road from my mom’s house, we love to spend an afternoon planning and shopping at least once or twice a season. I love their wine and music events too! Stunning place.

  14. sandy lawrence says:

    Pam, I have been dying to drive in to this nursery. In your always fab photos, I see stuff that makes me salivate, so hard on the keyboard! Thanks for entering my name for a chance in this drawing. And thanks for the great tour. This is my favorite nursery that you cover in your blog.

  15. Frankie says:

    I see I need to visit Hill Country Water Gardens again — they have definitely expanded. Thanks!

  16. I agree that the displays are amazing. Thank you for the opportunity to wander about through your beautiful photos!

  17. ella says:

    What a fun nursery that I need to visit soon!

  18. jenny says:

    Please count me in on this one. I have a new tank and will be planting it up in the early spring. A gift certificate would be very welcome.

  19. eva says:

    i’ve only been once, but your beautiful pictures make me want to go back! i think i’ll go soon, i’d love a water feature.

  20. katie says:

    I love this place! I would love them to come work their magic on my backyard. Hcwg is definitely one of my happy places :0)

  21. Katina says:

    You know – I’ve never been to HCWG even though it’s closer to me than TGO, NG or BSN…I think it’s because everyone has always raved about the water garden aspect, and since I don’t have a water garden, no need to go there. I should probably make the effort because it looks like they have lots of other stuff as well.

  22. Mary Linton says:

    Thanks for showing off this gorgeous place! Can’t believe I haven’t checked it out yet. I might have to take my toddler girls over there for a field trip tomorrow morning.

    Here’s to enjoying a lovely fall, or second spring! :)

  23. Robyn says:

    This is one we’ve never been to because it’s so far from our little corner of Oak Hill, but Zoe is always begging to go see the ponds. We really do need to make the trip!

  24. Gretchen says:

    I’m not eligible for the giveaway being in Denton, but have visited all your featured nurseries except this one. Looks wonderful. Could you tell me what the large purple strap leaved plants are that look like Truffula trees in the second photo? I saw them at the Dallas Arboretum last week, but never saw a label.

    I think it’s Pennisetum ‘Prince’ or ‘Vertigo’, Gretchen. —Pam

  25. Salma says:

    I thought those lily pads were a clever garden feature!! They’re real??!?!

  26. Hedrich Michaelsen says:

    I also love this place! I have long wanted a pond in our yard and was inspired by your 8 foot stock tank pond blog post. So we created one in our backyard this spring. Although we got lots of plants from neighbors with ponds, we bought most of our pond supplies from HCWG and also some beautiful fish. Even if we are shopping for the pond, I have to stroll the entire grounds and usually end up with more than a few impulse purchases. :-)

  27. Joy says:

    . . . and I thought they only had pond supplies! Love the colorful displays and the new knowledge that they carry a selection of native plants.

  28. Linda V says:

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your blog. I get great ideas from your lovely pictures. I live in Cedar Park, and despite having a healthy population, I am sad to say, we do not have a healthy population of independent nurseries. Thank goodness Hill Country Water Gardens has more than just pond plants. I get veggie starts from them in the Spring, and truly enjoy experiencing their display gardens. They also have great workshops. And I can drag my kids to this place because they like to look at the fish.

  29. Melissa Gathings says:

    I live in the Brazos Valley and drove over to see HCWG. It is fabulous and I bought a disappearing fountain kit then and there. The cooling sound of running water and beautiful vessel is the focal point of my patio. There is a lot more shopping I could do there! Great displays, healthy plants and helpful staff, what more could anyone want?

  30. Gaynell says:

    Love the stoneware at this nursery.

  31. Teresa says:

    Admittedly, I have not been to this Nursery in at least a year. Great pics Pam. I love the oversized jumbo pumpkin that looks like it is oozing everywhere :) Their pots are amazing and the lily’s are SO neat! Plus, where else can you buy plants and fish?

  32. Cat says:

    That Victoria amazonica is something! I’d love to spend some time wandering their garden. Love what they have done over the last few years. IMHO it’s one of the nicest retail spots for inspiration in Austin.

  33. Bonnie says:

    Love it and I can’t stop thinking about adding water features now.

  34. Their classes on building your own pond got me started. The staff gives you all the support you need to build and maintain your pond throughout the seasons. Amazing store, plants, and people. Don’t miss their upcoming Hill Country Family Fair and Charity Event on Oct. 27th and 28th.

  35. Cathy Chadwick says:

    I love those enormous lily pads! They don’t look real. Especially with the perfectly turned up lip. But I have seen a photograph of a baby seated on one, and now I know what they really look like in situ. very cool.
    I haven’t been to this garden center, but I will definitely try to go now. Great photos.

  36. Cindy, MCOK says:

    Wow, how have I never made it to this nursery on a visit to Austin? If I win, I’ll make it a point to visit before the month is out!

  37. Nancy Oliver says:

    Simply marvelous darling!

  38. Louise Caron says:

    We moved from zone 4 to 9B! Beautiful displays. I am thinking a road trip is in order here!

  39. Ann says:

    HCWG helped get me started with my stock tank pond – it was easy and is now one of my favorite garden features.

  40. I love Hill Country Water Gardens. That’s where I got my vessel for the disappearing fountain that I’m going to set up just as soon as I finish about a dozen other projects. (Sigh.)

  41. Elizabeth says:

    I’m anxious to check it out.

  42. Laura says:

    I haven’t been to this nursery, being way up north and all. Thanks for the pics. I’ll have to head up there.

  43. Trish Runyan says:

    I have had the pleasure of walking around Hill Country Water Gardens and Nursery with an eye towards doing something on our land. One time my mother was with me and I was concerned she wouldn’t walk to see the many fountations, ponds and plants,however, she really enjoyed herself as much as I enjoyed my experience.

  44. Helen Garrett says:

    I love this nursery. Even when I don’t buy anything, I love to walk around and look at the displays and new plants and get ideas. They have a very nice selection of pots and fountains which I would like to add to my garden. The employees are very helpful and knowledgeable.

  45. Barbara Flores says:

    I recently visited them for the first time, It’s a beautiful place and the staff is so friendly. A lady gave to my girls some fish food, and they spend a lot of time watching them eating while I was looking around. It’s a nice place to go!

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