The yucca fields of Barton Springs Nursery Wholesale

Do you ever wonder where your nursery plants are grown? In the case of Barton Springs Nursery, beloved by local gardeners for their selection of native plants in smaller, less-expensive pot sizes, they grow some of their own stock at “El Rancho,” their 20-acre wholesale farm in East Austin. Growing their own is, of course, how they’re able to keep their retail prices lower than some of their competitors, but the wholesale location also caters to designers and landscapers who need bigger, field-grown plants for their clientele.

BSN Wholesale isn’t open for retail sales, but as a designer and friend of BSN I was recently given the OK to visit. I stopped by one afternoon to look at their selection of beaked yucca (Y. rostrata) and was impressed to see large fields of both beaked and Spanish bayonet yuccas in all stages of growth.

Rows of rows of baby Yucca rostrata are grown high on mounded soil, for drainage.

Larger specimens are backed by tall, trunking Spanish bayonet in full bloom.

I hopped in a rugged, golf-cart-sized vehicle driven by manager Max Hanes, and he took me into the fields for a closer look. Aside from the yuccas, there were also some large agaves and lots of palms (not pictured).

The yuccas are sold by the foot, and since these are slow-growing plants, each foot adds quite a lot to the price. Max cruised up and down the rows of Yucca rostrata, letting me look them over.

At last I spotted a pretty, blue-green one at the size I could afford. Max hopped out to tag it for me and said it would be dug up in a few days, the root ball wrapped in burlap, and be ready for my landscaper to pick up on Monday. Here he is posing with my yucca. Thanks for all your help, Max!

After paying and pausing to pet the ranch dogs, I headed out the long drive, past bristly cholla and fiery globemallow in full bloom.

And here’s my prize all planted up in its new home! Literally a prize, as I spent my winnings from the Better Homes and Gardens Blogger Awards on this baby — ha! You knew that money was going straight to a nursery, right?

All material © 2006-2015 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

29 Responses

  1. Awesome! It looks just perfect there — now you can check that off of your list.

  2. Jenny says:

    That is a perfect prize. I se it is already trimmed up underneath. I have been leaving mine.

    • Pam/Digging says:

      They trimmed it after digging it up, Jenny. I have been leaving my other one so far, and it’s even taller, but I may trim it this year. —Pam

  3. Wow, what a great place to visit! The fact that you got to pick out your own Yucca rostrata makes it even more special.

    Surely Y. rostrata has got to tbe cheaper in Texas (where they’re grown) than here?

    • Pam/Digging says:

      It was definitely a special treat to pick my own. The pressure to choose well, though! And I have to admit this is the most expensive plant I’ve ever bought, even at wholesale prices, even field-grown, even more than any tree I’ve planted. It better live! —Pam

  4. hoov says:

    wonderful souvenir of your award. you picked a beauty!

  5. Kris P says:

    The Yucca look wonderful planted en masse like that. I see more Yucca in my own future.

    • Pam/Digging says:

      After years of agave lust, I’ve come around to a greater appreciation of yuccas. They’re more tolerant of our occasional cold snaps, for one thing, and they don’t die after they bloom. —Pam

  6. Ally says:

    How cool! Yes, I did wonder where their plants came from. For years I’ve been buying smaller specimens at BSN and growing them out to save money. I love that you can buy almost anything in a 4 inch pot. When you’re a plant hoarder like me that adds up to big savings.

  7. Lori says:

    Love it!!! And you know I would have done the same! XD

  8. Alison says:

    You found a great-looking one, with a bit of trunk already. Very nice paired with the red Austin sign.

  9. Sally looks good in her new home. Ya, sometimes I name other peoples plants too.

  10. Sonia says:

    I hope that’s not a glimpse of bastard cabbage I spy underneath their entrance sign. Love the yucca and the composition of the last photo.

  11. TexasDeb says:

    Nobody ought to be surprised at how wisely you chose to spend your winnings. That plant will be providing impact for decades to come.

    So…I’m not the only one who occasionally wishes she could reach up into her computer screen and pull the weeds out of a posted photo? I swear sometimes I don’t even SEE the buggers until after I’ve put them on full display online. If only weeding were as easy as fixing typos!

  12. Heidi says:

    Your yucca looks perfect in its new home, I love that beautiful blue rock you placed around it. I am interested in planting yucca, but right now I prefer their appearance when they’re lower to the ground and not so leggy with the bare trunks. Are you able to keep them fuller looking? My tastes change with time, but so far I have hesitated to plant yucca for that reason. Your yard is looking great, the newly stained fence looks really sharp, goes well with the dark windows on your house.

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Heidi, I was a reluctant yucca gardener for many years, but I’ve seen the light. They are almost as sexy as agaves, and they have the added benefit of being more cold-hardy and reblooming. There are many, many varieties, and my favorite low-growing yuccas include ‘Color Guard’ and Yucca pallida. Neither of those makes a trunk. Yucca rostrata always trunks eventually, but you can leave the lower leaves on even after they turn brown if you prefer a natural, skirted look. Or you can try Wheeler’s sotol instead, which has a similar look but doesn’t trunk. There are lots of choices! I hope you find one or more that suit your style. —Pam

  13. Yucca fields….equals dream…
    Love yours!

  14. Luisa says:

    Gaaah, what a drop-dead gorgeous Yucca rostrata, and what a blast it must have been visiting BSN Wholesale. Yuccas are VERY cool — I have a small Yucca glauca (mega cold hardy) in my garden, and hope to see it bloom someday.