Visit to Big Red Sun garden shop in Venice

Named after a Lucinda Williams song (so of course I like it), Big Red Sun shuttered its cool boutique nursery in East Austin years ago. After briefly reopening in a new location, under new management, it closed again, and now Big Red Sun in Austin is strictly a design studio. The original owner, meanwhile, moved to Venice, California, and set up shop there, and so it felt like an Austin homecoming of sorts when I stopped by during my whirlwind L.A. weekend last month.

Located just a couple of blocks from the ocean, it has a beachy vibe that the Austin shop never had, although the sign is the same.

The shop itself looks like an old house painted ocean blue and made welcoming with beachy-modern front-porch style.

Calandrinia spectabilis

I love this Corten planter box over the front door, filled with cascading succulents.

A metal mesh gate opens to reveal an alley of plant tables alongside the building.

Red and white shade sails pair with the blue building in an Americana color scheme.

In the back yard, pottery is showcased along with planted succulent dishes.

How about a vintage-style red glider softened with a striped Mexican blanket?

More pottery

A few large specimens must have outgrown their pots and are part of the landscaping now.

A seascape succulent dish with small white gravel standing in for dune sand

On the back porch, a shell planter dripping with string-of-pearls and a starfish, “framed” by an empty picture frame. A fun display, no?

A similar idea, but Texas-style

Indoors, plenty of “smalls,” or gift items, fill the shelves, along with art-filled books.

Bouquets of flowers in artful photographs adorned the walls — part of a “Diana” series, which I found appropriate since Diana of Sharing Nature’s Garden was with me.

Outside again, I lusted after this sturdy metal birdbath-style planter.

Though our visit was very brief, it was fun to see Big Red Sun again, California style.

Up next: An even briefer dash into the fabulous Potted garden shop in Los Feliz. For a look back at the terraced garden of The Folly Bowl, click here.

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

18 Responses

  1. Wendy Moore says:

    I so loved their arrangements, that shop was always a source of inspiration!

  2. Kris P says:

    I’m glad you were able to get there and I hope you somehow avoided the usual horrendous traffic and parking issues in the area. A friend recently moved in just down the street and one day when I visit (and enjoy her free visitor parking area), I’m going to drag her over there so we can check it out. (She’s not into plants.)

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Amazingly, we found a parking space on the street just a few yards away, Kris! It sounds like you have a perfect reason to get over there for a visit. —Pam

  3. rickii says:

    The blue paint puts this squarely in your wheelhouse, along with all the other tasteful stuff.

  4. Jenny says:

    I hope they found a more successful market in Venice. It was always interesting to walk around their store but things were a little pricey. You certainly packed in the visits on your recent trip. Is that where you found the Texas truck? I’m betting on yes.

  5. TexasDeb says:

    BigRed is sorely missed here in Austin by many, but they were indeed pricey for our area. I’m guessing their current location is a better fit and clearly their aesthetic works anywhere they roam.

    Texas truck? What Texas truck? I wanna see!

    • Pam/Digging says:

      See what you miss by not being on Facebook, Deb? :) It was a license plate planter, actually, and I’ll include a photo in my upcoming post about Potted, where I bought it. —Pam

  6. Luisa says:

    OMG, how I covet that red glider. Didn’t know they were in Venice — traffic or no (and of course there will be traffic involved) I can’t wait to visit.

  7. These photos set me up for a major drooling session. Love this style of objects and plants.

  8. Tera says:

    This new shop reminds me so much of Mexico, especially those places along the beach in Mazatclan, Topolobampo Bay….I always thought they had a touch of Mexico when in Austin but now it really blooms with recall to places like Sarita.

  9. Jason says:

    We spent some time in Venice when we were last in LA – but we missed this. What a great place!