Pied Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year, New Directions

High anxiety and great excitement, in equal parts.  That's what the new year holds for me, as I embark on my next big adventure.

My garden center, Papershell: A Garden Gallery, opens February 1, a scant 30 days from today!  I'm thrilled to be back in the business and excited to be working on something just a little bit different.  Let me tell you a little bit about Papershell.

Native Texas pecan

Why Papershell?  One of our most beautiful native trees is the pecan, and when the shells are thin and easy to crack, they're called papershells.  Pecan trees are a little wild, with a rangy habit.  They prefer the deep soils of the river bottom and when planted in the right spot can reach upwards of 100 feet tall.  The pecan is the Texas state tree, and the nuts are highly prized for holiday baking.

Solitary, by Jo Edwards
Why Garden Gallery?  We have an art gallery instead of a traditional garden center gift shop.  There are so many wonderful artists and craftspeople working in our own community!  It seemed silly to order mass-produced goods, shipped in from another country.  Our idea for the gallery: "Original art for original people."  Meet Jo Edwards, one of our featured artists this spring, at an Artist Chat on Saturday, February 5 at 4:00 pm.

But we're all about the plants, too.  We stock a nice mix of flowering plants, shrubs and trees along with seasonal herbs and vegetables.  We're so excited to partner with Urban Harvest in offering a 7-class gardening series this spring.  And we're proud to employ Texas Certified Nursery Professionals and Master Gardeners who are passionate about plants.  Real plants.  Real people.

So if you're in the area, stop by and say hello.  Have a cup of coffee.  Pick herbs in our community garden.  Wander beneath the trees for a while.  Get out in the country!  We're between Richmond and Rosenberg, just 2 miles off the freeway.  Here's a map -- we're looking forward to meeting you.

P.S. Find us on Facebook, too!


  1. I'm glad to see that there is a cut through road from the extension offices!

  2. I was struggling with Papershell-thanks for info

  3. Congratulations! Best of luck with your new venture, which sounds wonderful and creative . . . holistic and heartwarming. Happiest of New Years!

  4. Thanks, everyone! I am so excited -- a great way to start the new year!

  5. Elizabeth, how wonderfully exciting!!! Your reference to papershell yanked me back to my younger days in Georgia, wandering around under pecan trees looking for nuts with my dad. Your shop sounds heavenly.

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  7. Congratulations! I'm so jealous! I would love to open up my own place someday.

    The progress you've made is wonderful. Looks like a lot of hard work and planning went into it. I'll definitely make the trip out there after you're open.

  8. Elizabeth, I plan on being one of your first customers! I'm so excited for you. Thank you, THANK YOU for featuring original art rather than the mass produced items you can buy at any number of stores. That's one of my guidelines for garden art: can I find it virtually anywhere? If so, I pass it up and look for something uniquely wonderful.

  9. Elizabeth I sure wish I could shop for plants at your new center! having a gallery with original art sounds perfect. Congratulations! gail

  10. Congratulations on your new venture. I love the papershell pecan trees so I adore the name of your new company. May success be your watchword, and I love the poem at the top of your blog too Elizabeth.~~Dee

  11. Whoo HOO! a new nursery to visit. I'll be there!

  12. This sounds wonderful...I wish you were just a BIT closer!

  13. Thank you all for your very kind words. I'm looking forward to seeing ALL of you as soon as you can make it over. Coffee's on me!