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Hothouse is a podcast about design, ecology, and the way we garden now. Host Leah Churner sits down with experts and enthusiasts to talk about permaculture, the urban landscape, and how plants sometimes give us the feels. A meeting of the minds for plant people and the horticulture-curious, Hothouse is a different kind of gardening show: less of the how-to and more of the who, what, where, when, and why.

Nov 30, 2021

If you have a passion for plants, you probably love plant shopping. Our local garden centers are more than just a place to source nursery stock; they’re a designer’s trove of botanical information and inspiration. After untold hours spent perusing the grounds of Barton Springs Nursery, we finally sat down for a chat with two of the new owners, designer Amy Hovis and horticulturist Willy Glenn. 

Founded in 1986 by Bernardine and Conrad Bering, Barton Springs Nursery is an Austin institution. Into a drab '80s landscape of photinias, nandinas, and boxwoods, the Berings introduced wild plants from seed and cuttings -- salvias, mallows, bunchgrasses, and palms -- and helped to pioneer the city's vibrant gardening scene with an emphasis on sustainability, native plants, and local expertise. After 35 years, the Berings retired in January 2021 and sold the store to Hovis, the owner of Eden Garden Design; Glenn, the former manager of the nursery; and Greg Thomas. Since then, they've added an event space, revamped the grounds, and adopted two new mascots: a kitten named Fern, and a tortoise named Fig. 

Hovis and Glenn say their goal is to make the "new" BSN the best nursery in Texas (at the very least). We talked about new propagation experiments coming down the pike, the catastrophic winter storm in February, and how the pandemic has ushered in an unexpected gardening renaissance.

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Mentioned in this episode: 

Know Maintenance by Roy Diblik (2014); Leersia oryzoidesMelica mutica