For about two years we have watched with great curiosity as a section of land just past Midwest City, parallel to I-40 westbound, was cleared, plowed, reshaped, and built upon or some mysterious new business. For a while we thought with chagrin it would be another neighborhood development, but eventually we saw signs popping up about a tree farm. Then, because we are generally bitter people with snarky senses of humor, we rolled our eyes about the irony of clearing out trees in order to then sell trees. (Insert here all of the very legitimate information about what types of trees were actually cleared: Probably tons and tons of red cedars, not pines or red buds...)
You guys, I humbly report that all of the nose upturning these past couple of years was for naught. Last week this new tree farm finally opened, and I paid them a visit. It is breathtakingly beautiful inside and out, a home landscaper's paradise! If you live in the area and have any interest in gardening, plan to spend an afternoon here. But do not bother taking your camera.
I entered the store like a kid in a candy shop but also impersonating a journalist because I had a camera strapped around my neck and was wearing very clackety high heeled boots. I started snapping photos of all the beautiful displays, the distressed wood furniture, the artwork, the pottery, the wall murals... Until I was delicately asked to not do that anymore. Cease and desist. The manager and cashier were ever so polite about it, but they preferred not to have the retail spaces photographed. I suppose that makes sense, because so much of it was original artwork and such.
It didn't sit so well with me at first, though. I protested mildly, saying, "But I live in the area and I have a blog, I wanted to write a little advertisement for you guys." Public service announcement: They don't care if you have a blog.
"I'm so sorry, ma'am, we really aren't comfortable having the store photographed."
We volleyed the issue a few times. I might have even thrown in the word Langley for good measure, but finally I switched my camera off, swung it behind my back, and proceeded to take in the expansive place just as a customer.
This gorgeous floor mosaic welcomes you just as you cross the threshold. This photo is the only one of the interior I actually had permission to take, so I'm sharing it. The rest I will keep to myself. Just go see this place, you guys! You will gasp and grin over and over. They have gifts for children, gifts for serious gardeners, gifts for beginning gardeners, gifts for home decorators, gifts for just about anyone. They even have a landscape artist right there in the store! He was drawing these very professional looking diagrams and aerial views of properties in pastel colors, perfect circles, and triangles... I think as I approached that corner of the room he could sense that a haphazard garden experimenter was nearby, and his orderliness went into overdrive. This pressed me away silently.
The grounds outside were just as breathtaking! What you see driving past on the Interstate is only a sliver of what they have built at Tony's Tree Plantation.
They have a spectacular greenhouse, of course, filled with Oklahoma standards, herbs, veggies, and some tempting exotics. I purchased two rosemary babies and a mammoth spider plant at very good prices. All of their plants looked ferociously healthy, and the fragrances in the greenhouse were absolutely intoxicating. I caught myself walking in these little spirals, touching the ruffled greens, inhaling the lemony blooms, feeling the crunch of wet gravel beneath my boots...
They have several acres of tree rows out back where I will eventually buy some more fruit trees for the Lazy W orchard. Their collection of evergreens is so vast that I wonder now if they also plan to sell live Christmas trees? Not sure. But it is a beautiful space.
And they have curvaceous stone paths, intimate garden settees, and probably half a dozen fish ponds embracing two sides of the property. Walking through so much lushness really got me motivated to complete a few gardening projects at home.
Oh! And their collections of both Vietnamese and Mexican pottery pretty much blew my socks off. Except I wasn't wearing socks. But I did gasp out loud and get a weird look from a fellow shopper.
What is this???
I need this.
I need it like I have never needed
even a blue hydrangea.
I meandered for over an hour, filling my mind with bold new ideas for inserting artwork into the garden and for growing new, unusual things. And the whole no photos bit of drama could not have ended more gently. The manager carried my purchases to my car and apologized if it had offended me, which of course it really did not, though I played it up pretty good on Facebook that afternoon. Because that's how I roll.
I must admit that my Oklahoma City heart still belongs to Horn Seed Company, located just a bike ride away from my childhood home. But that is a forty minute drive now, so Tony's will very likely become my local haunt. Please pay a visit when you can, and to make the drive worthwhile, come to the farm for some fresh sweet tea. I'll show you the forbidden retail photos!! Mwa-ha-ha...
Twelve Days Till My Beekeeping Class!