A visit to the famed Antique Rose Emporium in Independence is on any respectable rose fanatic’s bucket list. Hundreds of heirloom roses “rustled” from oblivion grow on the grounds and are available at the nursery. Besides the acres of roses and perennials, the gardens are peppered with wry vignettes; don’t forget to pay your respects at the cemetery of cracked pots.
If Provence isn’t in the budget, a day wandering Lavande’s purple hills harvesting your own lavender is a mighty nice consolation prize. This lavender and olive farm makes its own sachets and bath products, too.
Give your inner cowboy free rein at Texas Ranch Life, a working cattle ranch that offers horseback riding, roping, and cattle drives of those famous Texas longhorns. Spend the night in one of the restored historic buildings, eat cowboy grub, and marvel at how beautiful 1,800 secluded acres can be.
Originally published in Organic Gardening Magazine, April/May 2012
Photos: Byron Jorjorian, Lacey Elick, Pat Sullivan