COTE DE TEXAS: The Antique Rose Emporium

The Antique Rose Emporium


The antique rose:  Marie Pavie.

The Round Top Antiques Fair is just around the corner - April 2 - 5, 2008.  If you're in the area and get tired of antiquing, you might want to visit the Antique Rose Emporium for a change of pace.  Located outside of Brenham in Independence, Texas, it's about 37 bluebonnet-filled miles from Round Top.  As it's name implies, The Antique Rose Emporium specializes in antique roses.   Some of the roses they sell were "rustled" from cemeteries  and from the sides of highways where they were given names such as Caldwell Pink or Highway 290 Pink Buttons.  Antique roses are a hardy bunch - they thrive with little or no care.   They don't require pesticides to bloom and they need little or no pruning.  The owner started the Antique Rose Emporium in 1985 after he found an antique rose blooming and flourishing despite decades of utter neglect.  Helped along in collecting more varieties of antique roses by the Texas Rose Rustlers, Mike Shoup, the owner, opened his doors after building the visitor's Display Garden.  Over the years,  Shoup's  venture  has grown from a small nursery to a large, international presence in the rose business.  Today there are two Display Gardens - the one in Independence and a newer one in San Antonio, Texas.  The Display Garden in Independence has changed greatly over the years. Today there is a lovely country chapel on the property where couples can marry, there's a children's garden, a gift shop, and a supplies store.   It's best to visit in the spring  when it's at its prettiest with the roses just starting to bloom.  If you've never been to the emporium and you're in the area for Round Top, The Antique Rose Emporium is a must see.  And, if you go, be sure to purchase an antique rose or two. 



The Antique Rose Emporium parking lot:  pulling up to arches and picket fences and cobblestone walkways, you know this is not your typical nursery.


A  specimen tree greets you in the parking lot.


The omnipresent windmill towers over the property.


Here is the windmill after climbing flowers have been allowed to take it over.


The cottage garden in full bloom.


Antique rose specimens are grouped together in masses in order to have a full appreciation of their growing traits.


Here is the nursery with pots available for purchase.  In the back, you can just see an old log cabin.


Wildflowers mixed in with the antique roses.


A view of the roses in pots for sale.  In the background, you can just see a wooden pergola covered in evergreen vine.


In this area, a circle of roses are planted in chronological order of their beginnings withmarkers telling their historical significance. 60292736_g32006_04_09uploadtopbasegazebo1

A gazebo where weddings take place.


The walkway leading from the gazebo.


The walkway to the gazebo in full bloom.


A border of "Old Blush."


The old greenhouse and windmill.


The greenhouse with roses in full bloom.

Springtime at the Antique Rose Emporium.   Picture courtesy of


Roses cover a picket fence.

The sign says it all.  Picture courtesy of


A new attraction - The Children's Garden is surrounded by a purple picket fence.

The Yellow Brick Road leads to the Children's Garden.  Picture courtesy of


Spring flowers in the Children's Garden.


Birdhouses in the Children's Garden.

Spring daisies and sculpture.  Picture courtesy of

A cemetery of broken flower pots.  Picture courtesy of

One of the old structures that houses a store on the property.  Picture courtesy of


A chapel was built on the property for wedding ceremonies. 


Texas bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush grow in the fields next to the chapel.


Alongside the property line, roses grow on the picket fences.


One of the water features on the property. 


A picture from the early days of the Antique Rose Emporium. 


A picture from the beginning before the chapel, the gazebo, the history garden and the Children's Garden.



If you go to Round Top and want to visit the nursery - here's the route to take:  highway 290 to 390 to Independence.   Look for the picket fences and windmill!

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The Shlenker Elementary School, Class of 2010's Rose Garden

On a personal note:  Years ago, when my daughter graduated elementary school, I was put on the committee in charge of decorating the room where the graduation luncheon was to be held.  Of course, the budget was small and we were desperate to stretch the dollar.  I came up with the idea of a living gift that the class could present to the school.  Instead of cut flowers, each table would have a pot of blooming roses which we would then donate to The Shlenker School in honor of the class of 2010.   I drove up, with a friend in tow, to Independence to the Antique Rose Emporium to load up our cars with the bounty.  It was on this trip that I discovered the "real" Antique Rose Emporium, the fields where the roses are grown.   About 1/2 mile from the visitor's Display Garden are rows upon rows of blooming roses as far as the eye could see.  The average customer has no idea that these fields even exist, believing as I did, the Antique Rose Emporium consisted of the Display Garden only. 

If I recall correctly, on that day I bought 10 pots of 5 different rose varieties to place on all the luncheon tables.  The ride home was heavenly - the scent of the roses in my car was intoxicating.   After the luncheon, we gathered the pots up and took them to the school.  There was a large, empty median in the school's parking lot where the carpool line is.  This is where we planted the flowers - each variety was planted in mass.   The small plants grew and thrived without much care, just as they are advertised.   Some of the graduates returned a few years later to weed the flowerbed to satisfy some type of charitable activity.  If you ever happen to be in the parking lot of Temple Beth Israel in Houston and you come upon a bed of formidable antique roses, think of those graduates from the class of 2010 and the Antique Rose Emporium.


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These roses were really blooming today when I took these pictures at The Shlenker School.

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So was this variety.

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And more.


  1. Joni - what a great gift - for "generations" of graduates!

  2. Joni, if it were not for J's health concerns, at the moment, we would certainly consider a trip to Texas. What beautiful roses! It must be heavenly to visit this place.

    The roses were a fabulous gift to the school.

    Thanks so much for a another great post!

  3. Sigh~ Let me catch my breath. My dream has been to go to Round Top, I shall add this gem to my itinerary. Someday...

  4. Love the gift that continues to give beauty year after year!

  5. Joni,

    What a lovely post today. I absolutely love the Antique Rose Emporium!! We may a trip every spring with the kids. My husband for one anniversary built a 8 ft. deep and 30 foot long flower bed on the side of our 1st house which we filled with roses from there. The heavenly smell of those roses would fill our house with the windows open. My current house has a 10 foot wide & 4 ft. tall pink climber filled with pink roses from there. I'll be in Roundtop Tues. & Wed. w/ my best galpal, I cannot wait!!!!

  6. Gorgeous...gorgeous....gorgeous and I can just imagine the wonderful smell!!! Thank you for sharing!!!

  7. What a lovely post. Makes me even hungrier for warm weather--and flowers--to arrive here in Ohio! -Julia :-)

  8. What a FAB way to spend a day! I am going to be trying to get our yard in order this spring and roses are going to be a part of the landscape somehow. You have really inspired me with this post! :)

  9. Just lovely! Joni, you're always showing us the most amazing things. And your super idea with the garden!!

    When I lived in Wales, there was an enclosed rose garden that Marian Davis (Hearst's mistress) planted in the castle's gardens. It was heavenly going in there with the overwhelming scents!

  10. Um, wow. I'll be looking at this post all week as I wait for the new snow we got today to melt. Thanks.

  11. Joni,

    Thanks for reminding us to "stop and smell the roses" especially yellow roses.

    We have an antique rose trellis which when it is in blossom, I will remember to send you a photo. When we bought our home, they were growing inside.
    Your picture is up, head on over and take a look!


  12. Oh, how lovely! Thank you, Joni, for bringing such lovely gardens to your viewers. At 61, I'm now in a condo and miss the lovely garden, yard I once had but now enjoy a wonderful indoor garden! The photos remind me of the many years I spent gardening,but, alas, life has its seasons too! Love your diverse blog so very much and appreciate the great effort you make in bringing such interesting topics, photos.

  13. Hi! Thanks for all the comments.

    And To Anonymous = thank you so much for such kind words - comments like yours make blogging all worth while. Thanks again so very much!!


  14. HI Joni!
    These roses are wonderful. My mom used to have a very large rose garden with about 75 bushes that I helped her plant and tend. I still have some scars from the thorns but it was very gratifying to work with them and then be able to bring cuttings inside to enjoy or share with friends as well. I still love nurseries and think that was an ingenious idea you had to buy the potted roses and then plant them outside your daughter's school. They are beautiful!!

  15. Joni:

    ...a woman after my own heart.
    What a lovely and inspiring post.
    I have a small backyard and have planted 5 rose bushes there over the years. I always go for the more fragrant type...They add so much to life. I also planted a butterfly bush and I get lots of beautiful humming birds and butterflies all the time...You remind me how much I truly love gardening...Only wish I had the Texas weather... Fay

  16. I'm lost for words, such beauty!

  17. Joni,
    You make me feel as if I'm there! Wish I were for real.

  18. so beautiful. as a resident of the City of Roses (Portland, OR) i most heartily approve. i especially love that windmill with the roses a climbing up. wonderful and most inspiring.

  19. What a wonderful idea that you had to gift the roses to the school. They look just beautiful!

  20. I have always wanted to be there for the show at Round Top and to see this lovely place too...well, what a true delight! We were stationed in TX near the beginning of Bill's career and I would so love to get back and see it all again. Thank you for sharing this with us!
    Stunning photos!


  21. Just discovered your blog and thank you so much for the beautiful pictures of the Antique Rose Emporium. I've bought several roses from them and always wondered how the nursery looked. It's much grander than I expected. Thanks for sharing.

  22. he Antique Rose Emporium is a favorite spot...especially on a sunny day!

  23. How incredibly beautiful those antique roses are. Lucky you to be so close to such a wonderful place!

  24. I just adore the yellow brick road and the flower pot cemetery. You know me, I gravitate to the funny bone side of things.

  25. Joni, what a lovely place! You are fortunate to live in such a fun and beautiful area. I will definitely put this on my TX "to do" list!

  26. What beauty! Love those roses. Thanks Joni!


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