Native Texas Plants : Donna’s Story
Way back in 1986, Donna was an avid gardener and had been reading a lot about perennials. She was unable to find many perennials at local garden centers. Then she read the book called “Native Texas Plants” by Sally Wasowski, and became very excited about native plants.
She started thinking, “If I am searching for perennials and native plants, I’ll bet there are others that want them, too.” So the idea for a nursery selling native plants was born.
She expected this native idea to catch on quickly, just as she was sure organics were going to be immediately popular. It took a little longer than she thought, but they are finally becoming more accepted by the gardening public.
The First Location
Eager to bring TX natives and organic gardening to Houston, Donna Buchanan and her sister, Virginia DeCamp opened Buchanan’s first location in 1986, located at 111 Heights Blvd. next to Heights Station Antiques and Hickory Hollow restaurant.
They started by selling natives, perennials, herbs, antique roses…and even Christmas trees!
All Green Nursery
In 1989, Virginia and Donna got an offer they couldn’t refuse – to buy a little “mom & pop” nursery in Southeast Houston on Telephone Road called All Green Nursery.
Since it had been around for about 40 years with an established clientele, they saw it as an opportunity to learn how to run a real nursery. Part of the package included a tractor, a dump truck and two long-time employees, Frank Ramos and Salvador Saavedra.
Salvador is still with us — a loyal and trusted employee!
Preparation for the Move
As time went on, Donna and her sister felt they needed more space. That’s when they found the location that you know and love as Buchanan’s!
Notice the building in the background?That’s the Bungalow — in 1992!
In this photo from 1992, Donna’s sister, Virginia, is posing with the surveyor’s tripod as they were buying the property at 611 E 11th Street.
The sisters continued to run two stores for the next 5 years until they sold All Green in 1994. They had just moved Buchanan’s store from Heights Blvd. to 11th Street and they wanted to concentrate on one, bigger, better location.
This is the old, old Ford tractor we inherited from All Green Nursery.
One Sunday morning we drove it from Telephone Road to the Heights so we could load soil & mulch for Heights customers. We had a dump truck, too, and Salvador and I would do deliveries — I drove and he would direct me to make sure I dumped it in the right place. Eventually, I insisted Salvador get a drivers license so he could do deliveries himself.
Zach & Heather
Zach, Donna’s son, and his wife Heather took over day to day operations. The two stepped into the position with two goals in mind: continue the legacy Donna put in place and find ways to make Buchanan’s continuously grow to accommodate modern gardeners. You can find the dynamic duo among the tropicals in our greenhouse, or walking around with their daughters Ella and Alice.