“Spring is one of the best times of the year for us in terms of business,” RCW Manager Mary Cummings said. “People start spending more time outdoors again and start getting excited about their gardens again.”

RCW opened in 1979 as a backyard operation at the house of co-founder Tom Williamson. Today, the 4-acre shop, located on the corner of Beltway 8 and Hwy. 249, continues to thrive under the ownership of David Williamson and Doris Scutt. Road construction along Hwy. 249 has posed some challenges to business, but the loyal customer base has kept it afloat, Cummings said.

RCW’s stock includes more than 150 trees and more than 50 types of large shrubs as well as decorative flowers, herbs and vegetable plants. The company sources products as locally as possible, said Cummings, who has been at RCW for 11 years. Most trees are grown at a 50-acre tree farm in Plantersville, she said.

“That also ensures we are only selling plants that we know are conducive to Texas weather,” Cummings said. “If a plant needs special care, we let customers know before buying.”

Decorative landscaping items and lawn ornaments are made mainly in the USA. Fertilizers and yard chemicals are made by Texas companies.

Staffers at RCW are in the process of developing a seminar series of educational classes for customers. Classes, which generally take place on weekends, focus on gardening techniques, seasonal tips, and lessons on grooming and taking care of plants.

“Right now, we just schedule them when we can, but we hope one day it’s something we’re doing every weekend,” Cummings said.

RCW Nurseries The owners keep a variety of exotic rescued birds on-site on display for customers.[/caption]

Birds on-site

One of the most distinct aspects of RCW Nurseries is the exotic rescue birds that have been housed on-site by the owners since the company’s founding. The staff works with the pet store Adventures in Birds to take in birds that were abandoned. While taking care of the birds—including cockatoos, parakeets, lovebirds and a Hahn’s McCaw—the owners keep them on-site for customers to view and interact with while exploring the grounds.

RCW Nurseries RCW offers high-end landscaping decorations, most of which are made in the U.S.[/caption]

“It was something that started out as a hobby and got out of hand,” Manager Mary Cummings said. “We had the space, so we just kept them around. Their singing helps cover up the sound of the freeway, which is a nice benefit.”

Plant list

RCW offers hundreds of plants for landscaping and home decor. Below is a broad overview of what can be found. The full list of available species can be found on the RCW website.

  • Trees of varying heights, widths, and light and water requirements

  • Shrubs of varying sizes, including more than 50 types of large shrubs

  • Decorative flowers for both indoor and outdoor purposes, including a large rose selection

  • Vegetables and herbs including a range of spices and cooking ingredients, including organic options

Landscaping services

In addition to its retail services, RCW Nurseries offers landscaping design and consultation services to customers through certified nursery professionals, including:

  • On-site consultation

  • Simple design plan with suggested plants and materials

  • Plant inspection

  • Recommended curative treatments

  • Suggested fertilization schedules

  • Determining site exposure and drainage characteristics