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3600 W. Alabama St., Houston, TX 77027, United States

This is Houston's version of the sort of rural compound you might find in Tuscany or Provence, an enchanting oasis that includes a nursery, home and garden shop, and café (Tiny Boxwood's), all in one. Two blocks west, look for the punning handmade sign, which changes daily ("Wisteria Were Here" read one recent advertisement), then step into the rustic stone building that houses the white-washed, crystal-laden store. Out in the nursery, fragrant lavender grows along gravel paths and in great earthenware olive-oil jars placed near outdoor pavilions, which provide cover for shade-loving plants. Sit indoors or out to sample the excellent ciabatta, baguettes, and thin-crust pizzas that bake in the café's wood-fired oven.

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Thompson + Hanson

This is Houston's version of the sort of rural compound you might find in Tuscany or Provence, an enchanting oasis that includes a nursery, home and garden shop, and café (Tiny Boxwood's), all in one. Two blocks west, look for the punning handmade sign, which changes daily ("Wisteria Were Here" read one recent advertisement), then step into the rustic stone building that houses the white-washed, crystal-laden store. Out in the nursery, fragrant lavender grows along gravel paths and in great earthenware olive-oil jars placed near outdoor pavilions, which provide cover for shade-loving plants. Sit indoors or out to sample the excellent ciabatta, baguettes, and thin-crust pizzas that bake in the café's wood-fired oven.