Exploring Magnolia, Texas, with Root & Roux: A Passion for Gardening and Local Business

In this video, we interview Melanie Luttrell, the owner of Root & Roux. Melanie is your ultimate source for all things gardening in Zone 9, here in Houston! Harvesting everything on her farm, she embodies her motto, “It all starts with a seed,” and passionately shares her knowledge with the community. From testing new flower varieties to sharing her progress and even her failures, she will inspire and educate you with her gardening expertise. Join us as we interview her about her family-run micro-flower farm and online garden company.


A Nostalgic Journey in Magnolia Texas

Erica: Today on Discover Magnolia Texas, we are interviewing Melanie, who is the owner of Root and Roo, and we’re going to see what her business is all about.

Erica: Melanie, thank you so much for having us out here today. I am so excited to share what is pretty much a new business for you out here, and we’ll get into that, but first of all, you have a long history here in Magnolia.

Melanie: I remember the first time I came out here; it was dirt roads and Indigo Lakes. Some of my favorite memories are of the barbecue Hut when it was right on the railroad tracks, Magnolia, and there was like a hot dog burger place right on the railroad tracks, or that there’s like a strip of grass that used to all be shops and restaurants. I definitely appreciate Old Magnolia.

Erica: Now that you have your own family, you have your own kids here, and they’re growing up going to private school. But in the area, do they help you at all with your business?

Melanie: Addie, my daughter, and my son could carry less about being outside, but I have an older son too, and he’s actually just now getting into gardening, which I think is awesome; it’s like it makes my heart better.

A Passion Passed Down

Erica: Whether they’re actually involved or not, just as you said, your oldest son is now starting to get into it, so that influence was there from an early age because of your love and passion for gardening, but your love and passion for gardening actually started when you were very little?

Melanie: Yes, as far as I can remember, my hands were in the dirt. Both sets of my grandparents gardened, and I remember being five years old when my dad’s dad, my grandpa, just passed away last year. I loved to help him in the garden so much when I was a kid. They lived in Louisiana, and I would go spend my Summers there. He built me a little flower bed in the backyard, and he’d like to do woodwork, so he made a little sign that said Mel’s garden. Every time I would go spend the summer there, the first day I would get there, he would take me to the nursery so I could pick out my plants to plant in that garden, and I could watch them bloom throughout the summer.

Until I had to go back home, he would send me pictures of what he had planted throughout the rest of the year. I just thought it was so neat, and when I moved into this house, I’ve moved many times since then, but when I settled here and my grandpa came to visit for the first time, he brought me that sign, and I was like, “Oh wow, that means this is like my forever home,” because my grandpa uprooted my sign and brought it here.

Root & Roux: Where Gardening Meets Education

Erica: So out of this passion, you recently started your own small business.

Melanie: Yes, so I’ve always gardened on a very large scale, just out of passion, but it was this last year when I took the leap to turn it into a business. Right now, we just have an online store, but I really just want to bring education to locals about what they can grow and what’s deer-resistant. I always get asked, “What can I plant in my yard that the deer won’t eat?” We have seeds, and the only seeds we’re selling are things that can grow here. Yes, they can grow in other places around the United States, but I am not informed about those places.

If you know, you can order them online. I know for a fact that the seeds that I offer grow well here. So we do sell seeds. We also just sell other products that I love that are non-toxic for the home. Things that are more environmentally friendly: I love to compost, so I even have compost bins for your kitchen that you can carry out to your house if you like to compost. I have all kinds of things that are either for the Garden or from the garden on the website.

Erica: And on the website, they’re able to go and kind of see the different flower varieties that you have available as well, if they want to do a fresh-cut or something like that?

Melanie: Yes!

Erica: Awesome, and so let’s talk about some of the different varieties of flowers that grow here that you have in your garden.

Blooming Beauties

Melanie: Right now we have zinnias blooming, we have delphiniums, and we have gladiolas. They’re not blooming yet, but they’re about to, and you can see that they actually produce this long stock that looks like a hair braid, like a French braid, and right now they’re in that stage of a braid, and within the next week or two they’ll be blooming. I have something called Veronica that I didn’t grow from seed; I bought it as a seed start just to test if it grew here. I have never grown Veronica in my life, but it’s actually growing really well. It’s one of the things that’s fully blooming right now.

I also have a very large tomato garden, and we’re testing out nine different varieties of tomatoes to see what grows best. We have a very large area where we seed starts, and that’s what’s basically blooming right now.

Embracing Education and Interaction in Magnolia

Erica: So Melanie, if people want to take a look at all of the different things that you have to offer on the educational side, you have a Blog on your website, correct? So what is your URL?

Melanie: It’s rootandroux.com

Erica: And you’re also on Instagram; how can they find you there?

Melanie: Instagram, Facebook: Root, and Roux for everything; I’m very active. I just had someone this morning send me a direct message on Instagram asking about how to grow Iris. They couldn’t get their Iris to bloom, and they’re in this area. I just posted a picture of an Iris Bloom that I had, and I always responded. I love answering gardening questions. Yes, I’m a busy person, but that’s the thing that I love talking about, so I love having that interaction with people and teaching them things in order for them to enjoy that in their yard too.

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