Last night I had an impromptu dinner with clients (now friends!) at the lovely estate property we found for them a couple ofyears ago near the Laguna de Santa Rosa, in the heart of the Russian River Appellation.
I remarked how fabulous the landscaping looked, particularly the new raised beds they added. The perennial garden. lavendars and olive trees were looking really lush and healthy. And of course the four acres of vines are happily heading towards the harvest a few months from now.
With ten acres total and a green thumb or two, one is always open to collecting new plant treasures. But where to find them? My client bemoaned the plant choices she saw at the big box and hardware stores.
You mean you don’t know about Emerisa Gardens Retail Nursery I cried? I have made several good friends by frequenting them, and learned enough about a lot of plants to be dangerous! Every once in a while I go by for a good plant fix! Emerisa’s retail nursery in NW Santa Rosa is only open from March through October, but it is a great place to learn about and see interesting perennials, grasses and interesting plants for both sun and shade. Their demonstration garden shows you what the plants look like when full grown and the STAFF are incredibly knowledgeable and very helpful. Chances are, if you hire a landscaper, they buy a good portion of their plants on the wholesale side. They have whimsical pots and garden “objet” plus very good gardening gloves too!
And what about Harmony Farm Supply nursery? Besides a really nice and thorough nursery near Graton in West Sonoma County, including a great selection of bare root trees and berries in winter, Harmony is where you might find me picking up the spare irrigation parts that always seem to be needed, even though my collection in the garden shed is growing! Also very helpful staff and a good selection of veggie starts and various soil amendments and garden tools. Plus they install solar systems! I have learned more than i ever thought I would about drip irrigation in the aisles of Harmony Farm Supply.
And little Fulton, California is home to two of the best nurseries you will ever find. Cal Flora and Urban Tree Farm. Cal Flora specializes in native plants and has some incredibly passionate people working there (including one of my clients!). Urban Tree Farm is ENORMOUS and has acres and acres of every type and size of tree imaginable, plus other plants as well.
And how about Sonoma Horticultural Nursery? Sonoma Hort as locals say? Acres and acres of stunning azaleas, camellias and rhodoendrons, many very rare varieties. A truly beautiful place to visit and picnic too!
And then there is Western Hills Garden just outside Occidental. It is only open one day a week and there is a charge to view the ten acre site but it is worth it. Saved by volunteers, it is really a labor of love and home to many rare perennials. Worth a trip!
I could go on and on–it is not hard to see why Luther Burbank thought of Sonoma County as horticultural paradise1 A lot of other folks do as well. We grow more than grapes here! Let me know your favorite nurseries!
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