In particular, this post since I’ve been East Baying it lately…
RE: and now, nurseries and gardens worth visiting in Northern Cal
Posted by: mich_in_zonal_denial (My Page) on Tue, May 3, 05 at 11:37
I predominately purchase my plants through wholesale nurseries but on frequent occasion I have to run into a retail nursery to pick up one of this or two of that.
I also work primarily in the Marin area so I have come to know all the various retail nurseries in this area and many in the East Bay and Sonoma counties.
For sheer horticultural variety and volume of their grounds , Magic Gardens and Berkeley Hort are my long term favorites.
The Dry Garden comes in second, only because he does not have the space that Magic or Berk Hort has ., but Richard ( Dry Garden ) does have a knack for ordering the rare horticultural gem that no one else has the talent or knowledge to pick plants off a wholesalers availability list.
Marin is somewhat barren when it comes to super great nurseries, We have Sloats , that depending on the individual management , it can be Ok to pretty good, but it is never great. And we have the new kid on the block, Armstrong, which is also just OK.
Sunnyside does a very good job , as does Bayside in Tiburon , but still the horticultural aptitude of the Marin buyers is just not here as it is in the East Bay.
I will mention Green Jeans, but only because they have the absolute worst customer service and piss poor attitude in all of the Western United States and their prices are stupidly high .
In Sonoma I think the crown jewel of beautifully styled nurseries is Cottage Garden Growers in Petaluma. They have a nice selection of plants that are extremely well groomed . They order in some unusual plants , but again, they don’t have the horticultural prowess that the East Bay Nurseries do.
Emerissa is excellent for 4 inch size perennials. They reign supreme in that realm.
Western Hort (think he meant Western Hills, which is reportedly closing) is wonderful, but it is not a fully stocked nursery , but certainly you can find the rarest of the rare , but only in limited amounts and at certain times of year when they can order it in from the wholesalers or if they have propagated it themselves.
With gasoline being so expensive, I would economize and drive over to the East Bay and visit Berkeley Hort, The Dry Garden and Magic Gardens to get the biggest bang for my horticultural spending dollar.