Harmony Farm Supply, Forestville, CA
My favorite nursery of all. Bare root fruit trees in winter, roses, trees, shrubs, perennials, annual flowers, large selection of vegetable seedlings, farm supplies, quality tools, houseplants, irrigation supplies, bulk seeds, fertilizers, water tanks, trellis. A good selection of useful gardening books as well.
Urban Tree Farm, Fulton CA
Huge place with mostly trees and shrubs, some perennials. Requires help from staff to get plants. Not a quick trip, but essential if you are looking for, say, a quantity of trees for landscaping.
Kings Nursery, Santa Rosa CA
A charming small nursery with inspiring landscaping and other plants. Perfect for Santa Rosa gardens. Don’t miss the section in the back. It’s just fun to go there.
Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, Occidental CA
Great vegetable seedling sales, often with unique selections not available elsewhere. Ecologically-oriented. Inspiring garden tours. Not open to public except during plant sale days. Classes. See website.
Emerisa Gardens, Santa Rosa, CA
Has both a retail and wholesale nursery. Mostly perennials. Friendly and helpful staff. Good selection of plants appropriate for growing in Sonoma County.
California Flora Nursery (aka CalFlora) Fulton, CA
It’s just a great nursery run by great people. Focused on CA natives and habitat plants.
Cottage Gardens, Petaluma, CA
Hidden away up a hill off of Petaluma Blvd N, it’s a fun destination with plenty of urban landscaping trees, shrubs, perennials, roses, clematis, citrus, and with a good selection of the strong metal trellises we like.
Sonoma Horticultural Nursery,
now called Hidden Forest Nursery, Sebastopol CA
Locals know and love this magical nursery and appreciate the decades of love and attention poured into it by some truly dedicated gardeners. See the story in the About menu, then go on to explore their plants. This is a place worth going to as a destination in itself. You’ll almost need a treasure map to find it. Be respectful and drive slow through the quiet, secluded neighborhood to get there. Once at the nursery, give yourself plenty of time to explore the paths, the pond, the little surprise sanctuaries you find along your way. Maybe bring a sack lunch in case it’s still OK to have a quiet picnic along the pond, and of course bring a vehicle big enough for the plants you’ll want to get. A dream garden and nursery.
Favorite Gardening Books
There have been shelves and shelves full of gardening books over the years. These are a handful of essentials.
The Sunset Western Garden Book
The bible of western gardening and the most frequently used on my shelf. Currently in 9th edition. If I could only have one garden book, it would be this one.
Rodales Basic Organic Gardening, A Beginners Guide to Starting a Healthy Garden, Deborah Martin
I don’t have this particular version, but Rodales is an old name in gardening books and this would be a great book for beginning gardeners.
The Compete Gardener, Monty Don
I only discovered the English gardener Monty Don about a year ago, and immediately felt a kindred spirit. He’s written several books and does a TV show. Despite being a TV personality, he’s someone who actually gets their hands dirty and I’ve gleaned some great tips from his book and show. Of course, our soils and climate are different here in western U.S. but there is much to be learned from him anyway. I’m jealous watching him plant in rich loam with summer rains and no gophers. 😉
Edible Landscaping, Rosalind Creasy
Ever notice how most gardens are flowers plus landscaping OR a vegetable garden? Why? Vegetables can be pretty.
Golden Gate Gardening, by Pam Peirce
Great resource especially for those gardening in the fog-zone of the California Bay Area. Lots of great info.
Northern California Gardening: A Month-by-Month Guide, by Katherine Grace Endicott
Helpful when you are thinking: “What should I be doing now?”
Some other favorite gardening and related books:
Pruning and Training by Christopher Brickell and David Joyce
This book sits by my reading chair all winter during dormant pruning season.
Gardening Without Work: for the aging, the busy and the indolent, by Ruth Stout ~ Thank you Ruth Stout!
Earth User’s Guide to Permaculture, Rosemary Morrow
Rosemary Gladstar’s Family Herbal: A Guide to Living Life with Energy, Health, and Vitality by Rosemary Gladstar, or any of her other books.
The Backyard Beekeeper, by Kim Flottum
Keeping Food Fresh, Claude Aubert
The Beginners Guide to Preserving Food at Home: Easy Instructions for Canning, Freezing, Drying, Brining, and Root Cellaring Your Favorite Fruits, Herbs, and Vegetables by Janet Chadwick
Home Cheese Making, Ricki Carroll
100 Old Roses for the American Garden, Clair G. Martin