Antiquarian & Florabunda

In the Log Cabin on B Street, Duncans Mills
Open Wed-Mon 11-5
A sweet little mini-nursery with interesting niche plants to suit our unique situations – deer & gopher resistant, drought, coast and shade-tolerant plants a specialty. Lots of Succulents!

Attune Landscape Nursery

4577 Hall Rd., Santa Rosa
WHOLESALE – Come see what we have growing to support your landscape business.

Aztec Dahlias

Kate Rowe & Omar Duran
Retail & Wholesale
2478 East Washington St., Petaluma
Open Tues-Sun 10–5, June to Oct: Plants, Tubers, Fresh Cut Flowers
We grow 400 varieties of dahlias and sell quality plants, tubers and cut flowers locally. We sell direct to public at our farm stand and specialize in event and wedding orders. Tubers can be ordered on our website and shipped nationwide.

Bamboo Sourcery Nursery & Gardens

666 Wagnon Rd, Sebastopol
Open Tue-Sat 9-4, Appointments recommended.
Beautiful gardens featuring an extensive selection of over 200 clumping and running bamboos. You will find bamboos for every microclimate and application, from privacy screens to ornamental highlights. Bamboo Sourcery offers expert consultation, installation and delivery as well as bamboo poles, barrier, tools and educational materials. Bamboo can be a well-behaved and delightful addition to your garden!

Bennett Valley Gardens

2780 Yulupa Ave, Santa Rosa
Open daily 9-6.
Perennials, bedding plants, succulents, houseplants, soils and amendments— as well as beautiful pots to grow them in!

California Carnivores

2833 Old Gravenstein Hwy, Sebastopol
Thu-Mon 10-4
The widest variety of carnivorous plants in the United States.

California Flora Nursery

2990 Somers St, Fulton
Hours vary by season.
A small unconventional nursery devoted to natives and habitat gardening with an exceptional diversity of offerings. Most plants are propagated and grown on site since 1981.

Central Valley Garden Center

1100 Vintage Ave, St. Helena
Providing you with the best plants, pottery, fountains, statuary, outdoor furniture, tools and knowledge. Because we know how much pride you take in your gardening. From annuals to perennials, citrus trees to berries, grasses and bamboos and so much more, when you need that special thing to make your garden flourish, stop in at our Garden Center.

Cloverdale Nursery

216 S. Cloverdale Blvd, Cloverdale
Open 7 Days a Week 9-5pm Mon-Sat & 10-5 Sun.
Beautiful plants and careful design in the relaxed atmosphere that is Cloverdale California. We are a retail nursery and boutique gift store located in northern Sonoma County. Owned and run by three passionate horticulturists, we are honored to share what we know and love with you. Join us for our 3rd Annual Spring Celebration March 17 – 20 and enter to win a $200 Gift Certificate!

Cottage Gardens

3995 Emerald Dr, Petaluma
Open Everyday 9-5
Established in 1991, we grow almost 80% of what we sell in our 2+ acre growing grounds. We never use bloom-forcing chemicals or growth regulators. From seasonal-appropriate vegetable starts through our extensive perennial, vine and fruit trees. We are specialty growers focusing on Perennials, Roses, Clematis, Rhododendrons, Grasses, Succulents and Edibles.

Daylilies Grown by Judy Olsen

12421 Occidental Rd, Sebastopol
Call before you come. Home grown and propagated plants. Lilies in every color and size. 

Deer Meadow Bonsai

3700 Deer Meadow Ln, Occidental
Bonsai trees (cedars, junipers, apples and pears), custom pottery and containers as well as related materials. By Appointment only. 

Emerisa Gardens

555 Irwin Ln, Santa Rosa
March 1st thru November 19th
Tue-Sat 9-5, Sun 10-4, Closed Monday
The nursery at Emerisa Gardens has been supplying local gardeners since 1996.
We are family owned and grow on site over 2000 varieties of hardy and unusual perennials, herbs, grasses, shrubs, roses, clematis, phormiums, succulents and more! We also carry a wide selection of soils, gloves, gift items and Talavera pottery. Our knowledgeable staff is always here to help you with all your gardening needs. We look forward to seeing you at the nursery!

Enchanting Sweet Peas

Order online more than 40 Varieties of Gorgeous, Fragrant Sweet Pea Flower Seeds.

Friedman’s Home Improvement

4055 Santa Rosa Ave, Santa Rosa
1360 Broadway, Sonoma
429 North McDowell Blvd, Petaluma
M-F 6-8, Sat 7-7, Sun 8-7
A locally owned home improvement center offering a wide variety of gardening and nursery supplies, as well as a broad selection of plant material and tools for your gardening needs. Our knowledgable staff is available to assist you.

Gaddis Nursery, Inc

3050 Piner Rd. Santa Rosa
Committed to growing quality bedding plants for you and your customers’ needs, we value your business. Wholesale Only 
Established in 1926, Gaddis Nursery is a family owned, multi-generational business. Members of CLCA, Sonoma County Farm Bureau and SCGGA, we support our local trade businesses.

Garden Delights Nursery

2115 Adobe Road Petaluma
707-775-5008 – email website
See us on Facebook
Garden Delights Nursery is a rare plant and specialty grower, including fruit trees and edibles. We feature and grow small size plant starts. Unusual trees (Japanese maples, dogwoods, and more), blooming shrubs (repeat blooming azaleas, unusual camellias, etc), fruit trees, drought tolerant and native plants, perennials, and cut flowers are available in season (veggies and fruits too!). Special orders are encouraged.We have monthly garden talks on various garden subjects such as care, planting, pruning, and new plant selections, easy to grow and low maintenance plants.  We also offer landscape consultations.

Garden Valley Ranch

498 Pepper Rd, Petaluma
The nursery specializes in the highest quality bare root (seasonal) and potted roses. We sell cut garden roses May – October. Amazingly beautiful location – weddings on-site.

Garrett Ace Hardware

1340 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg
10540 Old Redwood Hwy, Windsor
We’re more than just a hardware store! With two locations, open 7 days a week: Expanded Garden and Outdoor Living Centers. Our newly expanded garden centers have a large selection of unique and hard to find plants, locally grown bedding plants and organic heirloom vegetable starters. Our selection of patio furniture and outdoor accessories will help transform any outdoor space.

Greenman Nursery

2833 Old Gravenstein Hwy, (West of Todd Rd.), Sebastopol
Open Fri.-Mon. 10am – 5pm (Tue.-Thurs. CALL ahead)
Old-school organically grown fruit trees, berries, grapes, herbs, and vegetable starts including over 50 varieties of hot & sweet pepper plants. Antique roses, succulents, grasses, water plants, natives, shade and flowering trees and many large, unique specimens. Full service landscape nursery offering consultation, design, and installation. Display gardens and growing grounds. Kid and dog-friendly!

Grow Gardens Nursery

1841 Gravenstein Hwy S, Sebastopol
Tues-Sun 10-5, Closed Mondays
Our focus is the home gardener. We offer a wide plant selection including house plants, fruit trees, vegetables, berry plants, camellias, trees & shrubs, vines annuals and perennials,  and hanging baskets.

Guerneville – Fulton Ace Hardware

2551 Guerneville Rd, Santa Rosa
Mon–Sat 7-7, Sun 8–6
Find us on Facebook.
If you like local, you’ll like that our plant buyer of 18 years goes to all the local nurseries for the best selection of locally grown veggie starts and flowering plants for sale all year. Our newly renovated store offers garden tools, supplies and soil amendments.

Hallberg Butterfly Gardens

8687 Oak Grove Ave, Sebastopol
By Appt. Wed-Sun, April-October
Open Garden Sunday, June 17, 2018 10-4 Historic wildlife garden. Docents, butterfly/bird sightings; informational displays, self-guided tours; children’s activities; plant and book sales. Price: Free!  Butterfly Gardens is currently seeking docents and volunteers. Please call Leah @ 707-591-6967 if interested!

Harmony Farm Supply & Nursery

3244 Hwy. 116 N, Sebastopol
Open Daily
We’ve been growing Certified Organic vegetable starts for over 20 years. Tomatoes, Peppers, Leafy Greens, Brassicas, and many many more.  In addition, to one of the largest selections of bare-root fruit trees in Northern California (December/January), we offer a broad variety of edible, native, and drought-tolerant plants. From colorful annuals the pollinator-supporting perennials, we have plants for sun and shade, soil amendments, seeds in bulk or by the packet in both common and heirloom varieties. Come visit and browse our two-acre facility, and speak with one of our talented and knowledgeable staff.

Harmony Farm Supply & Nursery

3244 Gravenstein Hwy North, Sebastopol
We offer a fantastic variety of edibles, drought tolerant and native plants. Come visit and talk with our knowledgeable staff to create your specific micro-climate successes. Pottery, tools, seeds, soil, and gopher controls, plus great gift ideas as well. Need your soil tested and analyzed? We can do that.  Attend one of our workshops or just come in and browse our two-acre facility. We’d love to chat about your project.

Imwalle Gardens

685 W 3rd St, Santa Rosa
Mon-Sat 8-5, Sun 10-4:00
Locally grown vegetables and fruits in season. Specializing in vegetable bedding plants.

Jungle Bamboo, Palms & Olives

503 W Railroad Ave, Cotati
Mon-Fri 8-4:30  Sat by Appointment
50 bamboo varieties on 6 acres, including both Palm trees and Olive trees.  We make it easy for you to get the very best plant materials at the lowest price anywhere. Deliveries and consultations.

Kings Nursery

1212 13th St, Santa Rosa (on the corner of 13th & Stewart)
Open daily 9-5 [extended seasonal hours]
Flower nursery featuring award-winning roses, 75+ varieties of sweet-peas, custom color-pots and baskets, flower bulbs, peonies, and a large variety of seasonal plants and garden decor. Established 1896.

Landscapes Unlimited, Inc.

4330 Bodega Ave, Petaluma
Open M-F 8-5
Sun to shade, an excellent resource for landscapers and small nurseries. Plants grown here are well suited to the California garden. Beautiful and healthy plants for public and private landscaping projects.

Lavendar Bee Farm

764 Chapman Lane, Petaluma
(707) 789-0554 or
Open by Appointment
Our family honey farm has over 5,000 lavender plants and multiple bee hives. Our farm is chem-free; no pesticides or chemical fertilizers, for the health of our bees, plants, and you! We sell both honey and lavender products and have a bee swarm removal service. We also invite you to book your summer wedding ceremony on our beautiful 3 acre farm!

Lone Pine Gardens

6450 Lone Pine Rd, Sebastopol
Thu-Sat 10-5
Specializes in Bonsai, Cacti, Succulents, and unusual Ornamentals. Rock garden accent plants. Wholesale & retail.

Luther Burbank Experiment Farm – Gold Ridge

7777 Bodega Ave, Sebastopol
Plant sales every Weds 9-12. Accessed through Burbank Heights and Orchards. Open all year for self-guided tours . Docent-led tours: call to reserve, 707-827-3203. Love plants and gardens? Volunteers are always needed for all phases of gardening, administration and cottage housekeeping help. Come any Wednesday morning to check out our friendly crew. Open House April 29 & 30, 10 AM — 4 PM.

Lynn’s Lavender & Lotsmore

3335 Harrison Grade Rd, Sebastopol
Enjoy the beauty and fragrances of certified organic fresh lavender and herbs. Find lovely succulents for hard-to-grow areas in your garden. Decorate with our unique garden treasures and vintage finds. Explore our farm, drying shed, production barn, and Garden & Gift Shop at Tanuda Ridge Vineyard, corner of Graton and Tanuda Road, a mile east of the village of Occidental. And sign up for special events we have through the year!

Marca Dickie Nursery

PO Box 1270, Boyes Hot Springs
Open by appointment only. Specializing in Japanese maples – over 200 varieties. WHOLESALE ONLY

Mariposa Habitat Nursery

Northwest Santa Rosa
Jana Mariposa offers Landscape design and Consultation and is a Horticulturist with over 46 years of experience propagating, cultivating, and maintaining California Native and compatible Mediterranean plants in Sonoma County for her nursery.  She is available for consulting, design and contract growing habitat plants for hummingbirds butterflies and other beneficial insects, year-round flowers and always organic. Consider installing an edible and habitat hedgerow to create privacy and provide food for your family and many other inhabitants of our lovely county.

Momiji Nursery

2765 Stony Point Rd, Santa Rosa
Nothing but Japanese maples! Discover the largest Japanese maple collection, many rare, in the SF Bay Area. Available in sizes from 1-gallon thru 32” box. Since 1979, we’ve propagated and grown Japanese maples at our family-owned nursery in Santa Rosa. Open to the public; please check our website for hours.

Monster Gardens

235 Classic Court, Rohnert Park
We travel the world to discover the newest technologies in hydroponics. We strive to offer detailed and descriptive product information, unique and vast selections, unbeatable pricing, professional service, and prompt/discrete shipping to any location worldwide.

Mostly Natives Nursery

54 B Street, Point Reyes Station
Open Daily 10-5

Featuring CA natives, drought-tolerant species, vegetables, and herbs. Celebrating our first year anniversary in Pt. Reyes Station! Please call to check inventory.

Occidental Arts & Ecology Center

15290 Coleman Valley Rd, Occidental
707-874-1557 x101
Open: April through October, Fri-Sat-Sun, 10am-5pm
Tours of the Gardens: April-Oct every 1
st & 3rd Sunday of the month at 1pm.
The Occidental Arts & Ecology Center (OAEC) Nursery is 100% CCOF Organic and specializes in locally adapted food crops, medicinal and culinary herbs, and perennials for drought tolerant landscapes. Uniquely, we propagate rare varieties from seed and “mother plants” growing in our renowned on-site demonstration gardens.  All proceeds benefit our non-profit work to preserve bio-cultural biodiversity.

OLDIES & GOODIES! Organic Food and Flower Starts

Sebastopol, CA
We grow and sell CCOF-certified organic starts in 6packs and 4″pots: heirloom and also excellent hybrids:  lettuce, salad greens, kale, tomatoes, peppers, and more including edible flowers, selected for our area.  Call for open greenhouse days in May.
Retail outlets – beginning in March. Please call our message phone for beginning dates:
Andy’s Produce Market, Fircrest Market, Sebastopol Community Market, Sebastopol Hardware; possibly Santa Rosa Community Market

Peacock Horticultural Nursery

4296 Gravenstein Hwy S, Sebastopol
Thurs – Sun 10-4 or by appt.
CALL or TEXT 707-291-0547 before coming!
Unusual and hard-to-find plants, plus unique plants of rare beauty and interest. Check our web site for what’s in bloom and to follow our blog.

Pond & Garden Nursery

6225 Stony Point Rd @ Hwy 116, Cotati
Open daily 9-5, closed Wed
Full service nursery with an emphasis on ponds, dwarf conifers, koi and other pond dwelling fish and critters, pond supplies, pond cleaning and maintenance, and aquatic plants. We also carry books, garden art, misters and more. Like us on Facebook!

Prickett’s Nursery

5875 Sonoma Hwy, Ste “A” Santa Rosa
12950 Old Redwood Hwy, Healdsburg
Open Daily 9 – 5:30
Our 2 unique locations are bursting with annual & perennial color, shrubs & trees, beautiful roses, graceful grasses, succulents, organic vegetable starts, fruit trees, houseplants, pottery & statuary, garden decor, quality soil amendments and everything else you need to create & maintain a beautiful garden. Say hello to our resident hens & koi at our Healdsburg location!

Quarryhill Botanical Garden

12841 Sonoma Hwy, Glen Ellen
Open Daily 9-4
Sonoma Valley’s Quarryhill Botanical Garden is home to one of the largest collections of scientifically documented, wild-source Asian plants in North America and Europe, many of which represent ancestors of horticultural favorites found throughout the western world. The 25-acre wild woodland garden has grown into a world-renowned botanical institution, providing other botanical gardens, arboreta, researchers, conservationists, students, and the visiting public with living examples of the beautiful and threatened temperate flora of East Asia. Quarryhill is not only a modern-day ark of rare and beautiful plants, but also a place where education and conservation are at the heart of its mission and run as deep as the tranquil ponds and seasonal waterfalls that surround it. Entering its 31st  year, Quarryhill Botanical Garden is one of the most exotic and biologically diverse places in Sonoma Valley.


4650 Arlington Ave, Santa Rosa
Mon-Fri 7:30-5, Sat 7:30-4
Trees, shrubs, perennials & grasses. Our goal is to provide the highest quality plant material at competitive prices in an atmosphere of courtesy, respect and professionalism.

Rose & Thorn

10050 Bodega Hwy, Sebastopol. (Three miles west of Sebastopol.)

OPEN April 1st ~ January
Specializing in perennials, roses, and sedum. Garden furniture, pottery, wind chimes and more. Perfect for picnics and available for weddings.

Russian River Rose Co.

1685 Magnolia Dr, Healdsburg
April & May, Sat & Sun 10-5 and By Appointment.
The nursery is filled with beautiful roses, irises and perennials, all specially selected for the Northern California climate. Large Display Garden showcasing over 650 varieties of roses and 150 irises with stunning 500′ Rose Allee. Informative classes and demonstrations. Fragrant Perfume Rose Fields. Yours to enjoy! Check website for unique Rose Perfume Harvest Tours in April and May.

Sebastopol Hardware

660 Gravenstein Hwy N, Sebastopol
Mon-Sat 7-7, Sun 8-6
Annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs and organics, shrubs and succulents hand-selected for you from nurseries all over the area, along with expert advice, soil amendments, a huge selection of seeds, irrigation supplies & tools.

Skyview Nursery

Glenn Griess – Owner / Grower
Skyview Nursery is family owned and operated. We specialize in seasonal vegetable starts, herbs, succulents, fairy gardens, dahlias, blooming annuals and perennials. We are located at Santa Rosa Community Farmers’ Market at the Veterans Building Year Round (Wednesdays & Saturdays) and Windsor Certified Farmers Market April through December (Sundays).

Sonoma County Jail Industries

Sonoma County Jail Industries
Sonoma County Jail Plant Nursery
2254 Ordinance Rd, Santa Rosa
Open Tue-Fri 9-1 BY APPOINTMENT ONLY all year
2018 Spring Plant Sales: Sat. April 7 and Sat. May 5
All plants grown by inmates using compost and 100% of sales supports the Agricultural Vocational Education program. We also can build you an owl box, picnic table or planter box. *Checks or Cash only, No Credit or Debit Cards

Sonoma County ~ A Vintage Rose ‘Terroir’ Where can you buy fragrant, vintage roses?

Garden Valley Ranch fragrant vintage roses


By Jane Rogan Dwight

The rose is arguably the most poetic of flowers. It is the hallmark of Spring, bursting on the scene in April and May, boasting singular beauty and metaphorical richness in every phase, from youthful bud to mature bloom. Thorns protect it, fragrance and color attract insects who live in symbiotic relationship.

Of course, not all roses are created equal.

In Sonoma County, we are known for our passionate horticulturists. Our most famous horticulturist, Luther Burbank, cultivated “Joseph’s Coat” and the “Burbank” rose – among many other plant varieties. Burbank called Sonoma County “the chosen spot of all this earth.” Those who know their roses are familiar with Rayford Reddell’s legendary work at Petaluma’s Garden Valley Ranch.  At the height of his career, Reddell’s most fragrant roses attracted such celebrities as Princess Diana, Caroline Kennedy and Martha Stewart. Garden Valley Ranch is now owned and operated by Jessica and Justin Yau, a brother and sister team who acquired it a year ago from Mark Grim. The Garden Valley Ranch property has a long and interesting history dating back to the 1850s.

Further north, nestled in the well-traveled Russian River wine appellation just off Westside Road, Jan and Michael Tolmasoff have been growing some of the most fragrant roses in the world on some of the richest soil in California since 1976. The birth and growth of their garden business, Russian River Rose Company, is another captivating Sonoma County story.

I had the opportunity to visit with Jessica at Garden Valley Ranch and Jan at Russian River Rose Company, with a guest appearance by husband-Michael. Here is some information for our readers.

Garden Valley Ranch

Jessica answered the bell at her petit garden gate in tall muddy boots and a big floppy hat. She was watering; a job that takes hours on her five-acre ranch. White doves fly out of the bell tower and demand I look up to notice the mid-19th century farm buildings, small and large, in the center of what feels like an old Victorian town complete with train depot.

Garden Valley Ranch barn with white roses

Garden Valley Ranch barn with white roses

We walk past rows of 5-gallon bare root roses on our way to the potting room, a place that takes a page out of the Pottery Barn catalog: Sonoma County rustic-chic. Jessica offers me a cold Yerba Matte from the cooler and tells me about the antique building elements in the room. Wood planks from original buildings were recycled to make attractive shelves and tables. Drawings and water colors depicting the 1850s train depot are framed and hung. The natural, indirect light adds to an atmosphere where I could spend hours happily potting plants.

From there Jessica takes me to the Carriage House. It is a beautifully restored, 2-story building that seems to be made for Sonoma County event parties. The wide barn doors slide apart revealing a porch that overlooks an expanse of the front garden.

On this afternoon Jessica gives me the complete tour. We made our way to a lovely, Victorian-inspired bedroom suite, where brides can dress; and to the quaint train depot, where grooms may dress. The depot especially made me envious of a quality of life we no longer see in public transportation. The approach to the wedding gazebo is surrounded by what will be hundreds of fragrant white rose bushes in May. The secret garden behind the gazebo features arbors of climbing roses and an exquisite fountainhead from The City of Paris department store in San Francisco.  Set in the middle of one of the gardens behind the Carriage House, is a large, meandering koi pond.

Where have all the roses gone?

In her articulate, soft-spoken way, Jessica tells me about the declining fate of the American rose industry. She refers to a Washington Post story, published in February and written by Damien Paletta. It is subtitled, “How the rose trade lifted Columbia and nearly erased an American industry.”   Yes, Columbia. Once a thriving business in the U.S., mass rose cultivation moved to Bogota, Columbia in the 1980s. Infamous in the 1980s for the growth of violent drug cartels who shipped cocaine by the ton to the United States, the Columbia drug culture provided jobs, supported villages and infected North America with its products. In the effort to curb the drugs coming from Columbia, the Bush administration passed new trade laws to aid Columbia in starting up its own rose production. It was successful. These roses, the ones you buy in grocery stores, are being shipped by the millions to sate the American appetite for low priced bouquets (Damien Paletta, “In Rose beds, Money Blooms,”   The Washington Post; February 10, 2018.)

In case you haven’t noticed, or don’t know any better, the roses from Columbia are not fragrant. So, if it’s fragrance you’re missing in your bouquets, specialty roses from Garden Valley Ranch and Russian River Rose Company are two places to buy in Sonoma County.

Environmentally conscious growing

As Sonoma County rose farmers, both the Yaus and the Tomalsoff’s are deeply committed to natural, sustainable and pollinator-friendly practices. Both grow their roses outdoors without chemical pesticides or synthetic fertilizers [check with RRR].  The results of working in partnership with Mother Nature are stunningly beautiful, fragrant flowers.

The Garden Valley Ranch offers classes and special tours, family event days and an inspiring wedding venue. They will also sell cut rose stems and bouquets from the ranch. It is a beautiful, quick drive to the property, which is situated in your backyard, off Stony Point Road in north Petaluma.

Garden Valley Ranch field of roses

Garden Valley Ranch field of roses

Garden Valley Ranch – 498 Pepper Rd, Petaluma • (707) 795-0919 • Private tours and nursery pick-ups by appointment. Please email .
First Friday tours are open to the public at $10 per person.  The first tour is on Friday, May 4.

Russian River Rose Company

Russian River Rose American Pillar Rose

Russian River Rose American Pillar Rose

Refined culinary rose water, rose oils for perfume and the roses themselves are some of the fragrant products of Russian River Rose Company. Owner, collector and cultivator, Jan Tolmasoff, has taken time out of her busy day to talk to me. She is prepared. Everything about her open, welcoming personality, natural organization and clear-thinking is evident upon our meeting. She sets the table with charming, Victorian china, silver spoon and linen napkin. She gives me an option of teas, but I choose the rose tea (of course). Outside, a nursery worker is industriously arranging pots of roses and preparing beds for new layers of manure. Jan sees a bright blue, swallow-tailed butterfly hovering over her ‘bees and butterflies’ garden. She is ecstatic. Her clear, round, blue eyes emanate her personal passion for the stewardship of Russian River Rose Company she and her husband, Michael, have worked for 42 years.

When the Tolmasoff’s purchased the Healdsburg property in 1976, they knew they wanted to grow grapes. Pears and French Prunes were planted over 15 acres, but due to the high concentration of pesticides required to grow pears they made the decision to take them out. The hardy prunes stayed and produced for them. One day, using a $100 gift certificate she had from her Grandmother, Jan decided to buy and plant roses to beautify the vineyard. She poured over the catalog, “Roses of Yesterday and Today,” and found herself attracted to the vintage varieties not only for their beauty and fragrance, but for their stories. “Every rose came with a testimonial,” she tells me with a meaningful look. She purchased 15 roses and never looked back.

Russian River Rose Company now carries 650 varieties of roses and – Jan is excited to tell me – 150 varieties of Irises. She tells me about her roses, naming their names, the way one would speak of dear friends. The personalities and connections of her garden are as important to her as the blooms themselves. Jan chooses the varieties for their beauty, fragrance and versatile growing patterns. She also chooses them for how well they flourish in our Northern California climate.

Russian River Rose famous rose covered arches

Russian River Rose famous rose covered arches

The Bulgarian Damask Rose

Jan tells me about the trip she and Michael took to the famous Kazanlik, Bulgaria Rose Festival in 1996. There, in the Valley of Roses, horticulturists have been growing ultra -fragrant Damask roses for centuries. Production is extremely work intensive. The Damask rose blooms only once a season, and those blossoms must be picked immediately in the very early morning before the sun dries the fragrant oils in the petals. The perfumes made from Bulgarian rose oil have graced royalty throughout history; [For more information, go to –].

Michael Tolmasoff is a Chemical Engineer. Prior to their visit to Bulgaria, Michael became interested in learning to produce rose oil perfumes. He now produces small batches of rose oil and fragrances each season. RRR offers it for sale in their online store and at the garden. If you’re interested, buy soon. It sells out very quickly.

Mothers Day - Margie and Mike Wilson

Mothers Day – Margie and Mike Wilson

RRR Monthly, Seasonal Events

Almost every month of the year Jan features a different experiential workshop. May is a time for families and friends to experience the beauty of the garden – especially on Mother’s Day. Generations of families have been visiting RRR on Mother’s Day when blooms are everywhere. During Memorial weekend, Jan and Michael offer ‘tea and memories.’ People may write their wishes and tie them to the wishing tree. Jan then takes the wishes and buries them beneath the garden. In October the Tolmasoff’s host Bulgarian singers and offer their new batch of fragrance, which has been aging for 5 months. I am told there is tea and hand-cranked sorbet.

If you would like a unique experience full of beauty, be sure to consult Russian River Roses website to see what is happening during the year.

Russian River Rose Company –1685 Magnolia Dr., Healdsburg • (707) 433-7455 • Throughout the year Jan features a different workshop. May is a time to experience the beauty of the garden – especially Mother’s Day & Memorial weekend. In October the Tolmasoff’s host Bulgarian singers and offer their new batch of fragrance, aged for 5 months.


Sonoma Horticultural Nursery

3970 Azalea Lane, Sebastopol
Open all year. 9-5 Thu-Mon. Winter hours: 9-4.
World-class gardens and a horticulturally-rich nursery specializing in azaleas, rhododendrons, and rare plants for over 40 years. Plant selections in 2018 will be expanding to include edible, pollinator-attracting and other useful varieties.
Visitors welcome to tour the 8 acres of stunningly beautiful gardens in a forest sanctuary setting. There are over 1.5 miles of trails, a year-round creek, a spring-fed pond, a swamp, and many unusual trees, shrubs, and perennials. For groups of 10 or more people, reservations requested.

Sonoma Horticultural Nursery – A Hidden Gem in Sonoma County

Photo –

By Val Larsen

In 2003 a friend who knows I love gardens and gardening, introduced me to Sonoma Horticultural Nursery, a place of timeless beauty, jewel-toned clematis arbors and pathways that lead to a meadow, through groves of rhododendrons, unusual rare shade plants and an azalea and wisteria bordered pond.

Chinese Water Pine

Chinese Water Pine

There is another plant lover, who visited the gardens many years before and was also smitten by this place of magnificent and rare blooms and foliage. Mike Boss never forgot the gardens that touched more than the senses and wove their way into his heart. Not so very long ago, the 7.5 acre nursery was up for sale and Mike, with a leap of faith jumped in line, just behind the developers that were planning to do what developers do.   A year ago when the sale fell through for the developers, Mike was able to acquire the nursery. To his delight he discovered a collection of every type of redwood that exists today including the Bald Cypress, with ‘knees’ that pop up from the roots around the base of the trees, like so many tiny sculptures.

Every season in the garden brings visual delights. Spring’s dazzling flowers, summer’s cool, soothing green alcoves and fall’s spectacular foliage. Monet would have been happy here.

Like so many residents in coastal Sonoma County with limited sunshine, I am delighted by the selection of flowering shade plants at the nursery. On a recent visit, I couldn’t resist purchasing a perennial yellow bleeding heart vine. A little jewel that now lives in my own garden.  I was also surprised by the edible shade plants they are cultivating.

Sonoma Horticultural Garden Pond

Sonoma Horticultural Garden Pond

Mike manages the gardens with the help of a small caring staff who work hard to make sure this place will thrive and be accessible for the countless visitors who have come over the last fifty years and who will visit in the future. Mike’s vision of connecting people with nature includes ongoing workshops on gardening, ecology and the role plants play in our lives, as well as how plants can heal ourselves, our communities and our planet. There might even be some upcoming cooking classes that teach delicious ways to use edible plants. The second Sunday of every month is a volunteer day, which I am very excited to be a part of. It will be a treat to learn about the rare plants that grow in the gardens as well as knowing I am helping to preserve a hidden gem in Sonoma County.

Sonoma Horticultural Gardens
3970 Azalea Lane, Sebastopol, CA 95472

(707) 874-1057

Nursery hours: Thursday-Monday: 9am-5pm, Closed Tuesday and Wednesday

Winter hours: (Nov-Jan) 9am-3:30pm

Closed: Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Dec. 18 – Jan. 9

Sonoma Mission Gardens

851 Craig Ave, Sonoma
Nursery: 707-938-5775
Landscape: 707-938-5743
Mon-Sat 9-5:30, Sun 10-5:30, closed Tues
Over four acres of plants await you at Sonoma Mission Gardens, and we take pride in locating and acquiring rare and unusual specimens so that your garden can reflect your own particular interest. Our nursery is staffed by California Certified Nursery Professionals who can answer your questions, help solve problems, and provide advice to assist you

Sonoma Valley Wholesale Nursery

19655 Arnold Dr, Sonoma
707- 815-8600
Small, locally-owned wholesale nursery dedicated to the practice of growing landscape plants sustainably using ORMI approved fertilizer, no pesticides, insecticides or fungicides.  We specialize in plants and trees particularly suited to thrive in the California’s wet winters and long dry summers. Open to the public Tuesday and Saturday.’

Stumptown Nursery

15654 River Rd, Guerneville
Open Sun-Fri CLOSED Saturdays.
Carries a wide selection of garden amendments, annuals and perennials and shade tolerant plants.

Swede’s Feeds

9140 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood
Garden Art & Gifts. Soils, Garden Supplies, Organic Veggie & Herb Starts. Interesting selection of perennial & annuals 2”-5 gallon. Large selection of Wild Bird seed & supplies. Email:

Take a Walk on the Wild Side ~ Visiting California Carnivores

Damon co-owner of the Sebastopol nursery California Carnivores says he was attracted to carnivorous plants as a boy because they eat bugs.

By Jane Rogan

For those of us who watched too much Science Fiction as children, Carnivorous plants are like something from another planet. Triffids they may be! But true or false, they are being cultivated in Sebastopol for their singular beauty with a life-long dedication by the owners of California Carnivores.

Damon Collingsworth is a Sebastopol native and co-owner of the nursery with Peter D’Amato. They manage a sizable cultivation business, interact enthusiastically with the community and run an international online business. Damon says he was attracted to carnivorous plants as a boy because they eat bugs. Now he is passionate about their rare beauty, fascinated by their unique interpersonal relationship with nature and driven by the need to protect them from extinction.

There is something else. His fascination with carnivorous plants led Damon to the rain forest of Borneo where he lived with a tribal family in their hut. He ate what they eat [lots of fresh seafood]. He wore the clothing they wear. He learned about the forest and the tribe’s culture. Heavy rain pounded the tin roof all day and night, violent lightning provided the necessary carbon burn some of these plants need to thrive, thunder shook the forest. All became the daily norm.

He went native. When he returned home to California, with all its easy conveniences, he experienced the displacement many people feel after spending time so steeped in nature and removed from the Western mainstream. On his arm he shows me the tribal styled tattoo of a pitcher plant. It is part of who he is.

Before he left for Borneo, Damon developed a mentoring friendship with Peter – the Godfather of carnivorous plants. Peter opened the Sebastopol nursery in 1989 and is the author of the award-winning book, The Revised Savage Garden: Cultivating Carnivorous Plants. Peter and Damon have been business partners now for 11 years, growing this most unlikely business of cultivating and conserving the rarest of Paleoendemic plants: Venus flytraps, American pitcher plants, sundews, butterworts, bladderworts, tropical pitcher plants and others – all commercially cultivated for either the curious beginner or the discriminating collector who wants the highest quality plants.

They are the largest carnivorous plant nursery in the United States.

Damon and Peter have infused their business- family culture with the importance of community and ecology. On the day the Gazette visited, Damon was finishing working with a local first grade class. He says he has local students in all the time. Caring for growing things, working in harmony with nature and recycling are lessons that are implicit in the world of carnivorous plants. Studying any one of the many species in the nursery will demonstrate the principal of symbiosis, or interdependence between a plant and an insect – or even a small rodent.

The information Damon and Peter can provide is encyclopedic. So, if you would like to take a quick trip to an exotic environment and learn all about these spectacular plant species, California Carnivores is a must-go-see and experience place.

California Carnivores

2833 Old Gravenstein Hwy Sebastopol, CA 95472
707-824-0433 –

While You’re in the Neighborhood…

By Vesta Copestakes

Two unique gardens and plant propagators live in South Sebastopol. Both are worth taking the time to visit while you’re here for California Carnivores. This is a wonderful part of our county. The roads take you into beautiful countryside you may not experience if you weren’t looking for these nurseries.

Lone Pine Gardens specializes in succulents. They grow thousands of them to sell to stores like Friedman Home Improvement and nurseries all over. The tiniest pots contain starts that live on tables until they have established sufficient roots to be sold. And they are beautiful. Some are even planted in unique pottery for table art.

A few years ago a photo of this garden was on the cover of our annual Gardeners Resource Guide.  Joan Humbree was the photographer and I always enjoyed talking with her. An annual visit over the phone. She died not that long ago and I never got to meet her face-to-face, so when we were exploring Damon’s wild plant kingdom, I just had to entice Jane and Su there.

Su is a plant enthusiast who knows the Latin names, so as we wander these gardens, she gets all excited and tells us what they are called, what conditions they like to live in…all kinds of information about these lovely little plants. Her knowledge and joy at being out here makes the journey that much more fun.

Colors, shapes, light and shadow playing across curved, thick…leaves? Are they leaves? Su, tell me what this is…it’s lovely! We gather little pots in our arms and go to pay for them. The website has care information, and lots of photos, probably taken by Joan. It’s worthy of a tour on your computer, but go there as well. Bring money, you WILL bring home treasures for your garden!

Lone Pine Gardens, 6450 Lone Pine Rd, Sebastopol • (707) 823-5024

Sonoma Horticulture Nursery specializes in Rhododendrons and Azaleas, but also shade plants like ferns, etc. We’re in the tail end of Azalea season but coming into Hydrangea season, so it’s another reason to visit. As you approach the nursery you wonder how can a shade plant garden be out here in the wide open and sunny hills. But once you find the gate and wander down the drive to park you understand. (use the map on the website!)

7+ acres settle into Blutcher Creek valley with towering trees shading the mile-plus walking path, pond and plant propagation areas. It’s lush, dark green, cool and shaded with bursts of color.

The path wanders through the garden so you pick up a map at the small shed by the parking lot where you will bring your treasures back to pay for them before you leave.

Polo de Lorenzo used to own this nursery for decades, then had a hard time maintaining his creation, so now Mike Boss owns it and is taking care of deferred maintenance as he discovers every plant, every wonder that Polo created over the years. It’s an adventure!

Want to spend time here helping Mike? They have Garden Work Parties the second Sunday of the month from 10am – 4pm. And yes, you earn discounts for your efforts. I have a neighbor who has done this for years. You have never seen such lovely gardens in a canyon!

Sonoma Horticultural Nursery, 3970 Azalea Ln, Sebastopol • (707) 823-6832

The Soil King Garden Center

320 Santana Dr., Cloverdale
(707) 894-3500
We have a full nursery with trees, flowers, veggies, everything from bulk soil and baged soil products, bulk worm castings, amendments, nutrients and additives, pots, stakes, greenhouses, Mean Green trimming machines; The best dry trimmer on the market. Greenhouses from small pop up to large agriculture type, water tanks and rain water collection tanks and much much more!!

Thrive Hydroponics

30-A Mill St, Healdsburg
Open 7 Days a Week
From six plants to commercial greenhouses, Thrive provides expert advice and personal service at unbeatable prices. Ten years in Sonoma County, family run and Sonoma Strong- Thrive Hydroponics has a 7200 sq ft warehouse in beautiful downtown Healdsburg with ample parking and loading dock. We are the greenhouse specialists and work with every leading greenhouse manufacturer.  We also work with every leading trim machine company and have a great stock of rental machines, as well.  We ship throughout CA and the United States and no job is too large (or too small) for us. Competitive pricing, expert staff, and a great location make Thrive Hydro the place to come for your growing needs.

Tierra Vegetables

651 Airport Blvd. Santa Rosa
See us on FB, Instagram
We’re committed to producing vegetables, chiles and wool products of the very highest quality through sustainable farming practices.

Urban Tree Farm Nursery

3010 Fulton Rd, Fulton
Mon & Wed-Sat 8-5, Sun 10-5; closed Tuesdays
Countless varieties of shrubs, grasses, vines, fruit and ornamental trees to consumers and landscapers. We deliver.

Vine & Branch Nursery

211 Limerick Lane, Healdsburg

Open M-F 7:30-4:30
New ownership! We still offer the highest quality, hand-selected, California grown plants, and are committed to providing premium service to complement our premium plants. We now accept all major credit cards and an expanded delivery schedule; come visit us to see what else is new! We welcome contractors, landscape designers, and others in the trade (and you, Master Gardeners!) to come visit the nursery. Beautiful plants available in 4″ pots through 36″ boxes. Special order one plant or 1,000; they are typically available within a week.

Walker Avenue Nursery

Plants for Wet Places
By appointment only – WHOLESALE
Walker Avenue Nursery is dedicated to growing wetland, riparian, & pond plants for the landscape industry, architects & designers, native restoration/revegetation projects, and retail stores. Our plants are irrigated with 100% reclaimed water, free of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. All plant material is grown at our farm in Sonoma County.

West County Oasis Bamboo

3525 Stony Point Rd, Santa Rosa
Bamboo is getting popular! And at West County Oasis Bamboo, Jesus Mora the bamboo expert and his team are ready to help you on your journey of working with bamboo. As one of the fastest growing plant Bamboo is an excellent choice for fast screening and landscaping. We also offer installation, removal, on-site consultations, custom-built redwood planter boxes and hard to find rhizome barrier. Come on down and visit us at the nursery for a personal tour of the nursery or call us ahead to make an appointment. We are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Call us for any questions or inquiry.

Western Hills Garden

16250 Coleman Valley Rd, Occidental
(1.3 miles from the corner of Bohemian Hwy and Coleman Valley Rd)
A three-acre of beautiful garden and nursery in the redwoods. Visit our website for complete information. We offer a good selection of rare plants from the garden that are available for purchase. We are open for tours and plant sales on Saturdays from 10am – 4pm during the Spring and Summer months or by appt Tues and Thurs all year.

Wild Garden Farm & Nursery

2710 Chileno Valley Road, Petaluma
As the successor to North Coast Native Nursery, we’re growing an expanded selection of native and non-native species.  Our emphasis is propagation of multi-purpose plants for creating beautiful and functional landscaping for wildlife habitat, pollinator hedgerows, water conservation, edible landscapes, dye gardens, and herbs and perennials for Asian and Western traditional healing and culinary arts and other practical purposes. Inquiries welcome for contract growing, design consultation, and seasonal nursery hours.

Wildwood Nursery

10300 Hwy 12, Kenwood
Hours vary by season and are posted on our website.
Drought-tolerant and shade perennials, and water plants. Conifers, dogwoods, and maples. Great selection of small-growing Ginkgo biloba. We pride ourselves on personal and knowledgeable service.

Expert tree shaping and garden design.

Willowside School Nursery

5299 Hall Rd, Santa Rosa (Corner of Willowside and Hall Rd)
Entrance is on Willowside Road
707 569-4724
We have thousands of plants: a variety of low-water and drought-tolerant perennials, California Natives, a multitude of succulents, grasses, salvias, and many beautiful plants to invite beneficial insects, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
$4 for 1 gallon containers. More than 20 varieties of Japanese Maples  3-6 Ft tall at $25 & up.
Spring 2018:
Mar 3, Mar 24, Apr 14, May 5, May 26, Jun 16
Fall 2018: Aug 18, Sep 8 & 29, Oct 20, Nov 10, Dec 1
We gladly accept donations of healthy plants, garden tools, working wagons, ceramic pots, recycled 1 and 5 gallon nursery containers, etc. Our Middle School Nursery is a working nursery with student involvement and is self-sustaining through plant sales. NOTE:  We are usually at the nursery on Tuesdays from  8 to 2 and welcome volunteers OR customers who cannot make it on Saturdays for informal sales. Check or exact change requested.


Wine Country Garden Center

21095 Broadway, Sonoma
Open Daily 9-5:00
We are a beautiful destination nursery of inspiring displays, water features, and more.