Itching to get your hands in the dirt? These plant experts have your back.
Roses For All: Cottage Gardens of Petaluma
This gorgeous destination nursery is known for hundreds of different roses. They start ramping up for spring planting as early as January, and the most popular varieties—pale pink climber Cécile Brunner, classic Iceberg, old-fashioned Sally Holmes— can sell out quickly. If you love vines and twining plants, check out the selection of clematis as well.
3995 Emerald Dr., Petaluma. 707-781-9365, cottagegardensofpet.com
Backyard Wine: Grapevines Galore
Want to try your hand at grapegrowing on a small, backyard scale? Grapevines Galore is the public arm of industry source Grey Creek Viticultural Services, located in the heart of Dry Creek Valley. The nursery sells beautifully healthy, ready-to-plant varieties of both winegrapes and yummy table grapes like Flame and Perlette. Grapevine-specific planting advice, too—mid-March through April is ideal for this area.
4791 Dry Creek Rd., Healdsburg. grapevinesgalore.com
Japanese Maple Experts: Momiji Nursery
Owner Mike Umehara comes by his expertise in Japanese horticulture honestly: His father was the longtime curator at the Japanese Garden in San Mateo. Umehara established the nursery over 30 years ago, focusing solely on rare Japanese maples. These trees’ lacy leaves and delicate forms make them versatile players in wine country gardens, and their spectacular fall colors echo the change in the vineyards. This is a sweet, family-run spot, and well worth the time to seek out.
2765 Stony Point Rd., Santa Rosa. 707-528-2917, momijinursery.com
Healthy Veggie Starts: MIX Garden
When April rolls around and you start to think you’ve missed your window for starting from seed with some of the more exotic, difficult-to-find varieties of tomatoes, eggplants, and melons, Healdsburg’s Mick Kopetsky can help you out. He and his team will have ordered the seeds months ago and raised healthy 4-inch plants in their specialty greenhouses, all perfectly in time to start your summer food garden.
1531 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg. 707-433-4327, mixgarden.com
Not Just For Pros: Sonoma Valley Wholesale Nursery
This is the professionals’ secret source for well-adapted, organically-grown shrubs and trees in Sonoma Valley, and, despite the name, the nursery is open to the general public. You can get wonderful advice on choosing plants here—owner Paul Martinez is a passionate plantsman—but this selfservice spot works well if you know what you’re looking for and simply want the best quality plants you can find.
19655 Arnold Dr., Sonoma. 707-732-8019, sonomavalleynursery.com
Irrigation and Tools: Harmony Farm Supply & Nursery
This organic nursery stocks native grasses, drought-tolerant plants, and veggie starts—but what they’re best known for is their practical, hands-on advice to keep your garden healthy and productive. They have decades of experience helping customers install their own drought-friendly drip irrigation systems (with their help, it’s doable!), and they sell all kinds of soil amendments, tools, and organic pest controls.
3244 Gravenstein Hwy. North, Sebastopol. 707-823-9125, harmonyfarm.com
Hidden Wonder: California Carnivores
Ask almost any ten-year-old what their favorite plant is, and you’ll likely hear, “Venus flytrap.” And California Carnivores has hundreds of them, along with sundews, butterworts, and both hardy and tropical pitcher plants— the latter kept warm in a special humidity-controlled room. Founder Peter D’Amato wrote the book on these exotic gems: his best seller “The Savage Garden” is considered the bible for hobby growers.
Online sales only for now. californiacarnivores.com
Love Olive Oil: The Olive Tree Nursery
Whether you’re looking for a single mature tree to anchor a planting or advice on a backyard grove to make your own olive oil, these experts are a go-to. The nursery propagates its own trees from cuttings, focusing on European varieties for either blending into oil or curing for eating—Frantoio and Leccino from Italy, Arbequina and Manzanillo from Spain. They also stock olive tree bonsai, carefully pruned into shape and nestled into hollowed-out stones.
By appointment, 908 Rockwell Rd., Cloverdale. geyservilleolive.com