For more than 50 years, Green Meadow Nursery and Hardware has been cultivating greener gardens around the Santa Rosa Valley with 15-acres of homegrown, healthy, vibrant plants. Choose a 5-gallon bower vine to wind around fences or accessorize a fashion-conscious boa constrictor ($24.99). A 5-gallon maori queen brings a touch of regality to provincial plots ($29.99), and a 1-gallon ornamental carex testacea adds color and texture to lackluster lawns ($6.99). After shopping, customers can relax under an umbrella-shaded table by the gazebo amid statues and exotic plants or rush home with their nursery newbies to win the admiration of nosy neighbors and the block's most handsome horticulturalist.
The talented floral designers at Island View Nursery craft exquisite displays of foliage from a landscaping reservoir of nearly 10 acres. Arrangements meld together colorful flowers and lush plants in containers to give as gifts or to act as natural band-aids for wallpaper eyesores ($12.50+). Succulents ($3.25/4" pot), bromeliads ($8.50/4" pot), tillandsias ($3.50+), and orchids ($15+/4"–6" pot) supply photogenic photosynthesis, and interior plants such as palms, dracaena, and ficus give kids new places to build Lego tree houses ($2.75+/4" pot). An assortment of terra cotta ($.59+) and ceramic pots ($5.50+) warmly coddles exterior plants such as bamboo, grasses, and trees ($2.99+/4" pot).
A Southwest-based company for more than a century, Frazee Paint and its team of manufacturers are well acquainted with the unique climactic conditions of the region. Always pulling from the latest technology, their technicians design each of their paint and coating products to withstand dry heat, sparse rainfall, and showers of chewing tobacco from passing cowboys. Their quality paints, wall-coverings, wood-care products, and painter's tools stock the shelves of more than 125 retail locations throughout California, Arizona, and Nevada, as well as international dealers in Mexico, China, and Guam.
The horticulturists at 7 Day Nursery have dedicated more than 29 years to equipping guests with lush greenery and eco-friendly supplies. Live and freshly cut firs unfurl their evergreen appendages in the sun, warming up after a childhood in Oregon and ready to stand as seasonal joy bringers in living rooms, front yards, or atop lonely car hoods. Guest can wander through the manmade forest, testing the strength of a noble fir’s branches, sniffing the holiday smell emanating from a grand fir, or imitating the perfect conical posture of a nordman fir. Adorn tabletops with stocking-stuffer-size mini trees that grow from 2 to 4 feet ($30–$40), or recreate life-size nativity scenes with the family pets in front of 5- to 6-foot-tall conifers ($80–$90).
Every month at the Grow Native Nursery in the Veterans Garden, guests can mingle over a freshly brewed cup of worm tea, a nourishing concoction produced by the nursery's worm population. Thankfully, the green-thumbed staff members don’t prepare the unappetizing beverage for humans, but for thirsty plants, who voraciously soak up the liquid fertilizer’s nutrients when mixed with water. Worm Tea Sunday is but one example of many gatherings on the Grow Native Nursery's calendar. The staff also hosts workshops on topics ranging from basic horticulture to beekeeping. These events epitomize the thriving communal spirit at both the Claremont and Westwood locations, where plant experts eagerly field questions from visitors.
Day-to-day, they tend to a menagerie of flora, all of which is native to California. Poppies, lilacs, and sage grow alongside strawberries, which drink from ecofriendly water systems that aim to conserve resources in home gardens. The proceeds from the nurseries fund research and conservation efforts at their home base: Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.