Where to Buy Plants & Garden Supplies
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Where to Buy Plants & Garden Supplies
Since the big Longs/CVS closed on 51st street, I don't know
where to shop for a good selection of blooming house plants.
This was my go-to store for house plants, six-packs, potting
soil, etc. Most of the nurseries I know of have very small
indoor selections. Hate shopping at Home Depot. green thumb
Home Depot is pretty spotty for house plants. Sometimes
they have decent plants, but they are often root bound and a
Orchard Supply Hardware is much better and they have a
lifetime plant guarantee.
East Bay Nursery on San Pablo has a small but interesting
set of choices.
Westbrae Nursery seems to have expanded its selection too.
You might be underestimating the houseplant options by
overlooking the fact that a lot of 'outdoor' plants can also
do quite well indoors. So while the houseplants area will
feature plants that _mostly_ do well indoors, the other
areas of a well stocked nursery can include plants that do
well outside and in. An example of such a plant is citrus:
you'll never find them in the houseplant section, but you
can absolutely grow a meyer lemon tree as a houseplant, to
name one example. Sir Plants-a-lot
When I lived in San Francisco, I had a lot of blooming house
plants. San Francisco's summer weather is so gray and windy
that it's hard to get anything to bloom. I lived in the
Outer Richmond fog belt, and the Sloat Garden Center down by
the zoo was my favorite. They had a great selection of
indoor-blooming plants like African violets, peace lilies,
anthuriums, etc. http://www.sloatgardens.com/
It might be worth a trip if you don't find anything in the
Also try, of all places, Trader Joe's. The often have
interesting, colorful houseplants. Their orchids are very
Your local farmer's market may carry orchids as well.
I am looking for a wide variety of herb plants and can't
seem to find what I am looking for at the local nurseries
here in Berkeley. I was hoping to find somewhere that had a
variety of standard herbs, so like 5 kinds of thyme, mints,
etc. Any ideas? I would prefer plants as opposed to seeds,
Have you tried Annie's Annuals in Richmond?
(http://www.anniesannuals.com) They usually have a good
selection of interesting plants, including herbs. Gardener
Harmony Farm Supply near Sebastopol has a pretty impressive
selection of herbs and plants, but it does depend on the
season. I believe they are worth a call if you can't find
anyplace closer. Another Sonoma County nursery which is way
small but crams a lot of variety into a small area is Kings
Nursery near downtown Santa Rosa. If you do end up in Sonoma
County, you would do very well by visiting both. They are
complementary businesses and Sonoma County folks love their
gardens and local businesses. Erin
Without a doubt, Goodwin Creek Gardens,
goodwincreekgardens.com They're in Southern Oregon and I
discovered them when they had a tiny retail nursery in
downtown Ashland years ago. Ever since it closed, I bought
from them mail order. They even do their own hybridizing so
you'll find more varieties of any herb than you ever
imagined. They're also super nice people. Francesca
Try Annies Annuals - it's a fantastic place and they have
tons of variety. Roger
Call down to Annie's Annuals in Richmond to see when they're
next cultivating herbs. From the website, they don't have
much ready to go right now, but you never know what will be
coming out in the next few weeks there!
A flower floozie
What is the best and most reasonable nursery in Berkeley??
Good customer service/advice and good prices. Thank you.
The new Magic Gardens nursery is fabulous-in El Cerrito/
Richmond, but worth the drive. It is now located right off
Central on San Joaquin which is the frontage road, running
along the cement wall of highway 80.
Head west on Central and after the highway bridge, make a
sharp right and drive about 5 blocks. Pull into the parking
lot. American Soil and Urban Farmer will soon join the
Kids and parents alike will enjoy pulling the little red
wagon. It just makes me happy-probably because my kids are
Plants seem high quality to me and less expensive than some
Staff is lovely.
Look for Jerry who in his other life has been my step
aerobics teacher for years.
He owns Pulse Studio which will soon move to larger quarters
on San Pablo in El Cerrito.
I also recommend his classes as well as his knowledge of
plants. He has a specialty in roses.
The friendliest & most reasonably priced nursery in
Berkeley is in EL Cerrito! Magic Gardens (formerly on 7th
St.)has moved into their new 3 acre site near the El
Cerrito Costco. It is on San Joaquin St. (runs right along
the freeway). The staff is knowledgable & helpful and the
plant selection is extensive. Plus American Soil is opening
right next door (as is, I think, Urban Farmer). Wow! Now if
only there was a Peet's close by...
I have two favorite nurseries in Berkeley: East Bay Nursery
on San Pablo (2332 San Pablo Ave) and Berkeley Horticulture.
(1310 McGee) They both have a tremendous selection and a lot
of unusual varieties. I have found the staff at BH to be
super knowledgable and very helpful and I find myself
shopping here the most. They have a little plant newsletter
and various free workshops. Prices are about the same at
both. BH has a lovely water garden section, (Also if you
read the Chronicle home and garden section, this is where Dr.
Hort works!) You should try both.
There is a great Japanese garden store around the corner from
EBN called Yabusaki's Dwight Way Nursery, 1001 Dwight Way.
And lastly I have a soft spot for Westbrae Nursery Garden
Supply, 1272 Gilman, but have rarely been since I found
Berkeley Hort. Very friendly helpful staff, smaller, and
sometimes better prices. They are next to a wonderful garden
What any of these nurseries will have depends on the season.
If you are a gardening addict like myself, it's fun to check
them all out. For the cheapest plants go to the major
hardware chains, but there is little variety and the plants
are sometimes not as healthy. I used to shop at Home Depot on
occasion, but I think they must have changed buyers because
now there is even less to choose from. They might have 2
kinds of pansies, any of the above nurseries will have at
least 12 varieties.
Magic Gardens has a lot of intersesting plants, but I don't
like it as much as it's a smaller than my two faves, has less
of the basic plants and almost no six packs for annuals and
perennials. Depending on what you are doing it will cost a
lot more if you have to buy all 4'' pots and larger.
I'm a little slow on this one, but I wanted to add my two bits.
Someone had wholeheartedly recommended Berkeley Horticulture, and
I think it's important for folks to know that while they do have
a GREAT selection of plants, they are among the most expensive of
nurseries. I've also had mixed results with them: just because
you spend alot of money doesn't necessarily mean that you're
getting top quality. For example, my two $30-40 rhododendrons
were so root bound that they have yet to flourish (while my $5
Safeway azalea has bloomed away this spring). Also, if price is
at all important to you, you should pay attention: when I
purchased $300-400 worth of plants at one trip last fall, I was
overcharged for one plant, and double-charged for another plant.
When I complained, I was told that their price list at the cash
register was simply more accurate than the posted price, and
despite the fact that I was spending what I considered to be alot
of money, they made me show them where their price was marked
differently, then simply shrugged and told me that people who
shop there frequently understand that prices change. I and
others I know have also experienced a bit of a brush off from
some of the sales people when you either make it clear that you
don't know much about a particular plant or nursery operation, or
when you disagree with something they've told you. I confess
that I have found East Bay Nursery (on San Pablo) to have almost
as good of a selection, with not quite the price gouging (though
still a little pricey), and nicer people. And quite honestly,
depending on what you are buying, Home Depot can be a great place
to buy plants--if you are looking for the same plants that
everybody else is buying. Turnover is high, so frequently the
plants havent' been sitting out long. But the bigger,
independent nurseries are better for selection. (I have also
heard good things about a nursery called ''Orchard'' in Lafayette,
though I understand it's also pricey.)
My husband really likes Magic Gardens, which has recently moved. But
we've had surprisingly good luck with plants from Target and Longs (formerly
Payless). We've had a variety of annoying experiences at the Ace Garden
Center on Grand Avenue, including plants in poor condition, and un-informed
East Bay Gardener
Another two bits... I really like Dwight Way Nursery on Dwight
between 9th and 10th Streets in Berkeley. It's a bit smaller
than places like East Bay Nursery (a couple blocks away on San
Pablo) so they don't have lots of trees and such, but for annual
and perennial flowers, vegetables, shrubs and (their specialty)
bonsai, they're great. Really friendly, helpful and good folks.
Run by the Yabusaki family.
Gotta put my 2 cents in here because I am an obsessive gardener
especially this time of year ... Berkeley Hort has beautiful
plants especially for shade gardens and their roses are
incredible but I always feel like I am interrupting the staff
whenever I manage to snag one of them to ask a question. A couple
of times I've been given the brushoff (Example: ''What's a good
rose for a partly shady spot?'' answer ''Sigh. Oh there are just so
many. Go look in the Sunset Book over there.'') The people at my
two favorite nurseries on the other hand - Magic Gardens and East
Bay Nursery - are the opposite. They are actually wandering
around looking for people with questions that need answers. They
are so helpful and friendly! Magic Gardens has moved and now has
an ENORMOUS selection. I think they are especially good on
larger plants like hydrangea and camellias and they have plants
no one else has. East Bay Nursery is easier to get through in a
short amount of time because they are smaller. But I am always
amazed at the variety there. Both East Bay and Magic have the
added bonus that you can park. (Berk. Hort is a pain.)
inexpensive plants, definitely check out Longs on 50th in N.
Oakland if what you want is the more popular plants that you see
everywhere. Definitely go there for things like pansies,
geraniums, impatiens, etc. And they have great prices on the
same Jackson and Perkins roses that everybody else has for more
$$. Another tip - it is usually cheaper to order roses directly
from the vendor - most of them have websites now, and they ship
bareroot at the right time. I've had good luck with that.
final tip is to make friends with your neighborhood garden
fanatic so you can get plants for free. They are always moving
things around, and lifting and separating, and thinning out, and
replacing, so be sure to check in once in a while to see if
anything's up for grabs. My neighborhood gardener lady is
going to be thinning out her clivias pretty soon and those cost
upwards of $40 a pop at the nursery!
I really like Adachi Nursery in El Sobrante. They have a good
selection, the people are nice, the prices reasonable. We have
had good luck with the vegetable plants we bought there. They
also have a lot of orchids, and of course all the regular plants.
There are a bunch of real nurseries (where they actually grow the
plants) in Sunol, just past Pleasanton on 680. Some are only
wholesale, but some do retail sales. They are fun to visit,
because they are quite different from the usual urban retail
nurseries, and they are often quite a bit cheapers. If you get
landscaping done, these are the places where the contractors get
your plants. Look them up on the web, call first to find out if
they do retail sales and to check their hours and take a fun
field trip down to pick out your plants
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