In my own town of Sebastopol: 1) Sonoma Horticultural; 2) Harmony Farm; 3) Lone Pine. Bassignani's used to be great, but has been going downhill for years. Vintage Gardens is good, but sells mainly roses and hydrangeas and almost nothing else.
In Cotati: 1) Windmill; 2) Pond & Garden.
In Santa Rosa: 1) King's; 2) Empire One; 3) Emerisa Gardens.
ALDEN LANE NURSERY...Livermore...incredible place, specially on the weekends when they have entertainment, vendors (plant AND food). It's like a plant fair! http://www.aldenlane.com/
MORRIS NURSERY...Riverbank. Very helpful and friendly. Great choices for perennials, roses, shrubs, groundcovers and statuary. SUPER products in the "Master Nursery" brand. http://www.morrisnursery.com/
Living in the center of the state, population-wise and with kids and grandkids in the Bay Area and San Diego I can visit my favorites a few times each year. Tropic World on I-15 is a favorite as are Walter Anderson's, Buena Creek, Tree of Life, Theodore Payne, Worldwide Exotics, Australian Native Plants, Eye of the Day for pots, Magic Gardens, Berkeley Horticultural Nursery, Sierra Azul, Mostly Natives, and Cal Flora come to mind. I have not been to Annies, Great Petaluma Desert, Alden Lane, California Cactus Center, but they are in my sights. Locally--San Luis Obispo county-- Pacific Home, SLO Farm Supply, Miner's, Bay Laurel, Tropicana, Home Town carry a variety of things but if you are looking for something different you need to go to all of them. The wholesaler, Native Sons, is about a mile away from where I live and they supply interesting things to the local nurseries on a regular basis. Botanical garden sales, mail order and now seeds have filled in the holes. I am not a fan of the mass market merchandizers unless you follow the truck to the store and get the stuff as they are unpacking it. I live right behind Wal+Mart and it never ceases to amaze me that they cannot water the plants often enough to keep them from wilting in a climate that hardly ever gets hot.
Chuck1260, I agree with you about Tropic World, Walter Anderson's, and Buena Creek.
I would add Las Pilitas in Escondido for California natives, Herban Garden in Fallbrook (both also sell online), and Southwest Boulder in Fallbrook. We went to the latter for gorilla hair mulch and they have a lovely garden with samples of their rocks, pavers, etc. used in the design.
Anderson's La Costa is also a good place (not associated with Walter Anderson's) to visit, and Sunshine Gardens in Encinitas.
Oh, and not to forget Weidner's if you like fuchsias and begonias especially. People drive from all over to dig their own begonias at Weidner's. Very friendly and helpful staff, too.
Annie's Annuals (NOT just annuals) in Richmond, going next month after I make a list from the website so I don't get distracted! Yeah, right, kinda like a grocery shopping list and shopping when you're hungrey! http://www.anniesannuals.com/
Love going to:
Half Moon Bay Nursery
11691 San Mateo Rd.
Half Moon Bay
Calif_Sue Northern California United States (Zone 9a)
Candy, who was that Asian guy at the Flower Show that sells several unusual plants, (I hope you met him and know who I mean) currently selling out of his home but he said he's got a place finally in Danville and is opening to public in April? He is very knowledgable and had some real cool stuff! Thats' not the Tassajara Nursery is it?
Yes, I have visited the las Pilitas in Escondido. Far better organized than the one in Pozo. They had some interesting plants. The one in Pozo you really need someone to go around with you as none of the plants are labelled. I have a hard time telling many of the manzanitas apart. Both have interesting stuff.
Don't forget the various botanical gardens, some of them have very good nurseries attached and almost all of them have at least one sale per year. Santa Barbara Botanical, UCR, Rancho Santa Ana, UCDavis, Quail are all sales I have been to and found a great variety of items. I am going to try UC Berkeley, Strybing, UC Santa Cruz this year and the spring sale at the Huntington. The fall sale at the Huntington has very interesting succulents and cacti, with a heavy emphasis on caudiciform type plants. The Rancho Santa Ana sale is an absolute zoo, but you can buy more plants faster than any place I have been to. Being a one of each kind person, I am looking for the unusual and the botanical garden sales have them.
No that's not it...he was so busy when I was there I didn't have a chance to chat with him this year. He used to only do a couple shows and sell at the Pier in the city on weekends. That would be excellent if he has a real location to visit!
Let me go see if I can find the name...it's Potpouri Plants, Paradise Plants...something like that!
Lawrence Lee is owner of Plantopia Nursery (formerly Fine Foliage) which is a featured vendor at the S.F. Flower and Garden Show and the Ferry Plaza Garden Market. He is also Coordinator of volunteer plant propagators and plant sales at the U.C. Botanical Garden, Berkeley.
Weidner's has some great looking brugmansias just growing around. Digging your own begonias is a treat. Been there many times. I went to Herban a long time ago. I will have to try again. I hear there is a very good cactus nursery in Solana Beach.
Calif_Sue Northern California United States (Zone 9a)
That's him! He sure has a popular booth at the show. Well, he said that he was opening in Danville next month so hopefully I can locate where and when and really take the time to check out those plants. Let me know if you find anything first.
There are no nurseries in my area that impress me. I have to go to Elk Grove (outskirts of Sacramento) to find a decent one, Capital Nursery. I think they are expensive, but maybe that is because I am used to growing my own. LOL http://www.capitalnursery.com/
Parkview Nursery in Riverside (they have two in Riverside), has been helping me design and landscape my yard.. After the flooding, I could not keep up with it flooding 5 times. Anyway, they have some of the neatest plants, (very limited cactus/succulents), but have great passionvines and other tropicals.. they will also order plants for you/or try to find them if they are not available in this area.
I like Sperling Nursery in Calabasas. Mel-O-Dee in Chatsworth and Green Thumb in Canoga Park are pretty decent. These probably don't compare to those San Diego County nurseries, but I've never been to any of those, so I can't say.
Bushnell Gardens Nursery in Granite Bay-- large and attractive and carries Annie's Annuals. They also have great workshops. Prices are not cheap but they have good sales. http://www.bushnellgardens.com/main.htm
Capital Nursery , Sunrise Boulevard (Citrus Heights) location-- nice selection of 4" perennials, herbs, color, heirloom veggies, seeds, annuals, etc. http://www.capitalnursery.com/
P.O.W Nursery in Wilton-- you can get some great bargains on fun perennials, shrubs and trees if you know what you're looking for (cans are recycled and labeling is sporadic)
12724 Quince Ln Wilton, CA
Cornflower Farms in Elk Grove-- wholesale, but open to the public by appt. and some 2nd Saturdays) for native plants http://cornflowerfarms.com/
There are several mentions of Yamagamis in Cupertino. It is my longtime favorite too. I would love it if those of you that stop in there from time to time will help me try to convince them not to carry broom. It is spreading everywhere in the mountains. To say it is an invasive intruder is putting it mildly. The good folks at Yamagamis said that their supplier claims that the variety they carry is sterile. I am skeptical. But even if that is true, I believe it is better not to carry something that is an unwelcome guest in its other forms. The public cannot be blamed for not knowing the difference. Enough said. I love Yamagamis.
I also love Yerba Buena for its wonderful selection of natives. It is farther afield up off of Skyline Blvd. in the mountains above Woodside. But it is well worth the outing. Their acres of native landscaping portray the haunting beauty of a wild California that is rapidly vanishing. The website is http://www.yerbabuenanursery.com/
And on the coast there is my friend Erin's great native plant nursery in Aptos, Native Revival Nursery, at 2600 Mar Vista Drive, Aptos http://www.nativerevival.com/
Sierra Azul is an interesting nursery. I try to go there several times a year. I always find something I do not have. An interesting collection of Mediterranean plants, a mix of South African, Australian, CA natives. It has a very relaxed atmosphere and they do not bother you while you are selecting your plants, but are very willing to help if you want.
Sperling is one of the best general purpose nurseries in Southern California. They have a little bit of everything, the common stuff and the unusual. It is usually quite busy so you know their stock gets rotated. The staff is knowlegeable, plants are well taken care of, prices are not too bad. They have a good selection of perennials, CA natives, cactus, pots and so on.
No web site... not even sure of the name... looks like it's out of some guys back yard, only it's at least an acre. Hardly anyone there speaks english. Only open weekends. Prices are not that great, but selection is hard to beat. If you want 100-1000 of anything, they have it.. .didn't see any super rare stuff there, though. Probably sell mostly to local landscapers.
I have two little local nurseries that I love. Wegman's in Redwood City and Roger Reynolds in Atherton. Roger Reynolds is really old timey and friendly. The people know me and I can get ahold of the buyer of trees, perennials, etc. easily. I can also get ahold of someone to help me with probems. If they are having a busy time they will make an appointment to either talk to me at the nursery or by phone. Wegman's is the same way, but a little larger and not so likely to carry unusual plants. They will try and order anything that I want. What more can I ask? Except of course what Yerba Buena has and nurseries like that. They are just very special. There is a lovely little Bonsai place in Palo Alto that could take you back to the 50's in 3 seconds. I'm attached to the old places where I'm folks.
If anyone's within driving distance of the Sebastopol flea market, it has great plant deals on Sundays. Some plants are there Saturday too, but not as many.
Today I bought gorgeous blooming bearded iris in big containers, at least three iris in each can, for $4.00 each (each can, not each iris) and blooming aquilegia with lots of buds in gallon cans for $1.50 each. There's also Steve, who sells lots of different perennials and sedums for a couple of dollars each in gallon cans, but I didn't get anything from him today because my garden's already packed with everything he sells. At those prices, it's easy to get carried away.
San Francisco Farmers Market Sundays has a special plant vendor section
Long's Drug Store Garden Center, Rockridge location in Oakland, 51st & Broadway -- run by a manager who is a real gardener, and it shows. Beautiful healthy plants, ever-changing selection (as word gets around, pros are jumping in and snatching up the rarer stock before it disappears), at prices well below East Bay Nursery and Berkeley Horticultural. I picked up a melianthus recently, one of only three, at a price of $23.99 -- well below the $39.99 for a smaller specimen at BerkHort. One of my most prized garden plants is a variegated rhamnus, which only Long's carried.
Regan's Nursery in Fremont (huge selection of roses)
Golden Nursery, San Mateo (SF Peninsula) -- an old nursery right off Hwy 101, the land it sits on must be worth several million $$$. It's huge, and you can find some rare plants no one else has. I had been looking for the vertical euonymus but wasn't willing to pay a huge price mailorder for a tiny plant. No one else local carried it, but I wandered through Golden one day, and there it was, for $8.99!
Evergreen Nursery in San Leandro (Bay Area, East Bay) -- nothing unusual or outrageous, just a good working nursery with knowledgable sales reps, large grounds with a wide selection of shrubs and trees. Lovely koi pond, easy parking too.
I want to make special mention of the Sloat Garden Center local chain in regards to their nursery in Kentfield (Marin County). It's really exceptional, in a beautiful location with an extensive variety of shrubs and very knowledgable sales reps.
Hey Angelinos! I just discovered a wonderful nursery in San Gabriel, it's called The San Gabriel Nursery at 625 S. San Gabriel Blvd. It's absolutely huge and has EVERYTHING. A huge bonsai selection, palms, ferns, fruit trees, shrubs, flowers, bamboo, groundcovers, you name it. And all the plants are in beautiful condition and reasonably priced. I felt like I was in an arboretum where everything was for sale! Go with plenty of time and money. I noticed a sign saying your Huntington Library and Arboretum card gives you a discount.
Last weekend I was in Monterey and came home by way of Sierra Azul Nursery in Watsonville, thanks to your tip, srkrause. I spent more than an hour wandering around the spectacular planted areas. It is indeed a very relaxed atmosphere.
I finally selected a penstemon as my plant of choice for the day. There was a man (owner?) who was watering plants. Since I live in the mountains at about 2700 feet and the nursery is not far above sea level, I told him of the care I had to use to select appropriate plants for my elevation which has quite a different climate even though it is only about an hour away. He knew immediately what zone I was in. He had good advice on what would work based on knowledge of what worked for his parents who live in a similar situation.
How nice to find a business that is so user friendly and low key.
I just went to a beautiful nursery today. It is in Yuba City on Shasta Street near Center Street in downtown Yuba City. I wanted to give them a little plug because as much as I shop at Walmart, I still believe in supporting local business. It is a big old Victorian with a huge yards which are jam-packed with gorgeous plants. While strolling the trails that wound around the gardens, under arbors and past antiques that held more plants, I found myself relaxing and sinking into the atmosphere. There is music coming from somewhere, mingled with the sounds of the fountains and a chicken coop (!). I was so inspired there. The way it is layed out, it just flows. And fun, too. There's a chandelier in the potting shed! There's a jammed-packed gift shop inside that I couldnt spend too much time in since I was with my kids. And the prices... well, they aren't cheap. But I might go back and splurge on a special plant this week.
World Wide Exotics, Inc.
11157 Orcas Avenue
Sylmar, CA 91342
Drought Tolerant perrenials, tropicals and sub-tropicals.
Walk-in business only. NO CREDIT CARDS!!!
You can walk down a long road, with stuff in huge sections all along either side. They'll take you in a golf cart if you have physical issues. Had a huge section of pools w/water lilies. Prices were very reasonably for what I bought. A little tricky to find, but I can give directions if anyone is interested.
Fresno/Clovis Area Faves:
H & E Nursery
160 W. Nees, Fresno
7749 E. Shaw, Clovis
Willow Gardens Nursery & Garden Center
10428 N. Willow Ave. Clovis
Evergreen Nursery & Gift Center
210 W. Alluvial, Clovis
Riverside Landscape & Nursery Supplies
5215 N. Golden State Blvd. Fresno
There are several nearby in the foothills, will post later.
LOL Bluenikko...far from home! I know I love the little shop they have. I wanted to ask you what the name was of that nursery you visited in your post on April 30th? I would love to check it out sometime...sunday mornings I usually stop at nurseries after an early morning of garage saling LOL
Lisa, just yesterday I told Angela about it in the "Hello, Fellow Cal's..." thread:
posted a little write-up on May 30 on the "favorite nurseries" thread in this forum. I've been back there since, and although it is beautiful and has a cool gift shop, the plants are small and expensive. I think worth a trip, though. It is Vintagehouse Nursery Co. 661 Shasta St., Yuba City CA 95991 530-755-4242.
Let me know if you go. I'd like to know what you think about it.
p.s. have you been to Bushnell Gardens in Granite Bay? I am going to try to fit in a trip there this weekend.
Bushnell's is a great nursery. I think you'll appreciate it best if you visit on a day when they're having a speaker or workshop.
Pluses include: size (big if you count the fabulous daylily and Japanese iris area up the hill), colorfully landscaped entry, decent supply of interesting and/or drought-tolerant perennials, decent display of all plant types (trees, groundcovers, annuals, perennials, water plants, alpine plants, conifers, roses, grasses, etc.), they carry Annie's Annuals, attractive covered outdoor area for workshops and garden accessories, the setting is peaceful and attractive, they have a vending machine if you get hungry or thirsty (plenty of eateries nearby too), parking's easy, children's play area (unsupervised), good sale prices.
Minuses include: porta potty (no restroom), prices can be high (they seemed lower before the fancy remodel), the indoor building for seeds/supplies/decoration, etc. is heavy on fake flowers and vases when it could use more garden items (tools, gloves, apparel, etc.). imho, of course. ;-)
Thanks so much for the info, Angela! It's good to know I can bring the kids and they will be entertained. I'll let you know what goodies I aquire from there!
I have a question for you about zones, but I'll send it in a separate "Dave-mail." ~Rachael
With the several mentions of Yamagami's, I went there last weekend. I thought the prices were too high, so I didn't buy anything. Even their 1/2 off bulbs seemed to be over regular price elsewhere. As I left I noticed Summer Winds Nursery about 1/2 block away. http://www.summerwindsca.com I found it to be a very nice nursery. Still a little pricier than what I am used to, but I definitely left with a load of plants.
My local nursery in Fremont is Regan Nursery http://www.regannursery.com/ It is 2 blocks off of 880 on Hwy 84 (Decoto Rd) heading East. Very large selection of roses and nice variety of plants. They host several club events during the year (Iris, Bonsai, etc.) and have free "events" regularly.
Also in Fremont is the Mission Adobe Nursery. It is in the Niles District on Niles Blvd, at Nursery. Not a really impressive nursery, but it is located on the last remnants of The California Nursery http://www.fremontica.com/roadside/cnco.htm I probably have one of the Canary Island Palms that was left over from the Nurseries stock to plant in San Francisco in 1915 for the Pan Am Exposition. About 4 foot of aged root shows, where the box used to be, before the palm rooted into the ground.
New to Northern California is Armstrong Garden Centers http://www.armstronggarden.com/aboutus.html I have been to the one in Dublin several times and enjoy it because it stocks plants for warmer climates. I had never seen Plumeria at a local nursery, until I saw them at Armstrong's.
Berkeley Hort and Lafayette's Orchard are my local favorites, although I also like the Rockridge (Oakland) Long's, of all things. Glad to know I'm not the only one on that!
I grew up on Yamagami's, but I did buy a camelia a couple of years ago that was labelled as Jordan's Pride but turned out to be something else -- a common dark pink blossom. Come to think of it, that's also where I bought my lilies that were supposed to be red but are bright yellow. My sense is that they aren't quite as top-notch as they once were.
Those were my thoughts on Yamagami's, that it used to be an outstanding nursery but now had gone to seed. Interesting four-inch plants of great variety, mostly from Annies, but that was about it as far as interesting plants. I was there in the fall, so perhaps that was the reason.
i like Far West Nursery in Santa Cruz; nice variety, more unusuals.
Soquel Nursery growers is great b/c it's huge--you have to drive around on a special plant cart! Though primarily for landscapers (it's a wholesale nursery), they told me they do sell to non-businesses. Great tree and 1gal selections + many natives.
One I'm still meaning to check out (got a gift cert. for my b-day) is Hidden Gardens Nursery in Aptos...yep, must be hidden since I've lived here 16 years and never heard of it! Will report back...
I agree with Gourd in So Cal that Parkview Nursery in Riverside is very, very good although I have only been at the Magnolia Blvd-Jackson Street location. The personnel are never too busy to answer questions and they have an excellent selection.
How about wandering about in the gold country. Specializing in daylilies Amador Flower Farm http://www.amadorflowerfarm.com/ has a nicely planted area with water features, picnic area and most important - clean restrooms. Oh, and lots of nice plants.
Amador Flower Farm
22001 Shenandoah School Road
Plymouth, CA. 95669
and if you don't want to drive all the way up there, some of the 800 daylily varieties are available at [HYPERLINK@amadorflowerfarm.com] and they have 100% on Garden Watchdog.
In San Francisco, try Floorcraft Garden Center on Bayshore Blvd.
They have an excellent selection (always something new) and good prices. The staff is extremely knowledgeable and friendly - I learn something every time I go. Their "Bargain Basement' section has stuff that's only slightly the worse for wear, and priced up to 75% off.
If a Home Depot comes in across the street, Floorcraft will probably be history. So PATRONIZE THEM!!! FIGHT THE MACHINE!!!
Check out Tyler's Carlmont Nursery in Belmont. It's a little tough to find since it's buried in a shopping center right on the corner of Ralston and Alameda de las Pulgas.
They specialize in Japanese Maples and have a pretty impressive collection including a 24" Box Golden Full Moon that's about 9' tall. It's gorgeous.
Lot's of bamboo, too as well as all the regular stuff.
Nursery is nestled between a restaurant and shops and has a park-like feel with a small stream and waterfall. I hear they have had a few weddings there also. Just look for the Bank of America and they are right behind it.
I just came back from a brief trip to Fort Bragg - Mendocino. I think I found my new favorite. Hortus Botanicus http://davesgarden.com/gwd/c/3379/ is not your usual nursery, but a real adventure. Ranging from carniverous plants to succulents. Reasonable prices and a real varied selection of plants you are likely to not find anywhere else. The photo shows how serious they are about their plants.
I also visited Fuchsiarama - a great source of Fuchsia, with a smattering of tuberous begonia and brugsmania.
San Diego - By far the best is Walter Anderson Nursery. I also like Mission Hills Nursery. For general plants that you can buy just about anywhere, I have great luck with Lowe's and believe it or not, Target on Balboa Ave. The Target is in the same center as Home Depot and their plants outshine H.D.'s half dead stuff any day.
In the Upland area, there's Mt. Fuji Nursery, a little expensive but well maintained and they are very helpful, anything you want, they either have it or can get it. I love strolling through there, so soothing.
Weegy, if you live in that area, there is also another Nursery on Benson, just north of Foothill Blvd. I can't remember the name, but I used to go there with my Grandmother every Christmas to buy Poinsettias.
I live in Lodi... I just got back from Weigum's Nursery. I have lived here a long time, I've always passed up this nursery thinking it was way too small and overpriced. Wow! I was wrong! A family run nursery with a lot of exotic stuff.. Bonsai, etc. Some very strange/beautiful Maples, weeping juniper, contorted filbert tree, ferns galore, etc. etc. I walked around with a grin for more than an hour, trying to take it all in.
Super friendly people. A customer spotted a huge fuchsia hanging amongst the ferns and asked the price. It was marked $32. I heard Vern, the owner say "I can sell it for $20." It was an AWESOME plant, still blooming and had to be in an 16 to18" hanging basket. To me, that was a good deal... and I'm a tight wad.. I have to be!
Bedding plants were $3. which is actually not as high as I expected.
They have a gift shop with a gazillion things.. I wouldn't bring the kids, but it was a magical trip for me alone. Gosh.. I sure hope Santa knows about this place!
Weigum's Lodi Nursery
401 N Ham Lane
Lodi, CA 95242
My favorite nurseries are Berkeley Horticultural Nursery and Annie's Annuals, both of which were mentioned in previous posts, but here are two others worth mentioning that I didn't see above:
Grand Lake Ace Garden Center in Oakland--they have a great selection of bedding plants but also have a surprisingly good selection of Australian/South African plants--lots of stuff I haven't seen anywhere else except maybe Sierra Azul (but this is a much shorter drive!). They're the only nursery I've seen in the Bay Area that carries plants from Australian Native Plants Nursery, in addition to some of the more common growers. It's pretty small compared to some other nurseries, but they have a ton of great plants--I stop by there regularly and don't think I've ever left empty handed!
Mostly Natives Nursery in Tomales--I've only been here once, but they had a nice selection of CA native plants and I'm sure I'll make the trip out there again sometime next year. http://www.mostlynatives.com/
492 Woodside Road
Redwood City, CA 94061
Phone: 650 368-5908
Fax: 650 368-0403 http://www.wegmansnursery.com/
family owned and operated for over 40 years and it shows, in all the best ways.
Plant sales hosted by the Master Gardeners of the UCCE - get there early on the first day, apparently they opened this year at 9am and were cleared out of over 70 tomato varietals and all the hot peppers and 17 different basil varietals, oh my! (Sunday an hour before closing when I got there, there were still medium-hot and several different sweet peppers which was what I wanted).
Look for the sales, and other events year round at http://www.mastergardeners.org/events/index.html
Alladin Nursery on Freedom Blvd in Freedom ( Watsonville, CA )...Large selection well organized, the owner is a sweet man, very helpful...a bit pricey though. Although I don't travel to Santa Cruz too often, I did visit The Garden Company on Mission Street. Plants were healthy, fantastic gift shop.
Also...Green Thumb Nursery in San Marcos,really good general nursery, Plant World on I-15 north of Escondido across from Tropic World. I like that I find perennials there in 6-packs that I usually don't see elsewhere. Also, sadly, Herban Garden in Fallbrook is no longer here, they've retired, moved to Oregon. I would not be surprised to see them start up something in Oregon,though
Stellapathic - I love these nurseries. Moneta's even has a specialty seed section of Kizawa seeds. Asian heirloom seed company. I got my edamame seeds from them. Plus they had a lot of herbs, which I am trying to learn more about before I purchase them and they go to waste.
Both have great prices, but Rainbow is a little cheaper. I got a nice size thick 4" contantainer, of orange thyme from them for only $.98
They both tend to have a lot of Asian tomato varieties at certain times of year.
Have to add High Hand Nursery in Loomis for you N. CA folks. It's not for the budget shopper, but they have some really neat stuff. I stopped in on Mother's day to grab a plant for mom and they had this incredible hand bag topiary made from hundreds and hundreds of tiny succulents arranged in patterns. It was out of my price range, but I was tempted.
My favorite nursery in this part of the state is Miller Farms in McKinleyville. I also tend to visit Pierson's in Eureka because it's so close. Somehow my car just turns into their parking lot whenever I'm passing by.
When I visit family in the Lompoc area, I like to drive over to Windmill Nursery in Buellton. They have lots of perennials in six-packs (including unusual varieties of plants that I generally only see in seed form) and have helpful staff who really know what they're talking about. I always find plenty of goodies there, and the prices (especially for those fantastic six-packs of perennials) are excellent. BTW, I've noticed a number of people have mentioned Windmill Nursery, but in different towns. Is Windmill Nursery a chain, or is it just a common name?
One place I like to check out in Aptos is the Farmer's Market at Cabrillo College. It is held every Saturday morning, and a couple of the stands sell plants. I think that the prices are reasonable, and the stock very good.
and if you love really beautiful plants and good help it's a wonderful place to go. They do specialize in Japanese Maples but they have most everything else and much that you wouldn't expect. It's a great place to look for a surprise. I did go and buy a couple of maples there and I couldn't be happier.
I have been a regular at Yamagami's. Best to go there early on a week end or in the evenings on week days. The staff is outstanding and willing to spend time discussing problem issues. Not too keen to order "special plants" that they do not carry.
For bamboo, Giant Bamboo Nursery in Aptos is great. I could spend hours there. There plants are healthy and staff good.
Please add Mid City Nursery in American Canyon, on Hwy 29 as you head into the Napa Valley. The same family has owned it since 1953, they are on their 5th generation. Yes, I am biased because I work there! :)
Check it out, 3 1/2 acres of plants.