We adore our hard-working native species Penstemons for their durability, adaptability and exceptional drought tolerance. Never overblown with outsized or awkward flowers like some of the hybrid varieties out there today, these fine, fresh fellows provide jewel-toned blooms and long-lasting beauty to the perennial, container, dry or rock garden. Able to handle heat, drought and deer, they're also surprisingly adaptable to many different garden situations so long as you give them good drainage, a sunny disposition and you don't overwater once established. Irresistible to hummingbirds, the tubular flowers were made for our feisty, feathered friends, often inciting them to a nectar-filled frenzy!
Thanks to the perfect storm of cool weather, seed availability and exceptionally good germination, we have for you a fantastic and somewhat unprecedented collection of these gorgeous species all ready at the same time. Since we can't guarantee that will happen again next year – grab one while you can!
Back By Popular Demand!
Sasha Duerr, author, alchemist and founder of Permacouture Institute, returns to the nursery for a Spring/Summer installment of her super popular workshop on using local and seasonal plants (as well as garden weeds and waste!) to make gorgeous, non-toxic plant dyes on Sat. April 29 at 11 am!
Her scrumptious book "Natural Color" sold out last time, but we'll have plenty on hand for an author signing after the talk. Brimming with stylish and easy-to-follow projects that will appeal to both novice and experienced dye-enthusiasts alike, you'll be inspired to explore sustainable "slow-textile" solutions to synthetic chemical dyes and start your own backyard garden-to-garment revolution! How fabulous!
It's that time of year again friends – time for small crops of especially wonderful offerings that, due to their growing schedule, uber rare-ness or BRAND NEWNESS, can only be available once this year! Hurry and get them while you can!
We first offered this ultra-rare Mediterranean Peony in 2013 - 15 YEARS after we grew one small plant from seed in 1998 (read the whole, dramatic story on our BLOG) and waited for it to mature, bloom and set more seed so we could start building our stock. After much anticipation, that first crop sold out instantly, setting us on a mission to try and grow enough for everyone who wanted to try this exquisite beauty.
Join us for an exciting talk by Sunset Magazine’s Johanna Silver, author of the new book "The Bold Dry Garden", which lovingly chronicles the life and times of Ruth Bancroft and her acclaimed collection of succulents, cacti and other intriguing horticultural dry-garden oddities in her public garden in Walnut Creek. Sunday, April 9 at 11:00 am Day 2 of our Spring Extravaganza!
Johanna will share some of the history of the Ruth Bancroft garden and the incredible design principles and plant palettes that make it unique, as well as give gardeners the advice and inspiration they need to create their own lush, low-water landscapes.
Discover the surprising usefulness of petals and leaves, roots, seeds and fruit in this excellent and eye-opening workshop with Stefani Bittner and Alethea Harampolis, owners of the Bay Area landscape design firm Homestead Design Collective and authors of the new book
"Harvest: Unexpected Projects Using Extraordinary Garden Plants”!
Saturday, April 8 at 11:00 am – Day 1 of our Spring Extravaganza!
Movers and shakers in the edibles and floral-design worlds, Stefani and Alethea use many of Annie's plants in their gardens and are experts in growing them beautifully!
Our love for glorious California native wildflowers is immeasurable. Right outside our back door resides a diversity of wildflowers unique in all the world. In fact, more varieties dwell in our home state than in ALL OTHER STATES COMBINED and there are over 2000 species that grow here in California and nowhere else! You go, California!
We also love natives because they enrich our local ecology, providing sustenance to bees, butterflies, birds and all manner of pollinators. Most self-sow for successive generations of FREE plants and are generally easy to grow, thriving with little assistance other than decently draining soil and a splash or two of water a week. They've been here much longer than we have, after all!
Local experts weigh in on the state of butterflies in the Bay Area – find out what you can do to help!
We are thrilled to announce our first ever Butterfly Summit on Saturday, March 25 from 10 am to 3 pm at the nursery! Join us and several of the Bay Area’s leading butterfly experts to find out what we can do to help struggling butterfly populations in the Bay Area, including gardening for native species, creating butterfly corridors and preserving habitat.
Butterflies in urban and suburban areas are now almost entirely dependent on us gardeners. If we want to foster and encourage them, we need to provide the necessary larval and adult resources – and those vary from region to region! Come learn which plants are most likely to attract and sustain butterflies in your area – and how to plant a seasonal succession of blooms. Free and open to all ages! Bring your questions!
How to squeeze the MOST lemons outta life!
Luscious lemons, outrageous oranges and lively limes are yours for the plucking – with great advice from our favorite citrus expert! Join us for an info-packed talk on Saturday, March 11 at 11 am with Ed Laivo of Four Winds Growers, family-owned purveyors of a dizzying array of wonderful dwarf citrus!
RIGHT NOW is when our citrus is in season – and tastes best! So when there are spots on our Meyers or yellow foliage on our trees, we want to know what the problem is and how to fix it. Not to mention, how to get the best flavor and yield from our backyard orchards! Ed will cover all the essential do's and don'ts – including good advice on how to best protect your trees during chilly Winter cold snaps. Plus, he'll answer all of your burning questions about selecting, planting, growing and caring for mature citrus.
Whoo-whee are we excited to share these fantastic new Freesias with you! We were positively blown away by their vigor, extended bloom and (yes, we'll say it again) outstanding fragrance in our bulb trials last year. Masses of EXTRA LARGE 2" bodacious blooms appear on branching stems held well above the fresh green sword shaped leaves in Spring. Easy-as-pie to grow, DEER RESISTANT and low-maintenance, just give them very good drainage. They'll spread naturally for a bigger and better show each year – or plant them in a container where you can control the drainage. All bulbs are in active growth in 4" pots when we ship them (unless noted), ensuring they're alive and thriving, ready to be planted when they get to you!
Want a bodacious bloom-at-the-same-time Spring garden
but don’t know where to start? We got you, fam.
The road to gardening enlightenment can often be studded with potholes. Pave the way for smooth sailing and learn to garden like a pro from our own gardener-in-chief – Annie herself! – on Sat. Feb. 25 at 11 am!
She'll cover the basics, starting with the all-important condition of your soil, planting the right plants at the right time and all of her favorite tried-and-true plant combinations. Critter control, deadheading and some simple tips for keeping your garden voluptuous are also up for discussion. Whether you're new to the gardening game or a seasoned vet, you’ll walk away with useful tools for making a crazy-beautiful bloom at the same time garden you'll fall in love with! Bring your questions and your enthusiasm – Spring is almost here!