With my week off from work I figured I would have a lot of time to write several interesting posts about many of the topics I’ve had on the back burner. Unfortunately, my two household repairs I had planned that were only going to take a day and a half to complete took significantly longer than expected. At least I have a new insulated door to the backyard (much more energy efficient and safer than the flimsy wooden that was there before) and a light above the stove so I can more readily see that I’ve burned dinner again.
I did take some time to check out a California native plant nursery called Yerba Buena Nursery in Woodside, California between San Francisco and San Jose. It’s a bit of a trek from either of those locations, two miles down a dirt road into an ocean-facing ravine off of Skyline Boulevard/CA-35 just south of Woodside Road, but well worth it. It felt like I was on a mini-vacation! The adventure there was half the fun, driving on winding roads through grasslands with oaks and occasional redwood groves. By the time I arrived I was relaxed and in a great mood.
The nursery was worth the time it took to get there. The selection of natives was great. I saw many plants I have never been able to find anywhere, including a wild rose (Rosa californica) that I’ve unsuccessfully tried to grow myself from seed. Unlike the typical roses many people keep in their gardens, the stems of the wild rose is completely covered with small thorns and has simple pinkish 5-petaled flowers that smell amazing. I’ve never been a fan of most typical garden roses (and all the upkeep they require), but I do love these. They remind me of many stream-side locations along the Eastern Sierra that I enjoyed so much as a kid. I first discovered them because I would constantly get my fishing line caught in them when my Grandpa would take us out fishing in Lone Pine, CA for weeks at a time. One day I got up close and personal with one to remove my hook and line and realized just how amazing they are. I couldn’t hate them for tangling up my line after that. Anyway, I was so happy to see them at Yerba Buena Nursery that I almost bought one to take home …. well, until I realized that my mud pit of a back yard hasn’t been planned out yet so I better wait on buying any plants (no matter how tempting they were). The picture below is a good image of the flower, but the plant as a whole is really beautiful. I didn’t take any pictures of it, so this will have to suffice until next time I see one at the nursery or in the wild.
Even more impressive than the selection of plants were the demonstration gardens. I walked through them and yet I almost walked right by them and didn’t notice them. Native plants growing in a natural canyon don’t stand out that much, but that’s what made it so amazing. If it weren’t for the tags that told me what plant was what, I would have thought I had left the nursery and walked up the side of the hill.
In addition to the beautiful plants and demonstration gardens, there is also a store for garden-related items. I was mostly drawn to the few native plant books they had on display, but there were plenty of other things that could help accentuate your garden, including native wildflower seeds.
Overall, while the nursery itself was a bit difficult to get to, it was well worth the adventure. I can’t wait to go back and spend more time there (once I can finally buy some plants for my yard)!