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Western Sonoma County is a paradise for plant collectors.

Western Sonoma County is a paradise for plant collectors In the rural reaches northwest of San Francisco Bay, the temperate climate and moderate land prices have drawn serious gardeners to western Sonoma County in unusual number. Many have gone on to open small specialty nurseries where they can make a living by rigorously pursuing their hobbies. They've made this area a paradise for plant collectors, who can find a truly wondrous variety of plants for sale. Visit this month and you can also take in a celebration of the Gravenstein at Sebastopol's annual Apple Fair, August 9 and 10.

First, arm yourself with a good map of the county. You can get one, free, by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Sonoma County Farm Trails, Box 6674, Santa Rosa 95406. Many of the 15 nurseries listed here appear on the map, as do nearly all the roads noted in our listings.

The profusion of interlacing roads makes it difficult to devise a logical loop route that takes in all the nurseries. Study the listings, mark off the places that interest you, and plan accordingly. Distances are not great, and you will be able to visit several nurseries in a half-day, many in a full day.

Area code for all phone numbers is 707.

In and near Santa Rosa

Alpine Valley Gardens, 2627 Calistoga Road, Santa Rosa; 539-1749. Hundreds of daylily varieties. Sales year-round by appointment. Daylily display garden.

California Flora, Somers and D streets, Fulton; 528-8813. Specialties are California native plants and rock garden perennials. Open 9 to 5 weekdays, 10 to 4 Saturdays.

Kyoto Koi and Garden Center, 2783 Guerneville Road, Santa Rosa; 575-9223. Huge selection of bonsai pots and tools; old, intermediate, and starter bonsai plants; bonsai exhibitions and demonstrations. Koi and fancy goldfish in quantity; display ponds and landscaping. General nursery stock; landscaping service, including pool construction. Open 9 to 6 daily.

Neon Palm Nursery, 1560 Sebastopol Road, Santa Rosa; 578-7467. Palms from baby to specimen sizes for indoor and outdoor use; many rare palms for experimenters, as well as cycads, a few bamboos, and bananas. Usually open 10 to 6, but call to confirm.

Sebastopol and surrounding countryside

Edwards Orchid House, 8190 Mill Station Road, Sebastopol; 823-9550. Orchid plants, including cattleya hybrids, slipper orchids or cypripediums (Paphiopedilum and Phragmipedium), and moth orchids (Phalaenopsis). Call for appointment.

Lone Pine Gardens, 6450 Lone Pine Road, Sebastopol; 823-5024. Wide variety of cactus and succulents, including many rare kinds. Bonsai starters include many perennials and grasses in addition to trees and shrubs. Open 10 to 5 Thursdays through Sundays.

Oriental Nursery, 341 Irwin Lane, Sebastopol; 527-8040. Specialty is bonsai, with emphasis on unusual material, notably citrus and other fruits, azaleas. Open 8 to 6:30 daily except Mondays; call to confirm.

Sonoma Horticultural Nursery, 3970 Azalea Avenue (off Hessel and McFarland roads), Sebastopol; 823-6832. Azaleas and rhododendrons are the bread-and-butter items here, but a number of rare trees, shrubs, and perennials for shade make an off-season visit worthwhile. Open 9 to 5 Thursdays through Mondays.

Urmini and Sons Herb Farm, 1292 Hurlbut Avenue, Sebastopol; 829-0185. Herbs, both culinary and medicinal, as plants or cut material. Open daily by appointment.

To Occidental and westward

Farwell and Sons Rhododendron Nursery, 12983 Bodega Highway, Freestone; 823-8415. Rhododendrons are out of bloom now, but if you know your varities, you can choose fine field-grown plants. Open 9 to 5 Fridays through Tuesdays.

Manning's Heather Farm, 12450 Fiori Lane (off Jonive Road), Sebastopol; 874-3476. The original specialty was heather, including both European and South African kinds. Now there are also rock garden plants and other small perennials, and the largest collection of leptospermums in the nursery trade. Open 9 to 4 Thursdays through Sundays.

Miniature Plant Kingdom, 4125 Harrison Grade Road, Sebastopol; 874-2233. Miniature roses, including trees and climbers; a very large collection of dwarf conifers and deciduous trees and shrubs; and many kinds of bonsai subjects. Open 9 to 4 Thursdays through Sundays.

Western Hills Rare Plant Nursery, 16250 Coleman Valley Road, Occidental; 873-3731. This is the plant collector's nursery par excellence. Notable offerings include a wide range of perennials, rock garden plants, shrubs, and vines and trees (many of them recent introductions from England or from botanic gardens and specialty nurseries in this country or abroad). Extensive border and woodland plantings show some stock in mature condition. Open 10 to 5 Wednesdays through Sundays.

West of Petaluma

A Sticky Business, 110 Liberty Road, Petaluma; 795-3185. This cactus and succulent nursery has a large outdoor growing area and specializes in plants hardy in the local area. Open Tuesdays through Fridays by appointment and 10 to 6 on Saturdays.

Great Petaluma Desert, 5010 Bodega Avenue, Petaluma; 778-8278. Large cactus and succulent collection; specializes in large plants for decorating or landscape use. Open 10 to 5 Fridays through Sundays.
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Article Type:Directory
Date:Aug 1, 1986
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