I went on a San Diego Garden Center crawl to see the locally-owned garden centers. My normal default is big-box garden centers such as Walter Anderson or Armstrong Nurseries. I am doing my best to patronize family-owned businesses even if the prices tend to be a little bit higher. Family owned nurseries have selections, service and knowledge that the big-box stores do not.
I started at Summer’s Past Farm in Flynn Springs. Summer’s Past has a solid selection of plants, gift items, a coffee bar and a sweet pea maze. Every spring they host a Fairy Day and they have a good-sized selection of fairy garden items. I also like that they have locally owned merchandise such as scarves and notecards for sale.
City Farmers Nursery is, well, in the ‘hood. Parking is horrible; my husband had to direct me out as it was so tight and haphazard. However, this is a great place to bring kids or the kid in you! Lots of old-time ephemera, a gentle giant of a Rottweiler named Roxy wandering around, a coffee bar, chicken coop, pony, koi pond, red slider turtle pond and a mini-playground for the kids adds up to a magical place to explore.
Mission Hills Nursery has been a San Diego landmark since 1910! They have a solid selection of garden supplies, indoor and landscape plants. Just be careful walking around outside, the ground is extremely uneven. I bought a small cactus for my fairy garden. The staff were really friendly here as well.
My last stop was Exotic Gardens. I have driven past this nursery on El Cajon for 10 years and never realized it was there! This is the place for cactus and succulents. They have a good variety and the manager said they are willing to trade, depending on what you have. I told him I have an Epiphyllum that is out of control. He said he wouldn’t trade for it but if I brought it he would make sure the cuttings went to good homes. Gotta love that attitude!
I enjoyed my San Diego garden nursery crawl. It makes me happy to see small nurseries able to compete with the behemoths
Now it’s Your Turn! What is your favorite San Diego nursery?