A couple of Saturdays ago, after finishing the Garden Conservancy’s Marin County Open Day, I decided to drive up to Sebastopol in western Sonoma County to pick up the ‘Night Rider’ camellia I had waiting for me at Peacock Horticultural Nursery.
If you read my 2-part post about Peacock Horticultural Nursery last fall, you know that this is one my favorite nurseries. It’s about as far removed from a big-box garden center as you can imagine, both in terms of the plants they carry and the setting itself. Think of it as visiting a fellow plant lover who lives on a couple of acres in the country and where all the plants you see are for sale. Instead of going up and down long straight aisles like you would at a large commercial nursery, you get to explore what are essentially Robert’s and his partner Marty’s front and backyard. Does it get better than that?
This is what’s waiting for you after you pull into the small parking area off Gravenstein Highway:
The plant selection runs the gamut from succulents to trees. I love how the in-ground specimens provide protection for the sale plants.
I’ve been mildly obsessed with smoketrees (Cotinus coggygria and related species) all summer. Robert Peacock had a nice selection, including this ‘Royal Purple’.
In fact, a 5-gallon ‘Royal Purple’ came home with me. Unfortunately, it’s been greening up over the last couple of weeks. Many other smoketrees in our neighborhood show a similar color change, so I’m beginning to believe what I read online about purple cultivars turning green in the summer heat. (Davis is significantly hotter than Sebastopol.)
Mangave ‘Macho Mocha’
I don’t know why this echeveria was so expensive—must be a rare cultivar—but it contrasted beautifully with the Berberis thunbergii ‘Rose Glow’
More Berberis thunbergii ‘Rose Glow’ with eucomis and yucca
Agave ‘Blue Glow’ (front) and Agave potatorum ‘Snowfall’
Hesperoyucca whipplei ssp. eremica. Unlike the straight species where the rosette dies after flowering, this subspecies produces new rosettes from the base of the flowering plant.
Which way to turn?
Thanks to many mature trees, large parts of the nursery are beautifully shady. I’m not sure if Robert and Marty use these lounge chairs or if they are for customers who need a break from plant shopping?
Not for sale: virtually all-white bear’s breeches (Acanthus mollis ‘Tasmanian Angel’)
This is what Acanthus mollis ‘Tasmanian Angel’ normally looks like
Brunnera macrophylla ‘Alexander's Great’, a shade-loving plant that loves fairly moist soil. This is another plant I can’t grow in our garden, which is too bad because this particular selection is supposed to grow fairly large and would make an impressive specimen.
Crinum moorei 'Medio Picta' or Natal lily: a stunner from South Africa. The bulb can grow as large as 8 inches in diameter; the leaves can be up to 3 ft. in length. Requires dappled sun; full sun will burn the leaves.
And finally some restio action (Cannomois virgata). Looks lovely like this.
As you can see in these photos, Peacock Horticultural Nursery is a rare treat for plant lovers. Swing by the next time you’re in the area. They’re located at 4296 Gravenstein Hwy South in Sebastopol, just a few miles off Hwy 101 (click here for more detailed directions). This is the route we typically take to go to Bodega Bay, so it’s a very convenient stop. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.