As someone who makes a lot of planters, you might have guessed that I'm a fan of plants. Full disclosure, I'm not a perfect plant mom, but I am trying my best, and part of that is finding plants I love.
I've collected here some of my favorite spots to buy, explore, and learn about plants on the west coast. Check it out, and show some love for your local horticulturalists.
Crimson Horticultural Rarities, Oakland, CA
Crimson knows what it is - beautiful plants with a hint of the occult, but like, a 101 course in occult. Besides having an incredibly beautiful collection of greenery, Crimson houses a fair number of plant accessories and flora themed gifts (greeting cards, prints, etc.). Not to mention, the staff is always super knowledgable and helpful.
Thicket, Portland, OR
I've only been here once, because I've only been to Portland once, but I was so happy to have come across Thicket. This is a beautifully full outdoor nursery with all kinds of amazing plants. We're were sadly unable to buy anything since it would have had to survive a plane trip back to Oakland, but if you find yourself in the Alberta Arts district of Portland, check it out. Plus, it's right next to Pine State Biscuits, making this maybe the best block in Portland (?!).
Cactus Jungle, Berkeley, CA
I love the Cactus Jungle for a couple of reasons. It's very close to my pottery studio, but more importantly it has a fantastic selection of succulents, particularly small ones that fit perfectly into my mini planters. They've also got a rewards program which is great for someone like me who buys way too many plants.
Flowerland, Berkeley, CA
There's something so homey about Flowerland. Maybe it's the old-timey signs or the super helpful staff, but whatever it is, it's incredibly comforting. The number of plants and flowers available is incomparable, but they also stock a variety of very beautiful ceramics, books, and wall decor - I could get lost in their shop for hours. There's also a small coffee shop on site with some tables and chairs, making this the perfect place to plop down with a sketchbook and let the inspiration flow.
It's also possible I love Flowerland because of the abundance of adorable dogs who are always roaming around, sniffing out the plants. That seems to be a strong pull for me, too.
Succulent Gardens, Castroville, CA
I've only been to this nursery on one occasion, but it was incredible. This place is HUGE. There are so many succulents of all sizes and it's in a somewhat secluded location only adding to it's mysticism. It can be swelteringly hot inside the greenhouse, so be sure to dress accordingly.