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Best Garden Centers In The Bay Area

Flora Grubb Gardens (credit: Kristi Gutierrez)

It's time to start planning for the growing season. The Bay Area is home to many micro-climates, which can make garden planning tricky. Gardens vary here with space ranging from community plots to apartment windowsills. These garden centers can get your thumb green with the right selection and care instructions. They are set up for one-stop shopping with an educated staff to answer your questions.

Flora Grubb Gardens
1634 Jerrold Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94124
(415) 626-7256

This urban oasis is set up thoughtfully, with the layout reflecting the type of environment that is best for the plant from indoors to partial shade to full sunlight. There is a knowledgeable staff that can guide you on how to pick the right plants, use the potting bench and how to keep your purchase alive. The selection is varied with vertical gardens, terrariums, succulents, cacti, carnivorous plants, ferns, perennials, palms and lots of choices in between. Design is an equal element here with container choices that complement the content and garden furniture that blends or stands out. This is where Pinterest and Instagram lovers alike come for inspiration and a cup of brew from Ritual Coffee Roasters.

Sloat Garden Center
Sloat Garden Center (credit: Kristi Gutierrez)

Sloat Garden Center
2700 Sloat Blvd.
San Francisco, CA 94116
(415) 566-4415 

Not everything grows in the fog, but if it does, it will most likely be here. Sloat Garden Center has a good variety of seeds, starts, indoor and outdoor plants and flowers, as well as pots and planters. For apartment dwellers, there are herbs, succulents, air plants and orchids to keep your space lush regardless of the season. It is also well stocked in drought friendly and native California plants.  Workshops & seminars are offered regularly that differ from practical knowledge, like citrus 101, to fun classes like how to create fairy gardens.

Berkeley Horticultural Nursery
1310 McGee Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94703
(510) 526-4704

The East Bay gets plenty of sunshine and the selection at Berkeley Horticultural Nursery reflects that. There is a diverse inventory with sections dedicated to native plants, fruit trees, roses, bulbs and organic vegetables. If you are landscaping and have more room to play with, it has the trees and shrubbery to fill in your blank space. The staff is friendly and willing to educate you on all your gardening needs.

Half Moon Bay Nursery
11691 San Mateo Road
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
(650) 726-5392

Half Moon Bay Nursery is a destination in itself. This is a nursery where the grounds are spread out and you need a cart for your goods. The trees, plants and flowers are separated by type. The inventory is healthy, affordable and the selection is abundant. This family-owned and operated nursery carries something for every climate, including the tropical and exotic.

Annie's Annuals & Perennials
740 Market Ave.
(510) 215-3301

As advertised in the name, this is the place to get annuals and perennials. This woman owned and operated nursery grows over 2,000 varieties of plants on 2.5 acres. Specializing in starter plants of every variety, each section is categorized and each plant has a picture of it in bloom with a description. The staff is helpful and their website has seasonal planting guides and tutorials. You can also purchase soil, compost and fertilizer here.

Related: San Francisco Supervisors Consider Tax Breaks To Seed Urban Garden Growth
Kristi Gutierrez is a San Francisco based freelance writer. Find more of her work on

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