Thursday, December 20, 2018

Highlights From 2018

Here's a few fun facts from 2018 at Wildwood.

The most popular plant was Daphne odora Marginata.

The biggest plant we sold was a 12' tall Fireglow Japanese Maple in a 95 gallon.

The most popular Japanese Maple was Pixie.

The most popular Dogwood was Cornus florida Cherokee Brave.

A new ranch style fence anchors the entrance and we planted over 200 perennials on the highway frontage for spring.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Orange Fall Color

In spring and summer, we see plenty of greens and reds, even yellow.  Sure, those colors get more intense in fall and really come alive.

Orange is a completely new color that screams fall.  Surprisingly, relatively few Japanese maples show orange in fall.  One might guess Orangeola would be one of them - nope.

Hogyoku, with its large glossy green leaves goes pumpkin orange.  The airy lacey green Brocade leaves also turn a vibrant orange.

Glowing Embers has yellows and red in addition to orange but the orange steals the show!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Pruning Party

This Saturday afternoon, the 20th, Wildwood will offer a workshop on pruning and shaping trees.  The focus will be on Japanese maples, but the principles transfer to ginkgo, dogwood, and conifers.

The first part of the workshop will be a tour of larger trees in the nursery.  Studying mature trees is very helpful when deciding how to shape a younger tree.

The second part of the workshop will be a democratic effort to prune a 25 gallon forest green maple.  The tree is very dense and twiggy now.  Hopefully it will be airy and beautiful after the haircut!

The last part of the workshop will be a discussion of container grown plants with particular focus on root pruning.

707.833.1161 to sign up!

Monday, October 1, 2018

Gold Ginkgo

Ginkgo trees are ancient beings that add sophistication and diversity to any garden.

New dwarf varieties are specifically adapted for smaller spaces.  A Gnome can reach three feet tall while a Chi Chi will grow to a handsome twelve feet.  These dwarfs are grafted varieties; no female seed pods polluting the airspace.  While they look cute, they are also tough plants.

Wildwood has the smallest dwarfs in one gallon containers, great for gifts and beginning gardeners.  Larger dwarfs make instant impacts in gardens that need a focal plant.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Getting Started

The first Instagram photos in 2010 were grainy in the moment shots.  Wildwood's first Instagram photos are basically on par.

It'll be a challenge merging into the "instant camera/telegram" conversation.  Nature photography and retail are sophisticated animals.  At this stage, taking more photos helps document and educate us about where we can improve.  The story is just beginning.

If you're starting a project, bring photos when you visit Wildwood.


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Annual Sale Final Week

Man made and natural wonders collide this week at Wildwood.

The Annual Sale runs until the 23rd.  There is nursery wide savings on dwarf ginkgo, dwarf conifers, rare maples, mature maples, and dogwoods.  People find that if they comb through the different sections they find real treasures perfect for their garden.

A sprinkling of plants are starting to show fall color and that will only increase in the weeks ahead.  This is a rare time when gardeners can see summer and fall color side by side.  This eliminates the confusion of "how bright is scarlet compared to red" or "how much more gold is it than yellow".

Low prices and bright colors - what more can gardeners ask for?

Monday, August 20, 2018

Mystic Spires

One gallon Mystic Spires
When this blog started, we had high expectations for the highway frontage.  We were going to turn it into a dazzling display of color.  There was going to be a regular blog post about 'gardening at 55mph' [hwy 12 speed limit].  We planted LOTS of plants.

The gophers jumped over the gopher baskets.  Water pooled because the clay wouldn't drain.  A cold winter polished off what survived.  Did we swear a lot? Yes.

Salvia Mystic Spires is one plant we have experimented with since then.  The gophers don't eat it.  The deer don't eat it.  It doesn't care about clay.  It doesn't need water after the first year.  It returns after a frost.  It's basically a plastic bouquet of blue flowers.
We're planting 40 next week.  In the words of Carl Spackler 'Au revoir, gopher'

Friday, August 10, 2018

New Entrance

At 55 mph plus, the entrance to Wildwood Nursery has always been easy to miss.  The location, next to the Kenwood Inn & Spa, is still the same.  The gate and fence flanking the driveway are brand new.

We thought it made sense to use lumber for an entrance to a place called Wildwood.  The ranch style look is in keeping with the history of the property.  The color is a bit of a departure though.

White would have been glaringly noticeable.  Black would have been more of an Asian influence.  The deep plum [Benajmin Moore Dark Basalt] was Debbie's suggestion.  She works at Wildwood on weekends and thought the plum color would be 'unique and sharp'.

Next challenge: plants!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Mid Summer Planting

Every week people ask us “when’s the best time to plant?” There are various ways to answer that question. We say we plant trees all year and we do.

It was in the low 90’s today in Anguin, CA where we planted this 95 gallon A.p. Fireglow. A 65 gallon A.p. Glowing Embers, 25 gallon Arbutus Marina, and 15 gallon A.p. Otto’s Dissectum went in a different section of the property.  The plants look great and the new owner is thrilled.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Monday, June 25, 2018

Cottage Garden

Before and after photos of a downtown Sonoma garden.

Decomposed granite and livestock tubs

Espalier camellias provide backdrop for fountain

Can you tell it's fake lawn?

New planters instead of railings alongside old deck

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Evergreen Dogwood

Mountain Moons are great compliments to Valley of the Moons.  Where you find one you usually find the other.

So it makes sense that Wildwood Nursery has added Cornus capitata Mountain Moon to its dogwood collection.

Even though capitatas are native to the Himalayas, the flowers more closely resemble American dogwoods; they’re huge.  They bloom in June/July so there’s no mistaking them.

Plus, they have leaves all year, something American dogwoods can’t match!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Kousas Are Blooming

Just when people think dogwoods are finished blooming, a new wave starts.

The trees native to Asian have slightly smaller, pointier blooms.  More star shaped than their rounded American cousins, the flowers sit above the leaves. 

The sheer mass of flowers more than makes up for their smaller size.  Mostly white with some pale pink varieties, they can bloom into June in some shady spots.

Learn all about them at

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

What's A Peony Look Like?

A lady stopped by the nursery last week because she saw the PEONY sign in front of the nursery.

She said she had read about them but never seen them in person.  She asked if she could look at them.

She bought a Scarlet Heaven Itoh Peony and a Red Charm Bush Peony.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Five Of A Kind

Looking through A.j. Attaryi
What do Jordan, Rhode Island Red, Purple Ghost, Autumn Moon, and Attaryi all have in common?

They all compliment each other. Reds, oranges, yellows, pinks, and greens liven up a shady oak glen. The different heights and layers also pair well with the twisting turning oak limbs.

With careful pruning, the space will become a living sculpture.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


The bees are buzzing around the Daphnes at Wildwood Nursery.  The deer are nowhere to be seen.  The scent carries for miles.  Well the last is a slight exaggeration but even with allergies they are noticeable.

There are three foot wide five gallons and cute one gallons available right now.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

New Planters

Now that the Hardieplank siding is painted, the planters are nearing completion.

Despite their size [1.5 yards of dirt in each], they blend in with their surroundings.

New artificial grass allows easy access to all sides.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Anatomy of a Planter

There are all types of containers and planters available for outdoor use.  Choosing a style is half the battle. Creating the correct mini growing environment is the other half.

All containers need good drainage, especially if they are on the tall side.  The wood planter to the left will have pea gravel in the bottom 2/3rds.  For a tree, the middle third would be half gravel and half soil.

Great drainage means lots of water [galvanized liner] and loss of nutrients quickly.  The soil on the top third will have to be changed yearly to maximize plant health.

Look for the finished photo next week!