Western Hills, Occidental.

northbay12(9B/15)June 15, 2013

I had been wanting to visit Western Hills in Occidental for quite a while. Kind of silly, because I only live 10 minutes away. I finally visited today (only open on Saturday, except tours) and it exceeded every expectation I had. I am so glad that this horticultural mecca is finally reopened, and if you are ever in this part of NorCal, I highly recommend visiting. I posted some pictures on Flickr, but I have to warn you, I missed a lot of plants because there was just so much to see! Everything there was megasized, Cordylines were upwards of 40ft!

Here is a link that might be useful: Western Hills Set

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wcgypsy(10 / Sunset 23)

Wow! Thanks so much for that..not quite as good as being there today, but pretty good...lol..I think we're all thrilled that this wonderful place has been saved.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 3:48PM
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No pictures are definitely no substitute, when I was going through my pictures, I was thinking of all of the amazing things I missed. I guess I'll just have to visit again, oh well :)

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 4:47PM
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jkom51(Z9 CA/Sunset 17)

Shucks - to think I was just in the area and didn't visit! Thank you so much for posting this. Loved your photos and it will definitely be on my list for our next trip. We visit Sonoma Cty 3-4x a year and now I can hardly wait to go again!

So why are there so many wonderful nurseries and gardens in Sonoma and such a sad dearth of them in Napa, LOL??

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 8:01PM
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Haha! You should be thanking your lucky stars, jkom! I spend way too much at the nurseries, you can't drive down the 116 without passing about a million of them, they're a dime a dozen, and of course I have to stop in every one of them, with no intention of buying anything, then I come out with a cartful of plants...

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 9:14PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

I am glad to hear it is open again. Many unusual plants are available for mother plants, and I hope the new owners will make it back into the nursery it once was. Al

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 9:29AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Thanks for the photos. What a miracle it has been saved, it's great news.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 4:42PM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

It is a very different garden than it used to be but just as special. The trees have grown (and many have become magnificent specimens, like the Zelkova near the house) and the canopy makes the garden much more shaded than it was when I first began visiting in the mid-80s. The new owners and manager (along with a dedicated crew of volunteers) have really done a wonderful job. I was afraid to go back but finally nerved myself last summer and was so glad that I did.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 8:09PM
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I was stunned when I visited, I could not believe the size and presence of the plants, especially realizing that the garden was neglected for years. I saw many new areas that were under construction, so I plan on visiting throughout, and taking plenty of pictures. I feel blessed to live so close to this amazing place. Also I should note that they were selling and propagating plants, but I don't know if they plan on reopening as a full-blown nursery, I got the feeling that they were focusing more on the preservation aspect. When I spoke to the garden manager, she said that this was the best time of year to visit, but I can't imagine a time when it wouldn't be, even in the middle of January it would have plenty of interest.
What impressed me the most were the Restios, they were some of the largest specimens I had ever seen!
Elegia capensis:

The photo doesn't really do it justice, but I am now on the hunt for an Elegia. And about a million other plants I saw there!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 10:54PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

What a magical place. Thank you.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 11:04PM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

If you are near Sebastopol, Peacock Horticultural Nursery on 116 carries a lot of restios. Also try Emerisa Gardens in Santa Rosa.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 11:39PM
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I'm in Santa Rosa, and Peacock and Emerisa are two of my favorite nurseries, I got my Rhodocoma capensis from Peacock, but haven't seen the Elegia being sold, but he does have the best selection of Restios in our area.
I am glad everyone has enjoyed the virtual tour!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 11:47PM
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