The beauty and variety of Sonoma gardens and nurseries alone are reason to visit Sonoma County.
The Mediterranean climate and complex, rich soils are responsible for an abundance wildflowers, unique floral gardens and successful organic farms.
These Sonoma gardens and nursuries can be viewed along the Sonoma Coast Self-Guided Day Trip.
Hallberg Butterfly Garden, 8687 Oak Grove Avenue, Sebastopol (707) 823-3420
Flower-lined pathways lead you through this nine-acre butterfly garden of lush vines, thickets, and meadows full of butterfly-friendly plants. It is a sanctuary for the Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly. Take a tour and learn about local butterflies and the plants they need to live. There is a little gift shop which sells field guides and postcards. Visits are arranged for these Sonoma Gardens by appointment only.
California Carnivores, 2833 Old Gravenstein Highway
California Carnivores produces the largest collection of carnivorous plants in the world open to the public, including Venus flytraps, American pitcher plants, sundews, butterworts, bladderworts, and tropical pitcher plants. These Sonoma gardens sell books, gifts and supplies for carnivore gardeners. Open 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Thursday through Monday. Closed on major Holidays.
Occidental Arts & Ecology Center, 15290 Coleman Valley Road, Occidental
The center is a nonprofit organizing and education center and organic farm in Northern California’s Sonoma County. Garden tours are available. Come and choose from hundreds of varieties of California Certified Organic heirloom brassicas, lettuces, salad greens, chards, leeks, and herbs as well as old-fashioned annual flowers. Select from an impressive array of ornamental and edible perennials propagated from the center’s own collections. Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day.
Western Hills Nursery, 16250 Coleman Valley Road, Occidental
For over 40 years, these Sonoma gardens have been developing three gently rolling acres into a complete, mature landscape, using unusual or hard-to-procure varieties of herbaceous plants, vines, shrubs, and trees, many of which are seen nowhere else in cultivation. The garden is arranged to satisfy the most critical and artistic eye and to delight the senses with water and man-made features to complement the cultivated environment, truly a work of art. http://www.westernhillsnursery.com
Vintage Gardens, 4130 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol
Vintage roses and hydrangeas.
Bamboo Sourcery, 666 Wagnon Road, Sebastopol
Call to make an appointment for a private tour of acres of bamboo species up to 35 feet tall.
These Sonoma gardens can be visited as part of the Sonoma Valley Self-Guided Day Trip.
Bouverie Preserve, Highway 12 between Glen Ellen and Sonoma
This 500-acre preserve constitutes wild Sonoma gardens blanketed with evergreen forest, oaks, and chaparral. It is famous for its abundant spring wildflower display. The preserve contains 350 species of flowering plants. It is a productive natural habitat for more than 130 species of birds, and bobcat, coyote and grey fox. Docent-led walks are available to visitors. Small groups of hikers can make reservations to hike the woodlands.
Wildwood Farm Sculpture Garden, 10300 Sonoma Highway 12, Kenwood
Wildwood Farm is best-known for its Japanese maples. The beautiful gardens feature California Nutmeg, Weeping Beech, Katsura trees, Catalina Ironwood, and Soapbark. Exquisite landscaping includes mosaic paths that meander beneath rare maples, Katsura, dogwood and weeping beech, leading to a sunken garden, a brick terrace and unusual gazebo.
Cornerstone Festival of Gardens, 23570 Highway 121, Sonoma
These unique Sonoma gardens are a display of the most recent and creative designs of the finest landscape artists and designers was inspired by the Grand Metis in Quebec and Canada International Garden Festival at Chaumont-sur-Loire in France. The four acres of ever-changing gardens are open daily for self-guided tours. Background information is available at the gardens’ gallery and a market café is on the grounds.
Garden Valley Ranch, 498 Pepper Road, Petaluma
This nine-acre rose garden nursery has a 220-foot long by 14-foot wide display bed that contains roses, perennials, shrubs and annuals planted in color sequence, ranging from cool colors on the edges to warm colors in the center. A bridge crosses a pond surrounded by plantings and fed by waterfalls. A year-round fragrance garden features English Box, yew, bay, and other aromatic plants. Beds of cut-flower roses yield 7,000 blossoms. Blooming season is best viewed from May to October. Tours of these Sonoma gardens are available for $5, Wednesdays through Sundays, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. No pets are allowed.
These Sonoma gardens can be viewed along with the Santa Rosa Self-Guided Day Trip.
Luther Burbank Home & Gardens, Santa Rosa Avenue & Sonoma Avenue, Santa Rosa
Luther Burbank, the reknown horticulturist, lived and worked in Santa Rosa for more than fifty years. His plant-breeding experiments took place at his home and garden, and in Sebastopol. His goal was to increase the world’s food supply by improving the quality of plants. He developed more than 800 new varieties of plants, including more than 200 varities of vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts, and flowers. His Sonoma gardens in Santa Rosa contain medicinal herbs, cutting flowers, roses, wildlife habitats, and ornamental grasses. Visitors are welcome in the gardens without charge daily throughout the year.
Kendall-Jackson Wine Center. 5007 Fulton Road, Santa Rosa
Kendall-Jackson gardens consist of several smaller gardens. The Floral Entry Garden was designed by famed British horticulturalist Adrian Bloom. The Wine Sensory Gardens offer a hands-on education in identifying the aromas and flavors used to describe wines. There is a Red Wine Garden and a White Wine Garden. You can compare the Kendall-Jackson wines with the aromas and flavors found in the gardens. The Culinary gardens consise of the International Cuisine Gardens, Seasonal Vegetable Trial Garden, and the Culinary Herb and Medicinal Herb Garden. You may taste the produce while touring the gardens. View areas specially planted to attract butterflies and beneficial insects crucial to preserving the natural balance in a garden. Many of the seeds used to grow the gardens are heirloom and rare varieties. The Wine Center is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.
Matanzas Creek Winery, 6097 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa
The six gardens of unique design themes are designed to appear as natural evirons of wildflowers, native grasses and trees. A one-acre plot of over 4500 lavender plants (shrubs) blooms in June to early July and annually produces approximately two million stems of lavender. Two species of lavender are grown at Matanzas Creek Winery, Provence & Grosso. Provence is grown for culinary use and Grosso for bath and home products. Matanzas Creek is currently developing a Lavender Educational Garden which will feature as many species of lavender as can be located by the Estate’s lavender and garden team.
The Russian River and North Sonoma Coast
These gardens and reserves can be viewed along with the Russian River and North Sonoma Coast Self-Guided Day Trip.
Korbel Rose Garden, 13250 River Road, Guerneville
The gardens surrounding Korbel Champagne Cellars, are situated in a grove of redwood trees. Throughout the summer and into fall over 250 variations of antique roses bloom. The gardens also contain over 1,000 varieties of plants and flowers, bulbs, perennials and annuals. The unique topography within the gardens creates micro-climate areas identical to exotic areas of the earth and features plants indigenous to those areas. Tours run mid-April through mid-October, Tuesday through Sunday, at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Kruse Rhododendron State Reserve, Highway 1 north of Jenner, adjacent to Salt Point State Park
Five acres of hiking trails take you through this 317 acre-reserve of second-growth redwood, Douglas fir, grand firs, and tan oaks. In May the rhododendron bloom, setting a blaze of bloom against the dark green of the forest. Trails lead through fern-carpeted canyons threaded with seasonal streams. Salals, Pacific wax myrtle and California huckleberry grown in the canyons. Hikers are asked to stay on trails to assist regrowth of plant life. No bikes or dogs are allowed on the trails.
Healdsburg and North County
These gardens and nursuries can be viewed along the Healdsburg and North County Self-Guided Day Trip.
Ferrari-Carano Winery and Gardens, 8761 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg
The five acres of Italian- and French-inspired gardens surround and enhance the stunning architecture of the Ferrari-Carano winery estate. The gardens change constantly throughout the year in both color schemes and plants. Every spring over 10,000 tulips and daffodils come into bloom. Call the Tulip Hotline (707) 433-3549 in late winter/early spring for blooming information. A path meanders alongside a stream fed on each end by waterfalls that flow into fishponds. Identification tags mark over 2,000 species of trees and shrubs. Bronze sculptures by world-reknown artists grace the gardens. Open daily 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Raymond Burr Winery, 8339 West Dry Creek Road, Geyserville
There are over a thousand varieties of orchids raised in the winery nursery. When in bloom, these varieties are displayed in the Tasting Room. Nursery tours are given on Saturdays and Sundays by appointment.