Well, spring has sprung here at Ravenscourt and the phone has started ringing like crazy! I am so happy we took a little break to Laguna Beach and came back refreshed and ready to work. About a half a mile up PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) from where we were staying is a very fun nursery that has been there for years. I did a bit of research and found that that Laguna Nursery was re-opened by Landscape designer Ruben Flores in 1997. The nurseries tag line is One of a Kind and that is certainly true. Mr. Flores combined his landscape design-install company Visionscape with the newly revamped nursery and returned it to its original name. The site is 1 and half acres and has been a favorite place among gardeners for over 50 years.
“Happiness” a 8-foot nude woman, painted in gold-leaf, greets Laguna Nursery’s shoppers. She’s sits on top of the roof above the entrance and can been seen as you drive by on PCH.
We have just started our tour and you can already see this nursery is a combination of plants and art. It is the most eclectic collection of garden art I have ever seen in one place. It was a good think I was traveling with a suitcase and not by car!
This shinny metal sculpture is made of old care fenders.
They do have plants too and they are creatively intermingled with the garden art. A very nice selection of hardy low-water need plants that can thrive in the mild Mediterranean climate of Southern California. Toward the back they have a large selection of edibles. Which do well here if you add a bit of water.
And as you must imagine they have lots of succulents. The one below is spreading in the ground planted by the rear building which seems to be the office of the landscaping part of the business. I had to put my foot in the photo to show you how huge the rosettes on these Sempervivum (Hens and Chicks) actually are. Many of the buildings and surrounding cottages in this part of Laguna Beach have redwood shake siding and bungalow style construction. They have height limits on new construction so homes going up the hill don’t lose the view and ocean breezes. The main building of the nursery is made up of lots of rooms that are full of art, antiques and plants. It seems Mr. Flores has a flair for theatrical design and it really comes out in these fabulous vignettes. Each room has a different mood and tells you a different story. I read he helped his partner Nelson Coates, a Hollywood production designer work on the movie “The Proposal” and they used props from the nursery, like the chandeliers that appear in the wedding scene. I loved the fun, drama and whimsey of this place!
Lots of interesting rain chains. Which don’t get much use in this part of the world but are very decorative.
The nursery is so full you must becareful as you meander through the narrow isles. I enjoyed seeing so many familiar plants. Since I lived over the hill from Laguna Beach for 10 years I had many of these in my garden.
I wish I had a big pool like this in my So Cal garden.
I like the orchids with this modern fountain, it reminds me a bit of a washboard.
If you get to Laguna Beach I know you will enjoy this nursery immensely!