ISSUE 49  |  Holidays on Ice

Shopper’s Diary: Garden Apothecary in Half Moon Bay, CA

December 09, 2015 10:00 AM

BY Michelle Slatalla

Nearly everything Jennifer Lee Segale sells in her Garden Apothecary shop in Half Moon Bay, California is grown locally or made by hand. This includes her all-natural line of skin and beauty products:

Photography by Mimi Giboin.


Above: Segale, who grew up in Half Moon Bay and has been designing gardens for 15 years, opened the tiny shop (next door to the local feed store) last year.


Above: Segale grows some of the plants she sells on a farm on the edge of town and also sells a selection of unusual varieties of California-cultivated tilandsias–some fuzzy, others with long branches, and still other varieties with pale, gray-blue complexions.


Above: Custom-made copper trowels and hand forks “are tough, sturdy tools that also look amazing,” says Segale.


Above: Frosted glass bottles with corks are “a simple, inexpensive way to store liquids beautifully,” says Segale.


Above: Fresh mistletoe branches were gathered locally; white-and-gold porcelain bud vases are from Honeycomb Studio.


Above: Pumpkin seeds are ready to plant.


Above: Before there was a brick-and-mortar store, there was a line of all-natural bath and beauty products called Garden Apothecary. Horticulturalist Segale manufactures them herself with plants she grows (including citrus and herbs) and with cacao she and her husband collect on trips to Belize. “My first product was a simple rosewater mist, a face and hair fragrance,” she says. Also available online, a bottle of Rose Leaf Flower Essence is $26.


Above: Decorated for the holiday season, the shop has evergreen wreaths and a Christmas tree covered in handmade ornaments.


Above: Segale sells a large selection of terra cotta pots from Massachusetts-based Campo de’ Fiori.


Above: Branches with clusters of eucalyptus seeds will last for months without wilting.


Above: Suspended from a vintage wooden ladder at ceiling height are a selection of holiday wreaths in various sizes, including a square wreath adorned with lavender flowers.


Above: A cacao pod from Belize has two dozen seeds which, when harvested, can be dried, roasted, and ground by hand for use in beauty and health products. Segale sells bars of Raw Cacao Soap in the shop as well as online, where prices range from $4.50 to $18.50 depending on size.


Above: California bay leaf wreaths curl and and darken prettily after a week or two.


Above: An edible cleanser, Half Moon Bay Local Honey also is for sale online; $14.50 for an 8-ounce bottle.


Above: Christmas ornaments for sale.


Above: Among the one-of-a-kind vintage items for sale are a trove of 18th-century spectacles; $60 apiece.


Above: The shop has no land line so don’t try to phone to ask when it’s open (10 am to 6 pm-ish, seven days a week). Segale answers email promptly; if you need to reach her, Contact Jenn.