In a time when big box stores seem to outnumber independents, it’s cause for celebration when a new indie nursery opens its doors. Even more exciting when the shop is owned by Flora Grubb.
Photography by Caitlin Atkinson, courtesy of Flora Grubb.
Grubb, whose eponymous nursery in San Francisco helped set the trend for modern, foliage-forward landscapes, just put down roots in Los Angeles. Located a few minutes from the heart of Venice, the sunny locale in Marina del Rey features two acres packed with rare and unusual plants geared to the California coastal climate; chic containers; and tools and other gardening goods.
“We stay away from water-hogging options in favor of plants that are appropriate for the naturally dry summers in coastal California, and periods of drought,” she says. Think: lots of graphic agaves and aloes, feathery palms, and fleshy succulents. “But we love green, leafy plants that have extravagant flowers just as much as sculptural cactus,” says Grubb, who also makes sure to stock lots of pollinator loving plants.
The nursery grows the majority of the plants they sell at their Rainbow Valley Farm—from real rarities to “once-obscure plants that we like to make staples in the landscape,” she says. But their focus goes beyond aesthetics. “We have a responsibility to provide our customers with the building blocks of a resilient landscape,” she says. “California natives are a must. Plants that prove invasive must be avoided, even if customers love them and ask for them continuously.” But most of all Grubb wants the nursery to ”spark the imagination, inspire creativity, and help customers fall in love with their gardens.”
To get the most out of your visit to the nursery, Grubb recommends you come prepared with the following information:
- “Bring a few photos of your space to share with employees. We find it easiest to work with printed photos, whenever possible.”
- “Scale can be tricky! Measure your space and the surrounding objects.”
- “Know your light conditions in your garden. How many hours of sunlight does the spot get? Is that light bright or diffused?”
- “While it isn’t totally necessary to know what kind of soil you have, it is helpful.”
Flora Grubb LA is open daily from 9 am to 6 pm, at 13198 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey. For those in the LA area, the nursery is holding its grand opening celebration and sale May 27-29.
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- Landscape Designer Visit: At Home with Flora Grubb in Berkeley, CA
- Garden Visit: Clarke de Mornay’s Tropical Potted Patio in San Francisco
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