From small specialty shops to one-stop garden centers, the Kitsap Peninsula has such a rich selection of nurseries that gardeners can happily spend a couple of days making the rounds and still not see all of them. As local horticulture columnist Peg Tillery says: “If you can’t find it here, you shouldn’t be gardening.”
Here’s a baker’s dozen to get you started:
Bainbridge Gardens – This 58-year-old nursery is well-stocked with large trees, native plants, unusual varieties of shrubs and garden art. We also love the gift shop, the New Rose Café and the Harui Memorial Garden with its ancient pear tree topiary. More info here.
Bay Hay & Feed Nursery – This old-fashioned farm store also has a nursery with everything you need to get your garden off to a great start, including Territorial seeds, vegetable starts, herbs, and mason bees. The staff is a great resource if you’re interested in raising chickens and there’s a gourmet market with local produce, organic milk and fresh duck eggs. More info here.
Bremerton City Nursery – A garden oasis in an urban setting, this nursery carries a large variety of annuals, perennials, shrubs, Japanese maples, small trees and collectible conifers. This is the place to go if you’re trying to figure out how to get a lot of plants into a small space. More info here.
The Brothers Greenhouses – This nursery has a large selection and knowledgeable staff. It’s known for carrying colorful annuals and also has wonderful houseplants. The Brothers grows most of its stock on-site, so it’s well-adapted to local conditions. For pure fun and inspiration, you can’t beat the nursery’s Hobbit-inspired tiny house and display garden. More info here.
Cooleen Gardens – This family-run nursery grows its plants on-site and designs its own color baskets. Known for its dogwood trees, the garden center also carries a wide selection of rhododendrons, azaleas and Japanese maples, as well as fountains and pond supplies. More info here.
Dragonfly Farms Nursery – This nursery is open by appointment only, but is well-worth making the effort to see the artful display gardens. Specialties include rare conifers and unusual companion plants. More info here.
Roadhouse Nursery – This small, family-run nursery specializes in pond plants and supplies and has a lovely lily pond on-site to give you plenty of inspiration. It also carries ornamental trees, Japanese maples, shrubs, annuals and perennials and creates beautiful hanging baskets. More info here.
Rodgers Country Nursery & Gardens – This garden center only sells organic fertilizers and controls. It stocks a wide selection of unusual plants, as well as fruiting, flowering, shade and nut trees and also is known for its charming gift shop. More info here.
Rosedale Gardens – Nestled in the woods, this nursery invites you to wander the beautifully landscaped grounds for inspiration and offers unique annuals, perennials, dwarf conifers, trees and shrubs. There’s also a charming gift shop. More info here.
Savage Plants and Landscape – This specialty nursery grew out of owner James Savage’s landscaping business and is known for rare and unusual plants. Go here for display ideas, as well as trees, shrubs, herbs, vegetables and perennials. The gift shop carries beautiful glassware, linens and furniture “to bridge the gap between the outdoors and indoors.” More info here.
Sundquist Nursery – This nursery is open to the public eight days in 2016, including April 15-16. It features display gardens that range from damp and shady to dry and sunny. Known for a wide selection of ferns, epimediums, hostas and shade companion plants, owner Nils Sundquist strives to provide plants that perform well without coddling. More info here.
Valley Nursery – This six-acre nursery has been around since 1972 and is a delightful place to spend a few hours. It carries everything from fruit trees to houseplants and has a wide selection of annuals to fill a container or perennials and ground covers to make a low-maintenance border. There’s also an amazing selection of colorful pots and a well-stocked gift shop. Look for Valnur the giant garden troll at the garden center entrance. More info here.
Woodbrook Native Plant Nursery – This nursery has one of the largest selections of native plants in the region, boasting more than 90 different types of trees, shrubs, groundcovers, ferns, vines and other perennials. Because they are well-suited to Pacific Northwest weather and soil, the plants do well with little care. This is also a good place to learn about rain gardens. More info here.