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About Yerba Buena Nursery

Yerba Buena Nursery is California’s oldest Native Plant retail nursery business. Plants are grown representing all parts of California, with an emphasis on drought tolerant and plants that support local wildlife. With a knowledgeable staff and extensive plant selection, we are ready to help you make your garden a Native Plant paradise. We also offer books, seeds and garden art that reflects the nature of the plants we sell.

Our Offerings
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With over 60 years of native plant experience, we can help you select and successfully grow local native plants, best suited for the soil and climate of the Bay Area.

 

By bringing together an extensive collection of native plants in one location, the nursery is like a curated museum telling the story of California through the flora of the State.

 

Our website offers detailed articles written by industry experts about how to design with, properly place and install native plants. The Plant Collection we offer is specific by sun, soil and water requirements, plant size, color and wildlife value. Deer resistant plants are a specialty!

 

We offer at home Native Garden Design services, Installation, and Tune Up (pruning and plant evaluation) services. All designed to help you easily implement your native landscaping projects.

 

Come to Half Moon Bay and select your plants, or scroll through our available inventory on the website and have your plants delivered.

Our History

Founded in 1960 by Gerda Isenberg on her family’s 3000 acre cattle ranch in Woodside, CA, Yerba Buena Nursery was Gerda’s attempt to bring native plants out of the wild and into home gardens.

 

Gerda realized the landscape value of native plants and fashioned a nursery dedicated to the propagation of these special plants, many of which are now rare, endangered or extinct in the wild.

 

She started by growing a few exotic ferns, and as she rode her horse through the ranch and nearby countryside, would collect plants in her saddlebags to see if she could make them grow. Gerda would load the plants into her Woody station wagon, taking them to the nurseries ‘on El Camino Real’ and tried to sell them there. She was met with feedback such as ‘why would anyone want to buy those weeds?’ This inspired her to start her own nursery, dedicated to the propagation, growing, education and sales of native plants. Hence, Yerba Buena Nursery was founded.

 

A noteworthy feature of the original nursery property was an extensive Demonstration Garden of the native plants, grouped by habitat areas. A 1905 Farmhouse offered a space for classes and many years of Tea Services and Christmas luncheons which were enjoyed by hundreds of admiring customers and friends.

 

Many people remember either fondly or with great trepidation, the 3 mile narrow, dirt road leading from Skyline to the Nursery parking lot. While a magical setting, it was not easily visited.

 

Kathy Crane took over the nursery in 1995 when Gerda retired at the age of 94. Kathy improved and expanded the nursery in its original location for many years. In 2012, Yerba Buena Nursery relocated to Half Moon Bay, to its present location. Our beautiful glass greenhouse is a convenient and atmospheric environment to view the extensive collection of native plants .

 

With excellent growing conditions, and a healthy agricultural environment, Half Moon Bay provides an accessible site to visit Yerba Buena Nursery, and perhaps to have a cup of Clam Chowder at the beach.

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Our Commitment

Yerba Buena Nursery grows, designs with and sells California Native Plants for home gardens.  By using native plants in our gardens, we are able to give back to nature by providing food and habitat for wild creatures,  great and small.  Native plants provide shelter and food for bees, butterflies, birds, small and large mammals and creatures of all sorts that call California their home.

Native plants are adapted to the local soil and weather patterns of California that offer Dry Summers and mild, low rain winters.  They can survive without the waste of water required by lawns or exotic plants, and provide more value to the landscape in that way.

By using Native Plants, you can connect with the seasons and the environment that is California.