Aptos, Carmel, Del Monte and MPC
Shade-loving plants — clivias, ferns, plectranthus, begonias, bromeliads, hydrangeas and South African bulbs; sun-loving plants — brugmansias, salvias, succulents, iochromas, pelargoniums and nicotianas; grasses; California native plants; herb plants — tarragon, lovage, thyme, rosemary, marjoram and mint varieties; small trees — corkscrew willow and Japanese maple; cut flowers — dahlias, lilies, statices, scabiosas, cosmos, gladioli, marigolds, sunflowers and Sweet Williams; and fruits and vegetables — plums, lemons, grapes, tomatoes and persimmons.
Pacific Rare Plant Nursery
951 Green Valley Road
Watsonville, CA 95076
(Not open to the public)
Founded in the mid-1970s by horticulturist and plant collector Wally Lane and his business partner Ken Stephens, both of whom are now deceased, the nursery grows a variety of rare and unique plants. First hired by Lane in 1995 as a field worker, Martin Hernandez eventually became both the chief propagator of the nursery and farm manager and continued in those roles when Lane and Stephens sold the business in 2003. Since the ownership change, Hernandez has put into practice the ecologically minded principles of new owner Daniel Porter. Conserving and providing habitat for both the wildlife and birds living on the five-acre property — previously an apple orchard — is a priority. Soil health, nutrition and attention to light and shade are essential components of the nursery’s philosophy.
A regular presence at the Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Markets since 1979, the nursery became known for Lane’s creation of one of the first hybridizations of the yellow clivia, a South African plant well suited for the California climate that blooms in March. Lane’s cultivara is still sought out by clivia enthusiasts around the world. Hernandez has added a greater variety of native and specialty plants to the nursery and continues to grow the strongest, healthiest, most disease-resistant plants as possible without doing harm to the surrounding environment.
Farmland: 5 acres in Watsonville.