and who was Gerda Isenberg?
For many years we have heard of a California native plant nursery located across the Bay in Woodside, which is near Redwood City and Menlo Park. It always seemed like a long distance to go for garden plants and we never had the time to dedicate an entire day to the excursion. This week, however, we fit it in. Gerda Isenberg was a pioneer in the movement to use native plants in landscapes and she established Yerba Buena Nursery on her family’s ranch property in the 1960’s. We set out,
and winding through some rural roads until we got to Skyline Road in Woodside. Unfortunately, the sign marking the county road we were to turn down had been temporarily removed and it started to become one of those experiences where you think you mad a wrong turn. It felt like there was no other human life around but finally we came to the entrance to the Nursery.
We were welcomed by a tree (and multiple cats) to the magnificent place.
My photos from yesterday were of the early 1900’s ranch house of the original property. The nursery was entrancing and we stocked up on unique native plants. (A note: yerba buena is one of my all time favorite native plants, it grows well under the shade of the trees in our front yard, the deer do not like it so it is undisturbed, and it makes a nice tea! Our yerba buena plants were planted last year and are doing so well that we didn’t purchase any on our visit to the namesake nursery.)
We did come across the most amazing varieties of monkeyflower. I already have pink, yellow, and orange varieties, but now, tah dah, I have white, apricot, and carnivale (salmon red fading to yellow). We also picked up a purple and a white Douglas iris. And then there was buckwheat…and seaside daisy…checkerbloom…oh, my..It was so worth the trip.
There is even a demonstration garden. If you are not already convinced about native plants, you can walk the paths and see them in use.