Monday, January 31, 2011

Discovering DIG Gardens in Santa Cruz

Recently my friend Rebecca Sweet wrote a great post about DIG Gardens in Santa Cruz, so I just had to see it for myself!

This former patio furniture store has been lovingly and skillfully reworked, making full use of the high ceilings, abundant light, and ample wall space. I'll be seeing more of this classroom area in the future, as DIG has a wonderful lineup of Talks and Workshops this spring, with timely topics like Chicks in the City, Backyard Bee Keeping and Jam Making (Meyer Lemon Marmalade, anyone?)

The chicken corner! Organic supplies for the home henhouse, pretty cool. Don't think my apartment complex includes chickens in its "pet friendly" policy...dang.

Every corner is a delight...all that's missing is the coffee...and I believe they are working on taking care of that (a coffee shop next door? Brilliant!)

I especially liked their interesting wall pieces, some including live mosses or Tillandsias; just lovely. Displaying houseplants this way really helps customers visualize the possibilities for their own spaces.

Rebecca spoke so highly of the beautiful succulent-infused art and furniture built by 5 Feet From The Moon; they've evidently been very popular; I think this was the only piece left!

Hey, look! Books by our friends Jeffrey Gordon Smith (who is busy creating a spectacular garden for the SF Flower & Garden Show) and Debra Lee Baldwin (who will be speaking at the show AND at DIG, on Saturday, March 26th) Since they keep selling out of Debra's new book (Succulent Container Gardens) that should be a popular event!

I've been hearing a lot about terrariums lately, and since DIG seems to be right on target with other new trends, I wasn't surprised to see terraria of many kinds in the shop. And, of course, there will be a Terrarium Workshop this coming weekend (February 5th) that will teach you how to do cool things like this! Here's something an apartment dweller could get very interested in...

Woolly Pocket is another product I keep seeing everywhere, and this stunning wall display of houseplants shows why they are so popular. DIG is a great place to learn about vertical gardening, and of course they have everything you need to succeed.

I loved this beautiful display of contemporary pots. Oh, and if you have your eye on that cool Sansevieria cylindrica on the middle shelf, too late! (It's OK, they have more.)

Great Balls of Succulents! (Sorry, had to say that.) These were especially effective against the fresh white of the walls and ceiling. Lovely.

After reading Rebecca's post I was particularly  interested in seeing these succulent panels, which are SO hot right now. This is a great example of how they can be used to create a garden on a cinderblock wall; loved them against that green. DIG owners Cara and Will Meyers hand-pick their plants from many local nurseries and growers.

A note to Inlanders; some of these plants are quite tender, and to live outside they are happiest near the coast. Planting them in pots that can be sheltered during winter should keep your conscience clear!

Loved this! Again, good for a sheltered spot...would not be happy in freezing temps OR blazing sun. Just because succulents don't use much water doesn't mean they don't appreciate being able to keep what's stored in those lovely leaves, bracts, fingers, and spikes, right?

Delighted to run into an old friend in the shade house; any day that includes Kwan Yin is a good one. Thanks for joining me on my first visit, and if you're in the area, consider coming to one of DIG's many events; maybe I'll see you there!


  1. I'm so glad you had such a good time there! Aren't we lucky to have such a gem so close to us? And guess what! Susan and I will also be speaking there about vertical gardening this May (date TBD) - can not WAIT!!

  2. That's great news Rebecca; you know I'll be there (probably taking pictures and making funny faces in the back)

  3. Great post Laura. I will definitely be visiting on my next trip to see my brother in Felton. My succulent containers have done great in Sacramento even with a little frost. I'm dying to try the Woolly Pockets too.

  4. Hard to single out anything in such an amazing store, but the shallow dishes of succulents on tall columns are wonderful. And nice genteel-looking Adirondacks too. Must swing by on the next trip up the coast. Thanks, girls!

  5. Very nice displays, very nice. Yes, should be enjoyed with good coffee and a good pastry...

  6. You'll have a gas with Debra - she is so inspiring. I was lucky enough to have an interview with her and it's on my website. I'm still waiting for my copy of her book.

    Great pictures on your post; I'm so looking forward to spring.

  7. I love the succulent balls. Those look like an easy at-home project. I have never seen them in garden stores here. Is the base a medium like is used with orchids?

    After seeing those, I am itching to make myself one. Great post!


  8. Those last few photos look downright delicious. We have a great garden store that reminds me of this one locally -- in Niagara-on-the-Lake -- just across the border in Canada. And never be ashamed to say succulent balls, in the right company, of course. Other gardeners yes. Family members, no.

  9. Check out Sakamoto Plants too in Los Gatos. They have tons of very interesting ideas and arrangements. Kirk does wonderful work there!

  10. What a gorgeous place, wish I lived closer.

  11. Update! I'm now working at DIG on Fridays and Saturdays. They have GREAT classes every weekend, do check them out (next week is beekeeping!)

  12. Nice post !! i love when you makes us visiting some great american nurseries...