Sonoma Horticultural Nursery
About Us

About Sonoma Horticultural Nursery

We are located in Sebastopol, about 60 miles north of San Francisco in Sonoma County, California. We specialize in growing rhododendrons and azaleas. We also carry a wide selection of shade-loving trees, shrubs and perennials.

The nursery and gardens are open all year and visitors are welcome to tour our eight acres of demonstration gardens. With over one and half miles of pathways to explore, there is so much to see that just one visit is not enough. For larger groups of 10 or more people, you will need to make a reservation.


In 1964, Stewart and Audrey Barber began what was to become Sonoma Horticultural Nursery with an emphasis on growing and hybridizing Exbury Azaleas. When Polo de Lorenzo and Warren Smith purchased the nursery in 1976, it consisted of the gardens by the house and the growing grounds which is now the parking lot and lath houses. At the time, the rest of the property was overgrown with nettles and blackberry vines. Over the years, Polo and Warren have stabilized the banks of the spring-fed pond and Blutcher creek and cleared away the weeds in order to create the gardens that exist today. There are now seven and a half acres of gardens and nursery with over one and a half miles of pathways for you to explore & enjoy.

Our Climate

Since we are situated approximately 20 miles from the Pacific Ocean, we receive some coastal influence in the summer in the form of fog and afternoon breezes. Otherwise, summers are warm and dry, with temperature ranges between the mid 70°F to the mid 80°F. We do reach 90°F to 100°F on occasion until the fog returns to cool things down. Winters are cool and wet, with between 35 to 45 inches of rain. Average night-time lows range between 40°F to 50°F with occasional frost. Infrequent freezes can bring the temperature down to 15°F for a short period.