Thursday, January 20, 2022

The Green Thumb of SLO!

Plants are a beautiful reminder of the beauty of nature. They allow us to be present and to find happiness with the efforts we put into their growth. Why not enjoy them in your own home? If you’re looking to purchase a plant to create a vibe in your home or life, make sure to shop with these locals who are spreading their love with their green thumb!

Don’t see your favorite spot on the list?
Leave a comment below!

Leaves Me Love – Meet Matty!

ABOUT: “Leaves Me Love is an exotic plant studio and botanical design service inspired by the culture, energy and beauty of the Central Coast. Similar to a farm to table approach within restaurants, I’ve set myself and my business apart by the way in which I source my design medium – tropical houseplants! Through an incredible network of SLO and Santa Barbara County growers, my own small shop is in turn able to support local farmers and connect the community with a prime array of distinct botanical gems.”

INSPIRATION/FAVORITE PLANT: “While plant care and collecting has long been a hobby, it has been just recently – within the last two years – that my own personal interest has evolved into a full time livelihood. The business name, origination and ongoing mission are appropriately inspired by the Monstera, a favorite plant mine. Just as this particular variety of plant has leaves which naturally split to allow light to travel through to lower foliage, I have modeled my own approach after the “share the light” philosophy. The tremendous support and the encouragement I’ve received from friends, growers and customers has allowed me to transition my operation from my home and local pop up events to a thriving retail establishment. I make a conscious effort each and every day to continue the positive momentum of love, light and sharing through my designs and the interactions made possible by this business.”

“My plants and design work – ecosystems, aquascapes and water features – can be experienced (and purchased) in person at the Leaves Me Love exotic plant studio in Shell Beach on both Saturday and Sunday as well as during the week, by appointment. The space is an environment that I’m incredibly proud of – a true botanical boutique that is tastefully enhanced with contributions from other local artists. In addition to the physical storefront, I also regularly design and care for living arrangements within both private residences and commercial businesses. For those seeking to add tropical plants to their own retail offerings, Leaves Me Love is able to source, arrange and update inventory as needed with botanical varieties appropriately suited for the environments into which they are being placed.

I welcome and highly encourage you to visit the shop virtually on Instagram and Facebook to see regular updates of plants showcased within the studio, as well as glimpse into how and where my designs have been incorporated within local business and special event settings throughout SLO County. Announcements of upcoming workshops, pop up events, visits from fellow artists and outtakes from sourcing excursions are frequently highlighted as well!”

Leaves Me Love
501 Shell Beach Road, Pismo Beach, CA 93449
Saturday-Sunday: 11am-4pm
Monday-Friday: by appointment
Matty Miller (owner/designer): 805.503.2594
Facebook/Instagram: @leavesmelove

Gai’s Garden Morro Bay – Meet Sierra & Summer

ABOUT: “Gaia’s Garden opened its doors April 2021 in Morro Bay, California! We are a mother-daughter owned business striving to bring a unique healing experience to our hometown on the central coast! We specialize in rare house plants that we hand pick every week to insure quality and consistency in our products! Our love for houseplants resonates with our mission to bring our community’s mind body, and spirit in alignment by pairing the plant’s healing properties with our natural crystals. Our passion for an alternative type of healing is showcased by our wide variety of intuitively picked crystals that only amplify the healing properties of our house plants! They go hand in hand.”

INSPIRATION: “Plants have been a consistent love within my family for generations. We hold our family traditions highly so as a family ran business we found it prevalent to keep the magic alive. To be able to bring our passions to the forefront of our community is a blessing and we are so grateful!”

FAVORITE PLANT: “We are both Libras and lovers of all plants so this was hard to choose. If we had to go with one plant family it would be Calatheas, for their uniqueness and love to be treated with such care and intention. That being said they are finicky but when you understand them just right, it’s worth it.”

WHERE TO SHOP: “Gaia’s Garden is located in Morro Bay, California at 600 Morro Bay Blvd Unit C, the storefront entrance is on Shasta Ave. We are open 6 days a week Tuesday-Sunday from 10am-5pm. Gaia’s is always on the search for the most unique houseplants, we find joy in the hunt! We’re always taking on requests from our customers, no matter what plant they’re looking for, we will find it! You can purchase from us in store or online through Instagram, and yes we do ship!”


A Potted Plant & The Sunny Spot – Meet Kelly & Mikey!

About: “My partner Mikey Sandifer and I (Kelly Edward) launched A Potted Plant in November 2020. It was a quarantine baby. We had always known we were going to open a shop together and plants were always a part of that plan, but after I realized how much I was needing to be around these green babes during those hard times we thought there might be a lot of folks feeling the same way and so A Potted Plant was born. Today we sell a curated selection of tropicals, cacti, pots and accessories for everyone. We are always growing towards creating a space for the community full of locally made goods, big smiles, thriving plants, and all the advice and you want and need to keep them happy and growing.”

INSPIRATION: “My dad and Mikey’s momma both have  huge green thumbs and have been big inspirations and cheerleaders for A Potted Plant. Some of my (Kelly’s) earliest memories were of helping my dad in the garden. My parents house looks like a dreamy jungle with huge, old, beautiful plants all throughout. So I suppose it has always just been a part of us. There’s something so deeply healing and human about getting your hands into soil and watching plants grow.”
FAVORITE PLANT: “That is always a hard question. I really don’t have a favorite, I love all of my plants so much for their uniqueness. But if I had to choose one, it would probably be my hoya obovata. It hangs in the corner of our living room and has made me so happy to watch it grow over the years.”

WHERE TO SHOP: If you’re in the area and would like to shop with us in person, come on out to our shop The Sunny Spot located at 1060 Quintana Road Morro Bay, we share the shop with the fantastic jewelry designer and maker Lazygoods. We’re open every week from Wednesday – Saturday from 11-4pm, for more up to date hours posted weekly follow us on instagram.

CONNECT: You can also find us online at We’ve recently added a local pickup option at checkout so you can shop from home and swoop by the shop for a quick pickup. We also love popping up at Local makers markets with our small biz friends in the area and post about all happenings on our Instagram and @_thesunnyspot_  . Give us and follow it means a lot and we will keep you in the loop when we get exciting new plants, about future events, hours and sales! If you’re interested in a private shopping experience outside of our open hours for yourself / family / friends, shoot us an email at

Clear Water Color Nursery – MEET ELLIOTT & MEGAN

ABOUT: “Clearwater Color Nursery is owned by Elliott and Megan Paulson. This wholesale plant nursery was established on January 1, 1987. We are located approximately 5 miles from the Pacific Ocean in the picturesque Los Osos Valley. We enjoy a temperate climate, combined with almost constant coastal breezes that create ideal growing conditions for our greenhouse and outdoor growing facility. We grow our plant material in pots, packs, gallons. It all starts with healthy soil. Our plants begin their life in a carefully developed peat-lite soil mix that is created on site. This mix helps us grow plants that are healthy and strong. With the combination of our mild climate and specialty soil mix, our plants are able to adapt to and thrive in the new environment they will eventually be planted into. We are intentional about growing both the tried & true plants that people know and love as well
as bringing in new varieties to add to our selection of plant material. We grow a wide variety of Annuals, Perennials, Vegetable & Herbs, Succulents, Ornamental Grasses and California Native plants, all of which is suitable to the varied climate zones of our region.”

INSPIRATION: “After graduating from Cal Poly in Business Finance, Elliott sadly packed up his little VW Bug, said good bye to San Luis Obispo, moved back to Southern California. He worked as a Stock- broker with Merrill Lynch, on the 50 th floor of a high rise building in downtown Los Angeles. After several years of this, He knew that he wanted to get back to the Central Coast and start an Ag-related business. Since he’s always had a love for plants, he decided to return to Cal Poly as a Graduate Student in Ornamental Horticulture – since he understood that he could have an Ag-related life on just 10 acres. Upon completion of his course work he started Clearwater Color Nursery.

Fast forward to 2004 when Elliott and Megan were married and Megan joined the Clearwater Color team. We both love being part of our Central Coast community and through the years we’ve developed long-term friendships with many of our customers. We know that plants enrich people’s lives and we have always strived to make our nursery a place where people feel welcomed. So often we are told that our little nursery in the valley is a place where people find a sense of well-being and peace as they wander through our growing grounds and greenhouses.”

Elliott’s Favorite Plants:
Annual – Lobelia ‘Crystal Palace’
Vegetable – Tomato ‘Early Girl’
Perennial – Lepechinia fragrans
Succulent – Echeveria ‘Afterglow’
Grass – Carex testacea ‘Prairie Fire’

Megan’s Favorite Plants:
Annual – Pansy ‘Mammoth Sangria Punch’
Vegetable – Swiss Chard ‘Bright Lights’
Perennial – Calylophus drummondianus
Succulent – Dudleya pulverulenta
Grass – Muhlenbergia capillaris ‘Pink Muhly’

WHERE TO SHOP: Our plants can be found at many independent retail nurseries in San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, and many cities throughout California's Central Valley. We also provide landscape plants to many Landscape professionals in our community as well as several Resorts, Universities and Community Colleges.

Our website is
Instagram is @clearwatercolornursery

SHARE THE LOVE: “We are so grateful for our current 12 employees, many of which have been with us for 10, 20, and even 30 years. Over the last 34 years we have employed many people, and each one has helped to make Clearwater Color Nursery what it is today….they are all part of the large, and diverse Clearwater Color Family.”

The Educated Gardener – MEET SIMONE

INSPIRATION: I suppose it all started when I was little. My parents would take us hiking to the mountains or the beach, to parks and botanic gardens, county fairs and flower shows. We were always exploring, looking at plants and wildlife, always had a vegetable garden and had fun to going to nurseries to pick out flowers. Later, my mom was our 4-H Plant Science leader, teaching us  more about different plants and propagation methods and had fun growing things to enter at the fair. At Cal Poly I majored in Natural Resource Management until changing and receiving my degree in Landscape Architecture. After graduating and working with my husband in his landscape contracting business I saw a need for a nursery in the area that provided more than just the basic or most popular plants and started working on a plan. We opened The Educated Gardener in July of 1993 with the idea of promoting more of a gardening lifestyle.  Inspiration is offered through a unique ambience of a tiny western town where paths meander around ponds and water gardens, an aviary and a diverse selection of plants suited to our climate.

FAVORITE PLANT: “Wow, this is my problem! I love pretty much ALL plants so my  “favorite” changes often. One of my all-time favorites is the Evening Primrose, it grows tall and can be pretty rangy looking but in late spring through summer it’s bright golden blooms open in the evenings right before your eyes followed by a flurry of wood bees gathering up strands of freshly revealed pollen. Lately, though, I’ve been captivated by the fall colors of so many trees, fallen in love with the movement of the tall blooms of Slender Velt grass in the breeze, or amazed at the diversity of butterflies and bees that are attracted to fall blooming asters. Also, there are so many fun and interesting types of Sage, annuals, perennials and California natives with fragrances ranging from pungent to sweet and beautiful flowers that attract hummingbirds, butterflies and many pollinators.
We can learn so much by observing and working with nature and plants are so exciting. Form, color, texture, fragrance, flavor and even sound can be added to the garden depending on plant choices and what you are trying to achieve.”
HOW TO PURCHASE – Purchases can be made in person by visiting The Educated Gardener located in beautiful downtown Santa Margarita at 22210 El Camino Real, right across the street from Pacific Beverage. Fall and Winter days and hours of business are Tuesdays-Saturdays 10:30-4:30 (Closed Sundays & Mondays).
Learn more and get updates by following us on Facebook and Instagram
Nursery phone 1(805)438-4250
SHARE THE LOVE: The Educated Gardener is a proud partner with the California Native Plant Societies Bloom! California program

High Rock Plant Co. – MEET EMMA

ABOUT: “Highrock Plant Co. is a plant delivery service in San Luis Obispo. Think of me as a plant fairy: I help you find the best plant for your space + plant personality, then deliver it personally to your door! I only offer high quality plants that are ready for new homes, and every plant sold includes a care card and ongoing care advice. It’s my goal to make sure that you find a plant that will bring you joy and make you proud!

Note: If you’re struggling with your current plant collection, I can help! Sign up for a virtual or in-person consultation via this link.”

INSPIRATION: “Before the pandemic, I was a casual plant collector with about 30 species. As the pandemic hit in early 2020, my way of coping was scouting out all the local plant shops to find a unique species that I hadn’t had before. Before I knew it, I had plants everywhere: my house, my boyfriend’s place (the lighting was too good!), my parent’s house, you name it. Quickly after that, I began helping friends and family with their plants, and found it to be very rewarding. With that, Highrock Plant Co. was born! I’ve found this business to be such a fun adventure – even if it’s just a side hustle (I also work full time for a local tech company, Mindbody).”
FAVORITE PLANT: “My favorite plant has to be my variegated Alocasia Odora. It’s a fun, delicate plant that I don’t often find around here, and this particular plant’s variegation is pretty phenomenal. I’ve always loved Alocasia’s large leaves and how quickly they can send out a new one. These bubbas typically only like to hold about 4-6 leaves, and mine currently has 7! Sure, these plants can be high maintenance, but with the right care, they’ll flourish! I’ll attach some photos because I truly can’t help myself.”
HOW TO PURCHASE: “The best place to find our plants in stock is the website. We’re currently online only, but I’ll be hosting several local pop ups in 2022. P.S. Every order comes with a bundle of peacock feathers from Highrock Ranch!”
HOW TO CONNECT: “Interested in a specific plant, but not seeing it on the website? I’ll do my best to track it down for you! DM me on Instagram with the details of what you’re looking for.
If you’re looking to pick up a quick gift, you can find potted Highrock plants at local gems Lincoln Deli and Mint + Craft.
Additionally, if you have any questions about your plants, you can sign up for an in-person or virtual consult via this link.”

ABOUT: “We strive to be a treasured local, national, and international resource; to delight, educate and inspire people to embrace nature, outdoor recreation, community interaction, celebration of the arts, creative endeavors, and health and wellness; to showcase and support world-class botanical collections, horticultural research, plant propagation, local history, indigenous culture, and universal access to the outdoors. Membership opens wonderful pathways to explore, learn, and grow. Your membership helps provide vital funding for the growth and development of this unique 150-acre resource.”

INSPIRATION:  “I’ve loved plants for as long as I can remember. The first
experience was probably eating veggies out of our family’s section at the community garden in Libertyville, IL where my family settled first after immigrating from Cambodia when I was 5 years old.  That first spring was spent in the dirt planting veggies with my mom.”

FAVORITE PLANT: “That’s like asking what’s your favorite song or food!  I have so many!  I do prefer plants that you can eat and/or are decorative and that can survive with little
maintenance.” -Chenda Lor, Executive Director

HOW TO PURCHASE: “A variety of beautiful drought-tolerant plants are available for sale at the Garden Gift Shop during business hours (Monday-Sunday from 10AM-4PM). Spring and Fall Plant Sales are scheduled annually. Our Botanical Garden volunteers grow many of these plants on-site at our propagation house. These plants are native to California and other Mediterranean climate zones, making them the perfect plant to help gardens conserve water. Visit our Fire Safe Demonstration Garden and learn which plants can help protect your home from wildfires.”

SHARE THE LOVE: “As a public non-profit Garden, we rely solely on the contributions of our members, visitors, and volunteers. We are continually growing – not only in the abundance and variety of our Mediterranean planting displays, but also in popularity from local and out-of-town visitors who find relaxation and rejuvenation from a visit to the Garden. The Garden is open to the public daily from 10AM to 4PM for a $5 admission fee. Members are free! The San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden is located at 3450 Dairy Creek Road in El Chorro Regional Park across from Cuesta College. Please learn more about us at or let us assist you by phone (805) 541-1400. There is always something new growing on at the Garden!”

Other Cool Local To Purchase Plants From :

The Plant Therapist

Poly Plant Shop


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