Laguna Nursery

Every fall, the owner of Laguna Nursery buys these massive pumpkins and displays them up along the entrance to his store, which is right off the busy Pacific Coast Highway (U.S. 1) in town. They make quite a statement. In my mind, a pumpkin or two are really all you need outside your home at Halloween. If you can swing one like these big daddies, even better.
But obese pumpkins are just a taste of what’s inside California landscape designer and horticulturist Ruben Flores’ art-filled nursery. 
The place is packed. And the style is, well, about as eclectic as it comes. Since his main clientele is affluent local homeowners, this is not a place for deals and discounts. But Ruben has filled the spacious store and back alley with everything from garden furniture, art and accessories and tons of plants. This is an old metal door that is hung on its side and strewn with danging glass ornaments. 

Here’s one of the funky handmade mobiles crafted by my artist friend Christine Kunkel, who lives in town. 
Although the store is overflowing with art and garden decor items, Ruben also has a wonderful selection of plants–from orchids to natives to succulents.

I loved this metal cactus sculpture. Of course, in general, I zeroed in on the pieces I liked. The beauty of this place is there’s pretty much something for everyone–as long as you have some cashola in your pocket.

For people with larger gardens looking for that perfect focal point, this place can help you add drama.

Tons of fountains at this place. 

It actually can be challenging to find modern fountains that aren’t too Miami Vice.

Ruben also had a vast selection of planters for any landscape style–from Mediterranean to modern.

Who wouldn’t be able to find a spot for this sweet, stone bird bath?


Although I didn’t count them, Ruben has birds all over the nursery, from these parakeets to cockateils to love birds. They are all happily ensconced in vintage bird cages. I have to say this is my favorite thing about this nursery.

Sadly, these large metal flowers–and hearts–are all over the nursery and dominate the otherwise lovely, organic aesthetic. And even sadder, is that many people in town have bought them and display them in their yards. Okay, I will stop being a meanie. I just totally don’t get their appeal. 

Back to the good stuff. Ruben has one room filled with Asian inspired art. A great place if you are in the market for a cool Buddha head!

He also has an impressive selection of rain chains.

I think I already mentioned the plant selection, 
but just wanted to add that they are all very well-maintained and thriving!!

Again, if you had the right spot! Large, burled wood mushrooms. So fun!

Lots of fabulous outdoor lights and chandeliers.

These wired orb lights are killer!!!
If nothing else, you must get the picture by now that Ruben has great taste and a very playful sense of humor. He’s also an enthusiastic community builder. Click HERE to see some of his events. Almost every Saturday, he offers local walking garden tours. I attended my first one yesterday, and will post about that next!! 
Click HERE to find out how to join Ruben on one of these insider garden tours. 

10 thoughts on “Laguna Nursery

  1. You have no idea how much I want that metal Opuntia in the beginning of your post….so cool! As for the brightly colored flowers and hearts, yuck! I don't get it either!

  2. I keep saying 'one of these days I'll drive on down the coast', but seriously! One of these days! I'm actually speaking at the Laguna Beach Garden Club in the spring and hope to spend an extra day or two there to see some of your finds (and you!) in person. I'll definitely contact you to see if we can actually meet in person – how fun would that be!!

  3. @Hoover Boo: Parking is easy. There's a large parking lot behind the store, or you can park in front off PCH but watch the meter maids!
    @Rebecca Sweet: I would love to meet you. Let me know when you are in town! I'm not active in local garden club, but will try to catch your gig!

  4. laguna dirt !!!
    you are my hero !!
    Ruben Flores — owner of Laguna nursery

    thanks so much – that you do this is unbelieveable and so so so appreciated
    and for those of you that want or need anything from us come see us or call us =– i will make the sale as painless as possible


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *