16250 Coleman Valley Road
Occidental CA 95465
(1.3 miles from the corner of
Bohemian Highway and Coleman Valley Road)
See our Visitors Guide: you may download our tri-fold brochure as a 2-page, 1.8MB pdf file; it includes a self-guided tour map.
Western Hills Garden, described recently by the San Francisco Chronicle as a “landmark garden,” is opening for tours after extensive renovation of the garden and related structures. The Western Hills Rare Plant Nursery was founded by Lester Hawkins and Marshall Olbrich in 1960 and was a destination for serious gardeners until it was closed in 2010. Under new ownership, the garden is opening for tours. While still a “work in progress,” you can enjoy the garden that was described by the New York Times in 2005 as the “Tiffany’s of plants.” Western Hills has been designated a Preservation Assistance Garden by the Garden Conservancy.
The three-acre site boasts a beautiful collection of azaleas, camellias, hellebores, and rhododendrons which flower from January through May. Summer brings flowering beschorneria, dogwoods, echiums, iris, kniphofias, mullein, phlomis, puyas, wachendorfia, and more. Fall/Winter has its own special beauty. The paths and grounds have been tamed again, and the stately zelkova, a spectacular coral tree, and acer pentaphyllums reach to the sky. The hummingbirds and other wildlife are back, including ducks, turtles, fish, and an occasional heron in the big pond.