Green shopping guide: 8 shops to jump-start your spring garden

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Pot your dreams at Paxton Gate.
PHOTO COURTESY PAXTON GATE

You can turn your slice of this concrete jungle into jungle, with a bit of elbow grease and ingenuity. Oh, and resources might help, too. Whether you're looking to build a succulent-laden sanctuary, an extensive drip irrigation system, or a simple window box, our local gardening centers and shops have you covered. Come for the enthusiastic and knowledgeable staffs, quirky clientele, and a chance to momentarily forget you live in a hectic city.

Flora Grubb Gardens

For those of us who like our plants and gardening implements flawlessly presented to us, Flora Grubb’s where it’s at. A gardening virgin won't escape this place without picking up something beautiful and fertile.

Mon.-Sat. 9am-6pm; Sun. 10am-6pm 1634 Jerrold, SF. (415) 626-7256, www.floragrubb.com

Succulence

Let’s face it, succulents are sexy. Find your ideal water-retaining plant at this Bernal Heights spot. Note: succulents make great gifts for people who inadvertently tend to kill plants due to irresponsible and spotty watering practices.

Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-6 p.m. 402 Cortland, SF. (415) 282-2212, www.thesucculence.com

Paxton Gate

Part beautifully curated plant shop, part just as beautifully curated animal bone and rock store, Paxton Gate provides ideal materials to build the best terrarium of your life or the lush garden you’ve always wanted. They also have a taxidermied unicorn.

11am-7pm 824 Valencia, SF. (415) 824-1872, www.paxtongate.com

Berkeley Horticultural Nursery

Whether you’re looking for a Persian mulberry tree or sugar moon roses, the friendly and knowledgeable staff here is well-equipped to help you craft your dream garden.

9am-5:30pm Closed Thursdays. 1310 McGee, Berk. (510) 526-4704, www.berkeleyhort.com

Flowercraft Garden Center

If alpine poppies, snapdragons, and marygolds make you giddy, head over to Flowercraft. Their selection of flowers, succulents, and soils is quite extensive. 

Mon.-Fri. 8:30am-6pm; Sat. 8:30am-5:30pm; Sun. 10am-5:30pm 550 Bayshore, SF. (415) 824-1900, www.flowercraftgc.com

Urban Farmer Store

This three-store chain specializes in resources for drip irrigation systems and rainwater harvesting.

Various Bay Area locations. www.urbanfarmerstore.com 

Sloat Garden Center

The Bay Area’s largest independently owned nursery, with tons of locations so that when you break your spade mid-row, you'll be able to scoop another in no time at all. Be sure to check out their pottery selection. 

Various Bay Area locations. www.sloatgardens.com

Plant Warehouse

Plant shopping paired with wine tasting in Nob Hill. Sounds about right, no?

10 a.m.-6 p.m. 1624 California, SF. (415) 885-1515