About Us

About Us2018-07-29T22:22:55+00:00

Our Nursery

Our independently-owned and operated 5-acre wholesale nursery has quietly emerged as the go-to resource for naturally grown sustainable plants in the North Bay since its founding in 2009.

Renowned for supplying clients in the landscape trade with large quantities of exceptional plant material suited for the North Bay, we offer native and adapted cultivars of common and hard-to-find plants in sizes from one-gallon to 36” boxes. Our selection of sustainable shrubs, screening material, herbaceous perennials, ferns, vines, ground covers, edibles, large shade and fruit trees – loaded with seasonal fruit customers love to sample right from the tree – is exceptional.

We grow clean — from the ground up – starting with our proprietary soil mix created on site to ensure healthy, strong, highly water-retentive and uncommonly adaptable plants.

In lieu of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, pre-emergents and sprays, we maintain purity and microbial integrity in our soil with clever natural methods. Our highly effective pest control programs range from luring snails away from plants with Budweiser to a flock of chickens that control slugs and sprouting weed seeds. All our fertilizers are Organic Materials Review Institute-approved.

Our nursery is an associate member of the California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) North Coast Chapter.

Our Founder

Founding owner Paul Martinez is an industry iconoclast whose passion for nurturing plants is grounded in deep respect for the environment.  Decades before ‘sustainable’ became a buzzword, he cultivated plants free of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides for PDM Landscape, the ornamental landscape installation, maintenance and construction company he founded in 1980. “Forty years of building and maintaining gardens all over Sonoma and Napa valleys convinced me that durability and sustainability are not mutually exclusive,” says Martinez, whose affinity for both are the foundation of Sonoma Valley Wholesale Nursery.

Like most visionaries, something is always gnawing at Martinez. In the late 2000s it was lack of reasonably priced local landscape plants grown according to organic, sustainable principles for his landscaping jobs. His vision for the nursery crystallized upon breathing in the almost septic scent of anaerobic container soil, a scent that completely disappeared two days later. “It hit me: aerobic bacteria overtakes anaerobic bacteria when the moisture content of the soil is balanced. This soil was so adaptive, so alive, I committed right then and there to keeping chemicals completely out of the equation.”

Martinez launched the nursery in 2009 with the mission to create logic-defying sustainable plants that thrive locally, using as little water and chemical-free fertilizer as possible. Shunning faster/cheaper growing methods, he and his staff insist on growing plants that will thrive long-term in the landscape and exceed customers’ expectations. “We work hard to educate gardeners and impart the importance of patience, observation and experimentation to evolve and personalize gardens,” he says. “Balancing the frequency and delicacy of fertilizing, watering, transplanting and pruning begins to come naturally when you’ve nurtured a plant in situ for years.”

The nursery’s focus on sustainability manifests the discipline necessary to cultivate plants that will translate to customers’ native environments better than any other container-grown plant material. “I spend an inordinate amount of time in the field observing plants in various stages of growth,” says Martinez.

“Plants will talk to you if you listen. Our job is to intuit what they need. The same goes for our clients. We strive to stay ahead of trends, so we can offer clients what they want before they even know themselves.”

As his loyal clientele knows, Paul Martinez is intent on maintaining the enigmatic Ying and Yang that renders Sonoma Valley Wholesale Nursery a rarity.

Our Staff

Cultivating people is as important to founding owner Paul Martinez as cultivating plants. His enthusiastic nursery staff is steeped in plant knowledge and eager to help clients find plants to suit their needs. “Our job is to share a bit of what we know, and to make our customers’ jobs easy,” says Martinez. “They are the reason we do what we do.”

General Public

We appreciate your interest in Sonoma Valley Wholesale Nursery. Though we are primarily to-the-trade only, we welcome home gardeners and will do our best to answer any questions. We also highly recommend these local licensed landscape contractors: