The garden is open for public tours and plant sales by appointment Tuesdays and Thursdays. $12/person admission.
To make individual or group appointments for Tuesdays or Thursdays, phone (707) 872-5463 or e-mail
16250 Coleman Valley Road, Occidental CA 95465
(1.3 miles from the corner of Bohemian Highway and Coleman Valley Road)
Western Hills Garden, described by the San Francisco Chronicle as a “landmark garden,” is open for tours after extensive renovation of the garden and related structures. The garden was started in 1959, and the rare plant nursery was founded by Lester Hawkins and Marshall Olbrich in 1973 and was a destination for serious gardeners until it was closed in 2010. Under new ownership, the garden has reopened for tours and plant sales. 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, rhododendrons, and more that put on a beautiful spring and summer show. The winding paths through endangered Chinese maples, conifers, and perennial shrubs make the garden an all-year attraction. More than 200 plant tags identify the most important specimens with botanical information (genus, species, etc.).
We have an expanding collection of “hard to find” plants from the garden as our propagation effort ramps up. There is no fee if you just want to shop or browse.
Hold Your Special Event Here:
More than 50 garden clubs and horticultural societies have visited the garden in the last several years. We also have hosted numerous birthdays, weddings, charitable events, and retirement parties. We have a large event space and several subsidiary buildings to accommodate your needs. Volunteer docents are available for groups larger than fifteen. Give us a call to schedule an event today.
Bring Your Friends, Lunch, Kids, and Dogs: Lunch: We encourage you and your friends to bring a bag lunch and hold court in our event space or at one of several secluded picnic tables or chairs among the trails. Dog-friendly: We welcome dogs, but please bring a leash (the ponds are very attractive to the dogs). Especially for kids: Our scavenger hunt to find garden art is very popular with kids (especially the prize for finding them all). You may download one of the several challenges(1.9MB pdf). Under age six enters for free; under twelve is half-price.
See our Visitors Guide: you may download our tri-fold brochure as a 2-page file (1.8MB pdf); it includes a self-guided tour map.