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Start Your Garden in Tacoma: Local Nurseries, Plant Sales, and Soil

Start Your Garden in Tacoma: Local Nurseries, Plants Sales, and Soil

The sun is almost consistently shining in Tacoma, which means it’s time to get those gardens started! A few years ago, John built a sweet veggie and herb garden along the sunny side of our home. The best crop is always the tomatoes but we have grown a variety of things over the years including herbs, sun flowers, salad greens, and snap peas (yum!). Every year we go hunting for the best starts, seeds, and soil, so we thought we’d share some of our beloved local gardening resources with you.

Hint Hint - Best practice is getting your plants in pots or the ground by Mother’s Day each year! This year, Mother's Day falls on Sunday, May 12th. Mom just might like a gift from one of these local spots!




3310 N Proctor

Garden Sphere

Garden Sphere is hardly a hidden gem. They are a staple in the Tacoma community for great plants, soil, seeds, and general garden beauty. This is probably our most shopped store! Last year we picked out a variety of tomatoes starts, flowers, strawberry plants, peas, arugula seed, and so much more. The staff is always ready to help and you can check out a list of their services here. If you're feeling adventurous about that homestead in the city life, you may even consider investing in some fowl friends, and snag a chicken or two. Located in the beautiful Proctor District, we often make a day of it with a walk through the shops, a stop at the park, and maybe a brew at Peaks and Pints. It doesn't have to be Spring time to visit either! Grab your Christmas tree and other winter flowers come November!



1409 E 59th St

Portland Ave Nursery

Portland Ave Nursery hold a special place in our hearts. Growing up on the south end, both of us (separately, although we may have oddly crossed paths as young children in the mid 90's) frequented this nursery with our families. John’s mom even managed it for a period of time! Catie spent many summers perusing for perennials, potting soils, and garden statues, with mom on one side and grandma on the other. If we were lucky, we could grab a treat on the way out. It is still just as lovely of a place to wander around admiring the flowers and other flora. Not only do they have a very large assortment of plants, seeds, starts, and gardening supplies, they offer resources. You can contact specific growers with your questions or learn which soils best fit your space. Their online "Plant Problem Solver" tool is also a great resource in a pinch.



5020 116th St E

Jade Mountain Nursery

Jade Mountain Nursery is a beautiful space that specializes in bamboo screens, Japanese maples, and other Asian flora. This is another place close to our hearts, as before John was in real estate, he was part owner of Jade Mountain. His knowledge has come in quite handy for landscaping and selecting bamboo for around our home! Chris, John’s old business partner and now sole owner of Jade Mountain, is exceptionally knowledgeable and can help you find the best fit landscaping for around your home. Contact him for a bid and he will likely do the work himself! The nursery itself is quite lovely and full of beautiful statuary and other unique garden additions. 


5116 36th Ave E

Calendula Farm and Earthworks

Calendula Farms & Earthworks is a wonderful mix of art, gardening, landscaping, and medicinal treasures. They like to say, “We probably don’t have what you want, but we definitely have what you need.” Calendula likes gardening with a purpose, whether it be for building a charming space, consuming home grown food, exploring medicinal plants, or just making things beautiful. They offer hearty fruit tree’s, shrubs, and other food producing plants, and will give you the knowledge to succeed. Owners Scott and Alina also create art not only in landscapes around your home but out of what they grow, by building seasonal wreaths and arrangements. Pay them a visit at their delightful nursery or at the Proctor Farmer’s market every Saturday.


7216 27th St W

Willow Tree Gardens

Willow Tree Gardens is a beautiful mother and daughter owned nursery located in University Place. They offer a large variety of anything from tried and true perennials to exotic plants and succulents. All plants are locally sourced from Washington and Oregon so that they are already acclimated to the environment. Making it easier to get you started! Mother Marilyn and daughter Jenny Zimmerman are more than happy to help you plant your new green treasures in your own containers right at the nursery or directly in the ground at your home. They’ll also guide you through some of the best choices and practices. Don’t forget to stop by the gift shop on your way out for some great décor and garden knick knacks.


4416 S 74th St

Wild Thyme Nursery

Wild Thyme Nursery is a sweet little slice of plant heaven in Tacoma’s South End. Owned by the kindest Pil and Joe Cioli, they offer an array of items and services to uplift and enhance your yard. A reviewer of the nursery noted that, “The proprietor is a veritable encyclopedia regarding plants.” Plants, grasses, vines, or trees, you’ll find what you are looking for, and get a lesson on how to care for them. It's a true mom & pop treasure, complete with a few "pet" squirrels. Pay them a visit soon to get your hanging baskets out in time for Spring!


Plant Sales:

April 20th – 21st

9am – 3pm

Gallucci Learning Garden Plant Sale

Support the Gallucci Learning Garden and their mission to create food security in the Hilltop Neighborhood. A part of the Tacoma Urban Land Trust, Gallucci Learning Garden is a beautiful space located on South 14th and G. The learning garden not only teaches about sustainable gardening and local food production through workshops, they also serve as a community gathering space for neighborhood activities. All classes and activities are open to everyone, young and old, from the newest curious green thumbs to seasoned gardeners looking to share their lifetime of experience.

At this years sale, there will be over a dozen varieties of tomato starts along with several flower, pepper, eggplant, and blueberry starts for sale. Be sure to check out the fruiting plants, perennials, annuals, and an assortment of native plants as well!


Shop Online April 13th – 28th

Piack-up May 4th - 6th

Tacoma Nature Center Native Plant Sale

The Tacoma Nature Center is hosting an online Native Plant Sale, with orders available for pick-up from May 4th – 6th. By landscaping your yard with plants native to our area, you can help to conserve water resources and provide habitats for local birds, mammals, and insects. Find the full list of the 60+ flower, fern, fruit and other plants here!


May 3rd – May 5th

Lincoln High School FFA Spring Plant Sale

 Lincoln High School’s annual plant sale is back and bigger than ever! Offering nearly 10,000 plants this year, with 50+ varieties of flowers, indoor plants, veggies, greens, medicinal plants, succulents, squash, herbs, and strawberries. YUM! It’s sure to be a packed house, especially on Friday when the doors open. All proceeds go to Abe’s Acres After School Club and Lincoln FFA.


We couldn’t possibly write about gardening without mentioning the SOIL:

2301 Cleveland Way

Tacoma Tagro

Short for “Tacoma Grow”, TAGRO is a locally made, environmentally friendly way to get your lawn and garden in tip top shape this season. We should know, our garden beds are full of it! TAGRO products are made from a blend of pasteurized wastewater byproducts called biosolids and other weed-free gardening components. Potting soil, topsoil, bark, and other garden mixes are available by the bucket or truck load. If you have a large project on your hands, they’ll even deliver directly to you. Find a full list of their products and services here and a great info sheet on what will work best for your needs here.


Who We Are

We are John and Catie Douville, real estate agents from the Tacoma area. We love exploring the South Sound and sharing our experiences through this blog. Sign up and never miss a post.

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