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Writer and editor Melanie Haiken, picture
Posted by Melanie Haiken on September 21, 2011
Writer and editor Melanie Haiken, picture

A Garden Guide to Gold Country

Posted by Melanie Haiken on September 21, 2011
Antique Gardener sign on vintage stove in rustic garden picture
Photo credit
Photo: Melanie Haiken
Photo caption
The Antique Gardener.

Road Journals Blog—The gold country may be redolent with history, but garden-lovers head for the foothills for a completely different reason. Tucked among the vineyards of Amador County are a handful of wonderfully rustic destination gardens, while towns like Sutter Creek and Amador City offer garden shops galore.

Here is a day’s worth of pit stops for green thumbs:

Bellflower Home and Garden, Amador City You can’t miss this eye-catching collection of garden art just off old route 49 in Amador City; a row of eight-foot-tall iron sunflowers lines the fence, behind which looms a gigantic iron horse and an even taller giraffe. The indoor shop is crammed with all manner of decorative metalwork, most of it made in Mexico, and stained glass, which can be special ordered to your specifications.

Daffodil Hill, Volcano Since 1887, five generations of the homesteading McLaughlin family have planted daffodils on the gentle slopes of this four-acre farm. The result? More than 300,000 bulbs in 300 different named varieties bloom in the spring, when visitors are welcomed in droves to breathe the fragrant air. A picturesque blacksmith’s shed offers snacks; free admission to the garden.

Amador Flower Farm, Plymouth A commercial growing nursery specializing in daylilies, Amador Flower Farm inspires with 15 different demonstration gardens that will have you sketching out garden plots on the way home.

The Antique Gardener, Sutter Creek You’ll go home ready to whitewash everything in sight after a visit to this spare, airy space, where everything seems to be in shades of cream and ivory. Garden furniture both vintage and new, starter plants, and heirloom seeds are the staples here, but each of the six rooms has its own whimsical focus. One’s filled with toys, games, and children’s clothing, so don’t hesitate to bring the kids or grandkids.

Topia Home and Garden, Sutter Creek As the name suggestion, Topia specializes in all things topiary-related, including tools and implements for the craftsman gardener. The colorful interior is vibrant with home décor items such as tablecloths, aprons, and cushions in vintage and vintage-inspired fabrics.

Melaine Haiken wrote about Amador City for the September/October 2011 issue of Via.

This blog post was first published in September 2011. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.