Carman's Nursery

Established in 1937




Carman's Nursery – Bonsai Starters, Dwarf, Rare & Unusual Plants

Smaller than Shohin
Smaller than Shohin, photo by Kora Dalager


Carman’s Nursery, located in Gilroy, California, is a small, third generation family owned nursery specializing in rare and unusual plants, such as bonsai starters, dwarf conifers, herbs, rock garden plants, unusual perennials, and less common fruiting plants, including capers, named varieties of fig, kiwi, and pomegranate. We also have a wide variety of variegated plants, collections of Rhodohypoxis and miniature ivies, hardy succulents, as well as many plants suitable for the backyard garden railroad enthusiast.

Carman’s Nursery continues to propagate most of our own plants. As we are a small nursery, we are able to give you, our customers, personal attention toward finding or discovering what you need in our specialized selection of plants, as well as the proper planting and care for the plants.

Happy Spring, Everyone!
If you are a regular visitor, I'll bet you are wondering if I hibernated for the winter. As nice as that sounds when it's cold and wet outside, I had way too much to do to sleep away so much precious time. Since October I've been to several bonsai shows and I've been starting seeds like crazy. You should see the crop of Acer buergerianum (trident maple) seedlings coming up—it looks like a baby forest!

I made a difficult decision to quit the Farmers' Markets. It has been a delight to meet so many wonderful people in Morgan Hill and Saratoga, but after nine years I just wasn't making enough to continue such a huge investment of time and energy. I will instead be focusing on special plant oriented events, such as the Santa Clara County Master Gardeners' Spring Garden Market and the Gamble Garden Spring Tour. Check out my calendar to see when I'll be in your neighborhood.

Here's the back story about the itty-bitty bonsai:
I was a vendor at the Golden State Bonsai Federation (GSBF) annual convention in Sacramento, October 25-28. The vendor area opened at 8am each morning, and it was pretty quiet for awhile on the Friday morning. In order to entertain myself, I wandered around looking at all the other items for sale, and found myself buying some itty bitty pots from Jim Barrett, an eminent bonsai potter. He wrapped them carefully, but when I got back to my tables I had to unwrap and look at them again. And, since it was still very quiet, I decided I had to 'pot them up' with something. One got the tip of a variegated Westringia, one a piece from a Hedera helix 'Congesta Glomerata' plant that Sherry Hall gave me, and I filled one with a chunk of liverwort taken from a gallon can that didn't get weeded before it was loaded into the truck. I was so taken with the charm of a miniature 'bonsai' that I put it on the palm of my hand and showed it to Kora Dalager saying “Here is a companion plant for your companion plants!” Kora, well known for the workshops she teaches, was so tickled she took this picture and sent it to me. I left the little pot of liverwort on display and heard later that Jim just about sold out of his itty bitty pots!

So, next time you're ready for a quiet day in the country, drive on down, over or up to Gilroy 'most any Thursday, Friday or Sunday (call to make sure I'm here and not at a special market) and visit the nursery. I'll be happy to give you the grand tour, or let you explore at your leisure. Remember, I'm just across town from the outlets, but in a whole different world of shopping.


Shows & Sales...

See our Calendar page for more details.

More Articles are Up!

See our Articles page for more archived articles we have uploaded. Stay tuned for more!

Visitors to the nursery

Nursery Hours

We are open Thursday, Friday, and Sunday from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM.
However, if you are driving from some distance, please call first to confirm. Occasionally during the year we close the nursery in order to participate in various garden shows. See our Calendar for our current schedule.

Directions to our Nursery

New! See our map and three route directions on our Find Us page!

More Coming Soon

My very patient webmaster is dragging me kicking and screaming into the 20th century (let alone the 21st!). Future plans for this website will be to have pictures and plant lists and all sorts of delights for plant lovers. In the meantime you can or call (408) 847-2313 during normal business hours.

We look forward to hearing from and serving you!

Carman's Nursery
8470 Pharmer Road
Gilroy, CA 95020-9463
(408) 847-2313

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Website updated May 30, 2013