Alstroemeria Kitty
Zoë's Gardening T-shirt
Zoë Whigham

We are a small family-run business, growing high quality plants that you can count on to be healthy, vigorous and ready to plant. As landscape designers and nursery-folk, we offer a selection of tried and true garden performers, as well as many new varieties that excel for easy care, long blooming periods, year-round interest, and most of all, for versatility.

When you visit or call us, chances are you will be greeted by one or more of these friendly and conscientious folks:

Welcome, Old and New Friends of Digging Dog Nursery…

Time moves swiftly, and our ever-changing landscapes mark its passage. As the plants settle into their wintertime slumber, visions of next year's gardening season are already taking root and our 2018 Digging Dog catalog is fresh off the press. We hope you'll put your gardening chores on hold 'til tomorrow so you can leaf through the pages of our 26th edition, which includes well over 90 new selections in addition to choice older offerings from years past.

These remarkable plants promote either versatility, exceptional beauty, long-lasting intrigue, or an enduring, easy-care fortitude. Of course, their ability to charm garden mavens and beneficial pollinators alike in an array of locales across the country is a must. A few of this year's favored recommendations follow.

Amidst the perennials, you'll unearth floral and foliar enticements, such as the ornate purplish red domed flowers of Astrantia ‘Midnight Owl’, the white-blooming Baptisia ‘Ivory Towers’ or Asclepias ‘Ice Ballet’s luminous butterfly-friendly umbels. The Japanese Wood Fern unfurls otherworldly black-stemmed croziers, shiny evergreen fronds, and an upstanding princely aspect for shady niches. American denizens Rudbeckia ‘Viette's Little Suzy’, Phlox ‘Chattahoochee’, and aromatic Salvia ‘Winnifred Gilman’ all interweave plucky mettles with unwavering good looks.

Many of the ornamental grasses we've added debut graceful silhouettes and prismatic allure. A Texas-born toughie, Andropogon ‘Lord Snowden's Big Blue’ sprouts a powder-blue and mauve-infused habit, while the Queen of our mid-Western prairies, Sporobolus heterolepis affords coppery orange blades in autumn plus urbane fine-hewn inflorescences that delight the birds. Enjoy the sculptural corkscrewing leaves of Juncus ‘Big Twister’ coupled with Molinia ‘Transparent’s lacy light-catching floral haze.

Why not beef up your garden by adding more shrubby backbone? Both lustrous Little Leaf Kinninnick and sweet-smelling Daphne ‘Lawrence Crocker’ are low-growing evergreens. Promising a visual feast, there's Clethra ‘Ruby Spice’, whose showy flower spikes perfume the late season border, Malvaviscus arboreus's exotic turban-style vermilion blooms, and the plump brilliant red berries of Hypericum ‘Compact Red’.

Maybe you're on the lookout for a sterling vine. Clematis such as century-old C. armandii ‘Snowdrift’, bestowing an avalanche of luxe vanilla-scented blooms, lavish midnight-purple flowering C. ‘Romantika’, or the enchanting steel-blue bells of C. integrifolia ‘Blue Boy’ easily fit the bill. Or maybe you need to dampen street noise—Aristolochia durior's tropical-looking visage swiftly furnishes a handsome verdurous screen.

Your ongoing support, encouraging compliments, helpful insight, and welcome visits have assured the continued success of our business. We are extremely grateful and truly appreciate each and every one of you, our much-valued customers and kindred plant lovers.

Our gardens serve as living sanctuaries where we can sojourn in a natural realm. They give us the opportunity to feel humbled, surprised, or awestruck, while nourishing ourselves, our loved ones, droves of bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, as well as song birds and other wildlife.

All of us humans here at the nursery, along with the lone kitty, Parker, and our pups, elderly and lovable Neptune plus spunky Boobah (who at 8 ¼ pounds has become our self-appointed nursery overseer) hope you experience the joys of digging in, strolling through and nurturing a garden of your own.

May our plants inspire you with their myriad possibilities and give you good reason to linger outside just a little longer!

Deborah Whigham & Gary Ratway
Owners, Deborah Whigham & Gary Ratway
Deborah & Kiva
Deborah and Kiva, the original Digging Dog.

Digging Dog in the News!

Favorite Plants for the Mendocino Coast
From from the Fort Bragg Advocate-News and Mendocino Beacon, March 20, 2014

A prominent garden blogger, Kristin of LandFieldSky, tours the nursery and brings her camera: “Digging Dog Nursery” in Garden Lust; One designer's musings, longings, and observations about all things garden, style, plant, and good, September 24, 2011

Another photo tour by a gardener/blogger, Donna of “Digging Dog Nursery – Worth a Visit!” August 5, 2013.

The nursery and surrounding gardens are featured in the eight page article: “American Dream” by Kate Frey in Gardens Illustrated (sorry, long-past issues do not appear available), July, 2009

A photo-tour of the nursery grounds by photographer Karl Gercens: “Digging Dog Nursery,” May 7, 2011.

The cover of Martha Stewart Living, and article: “Paths to Greatness” by Susan Heeger, photographs by Marion Brenner, pages 139-147, Martha Stewart Living (sorry, no images or articles available), March, 2006

“15 Years of the Best Gardening Sources,” Martha Stewart Living.

“Secret Garden: At Digging Dog Nursery on the Mendocino Coast, there's much more than what first meets the eye”, by Meg McConahey, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, June 17, 2006

"Digging Dog Nursery, a rare jewel, with a fully conceived landscape… features a wide variety of plants from all over the world…": “Digging Dog Nursery unearths unusual plants”, by Miriam Owen, San Francisco Chronicle, September 9, 2006.

“Digging Dog Nursery in Mendocino,” Petaluma's BlogTown USA, Sue Wilcox, Petaluma Argus Courier, September 28, 2006. (Great photos of the Digging Dog gardens, a detailed discussion of Wilcox's visit to Digging Dog, and info about Gary's garden design and Deborah's unusual selection of plants.) "If you're the sort of person who likes out of the ordinary plants, the garden path less traveled leads through this nursery." ~Sue Wilcox

Fine Gardening Magazine's September-October 2006 issue lists Digging Dog Nursery as one of its 8 favorite destinations for plant shopping. Fine Gardening, Garden Variety, page 18, Sept.-Oct. 2006.

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Digging Dog Nursery Grounds
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  • Perennials at Digging Dog Nursery
    • Perennials: Acaena to Anthemis
    • Perennials: Anthriscus to Astrantia
    • Perennials: Baptisia to Cynoglossum
    • Perennials
    • Perennials: Fallopia to Gunnera
    • Perennials: Haloragis to Inula
    • Perennials: Kirengeshoma to Morina
    • Perennials: Nepeta to Pulmonaria
    • Perennials: Rheum to Succisella
    • Perennials: Teucrium to Yucca
  • Ornamental Grasses at Digging Dog Nursery
    • Grasses: Acorus to Deschampsia
    • Grasses: Elymus to Uncinia
  • Shrubs at Digging Dog Nursery
    • Shrubs: Arctostaphylos to Halimiocistus
    • Shrubs: Hebe to Weigela
  • Trees & Vines
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Latest News

Late Season 2019 Sale has been extended!

Purchase a minimum of $100…MORE

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Our Featured Plant: Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snowflake’

Click here to view our latest newsletter: Ogle over Oakleaf Hydrangeas, November Pizzazz, Late Season Sale Extended!

Ogle over Oakleaf Hydrangeas...

Large showy conical panicles and bold unmatched foliar texture are the hallmark of these stylish long-lived deciduous shrubs. Perfect for fresh or dried arrangements, the well-endowed lacy blooms unfurl in ivory to dusky rose shades from July through late summer. Broad lobed dark green leaves remain evergreen in warmer climates and signal autumn with cozy scarlet and burgundy tones. Appreciative of dappled afternoon shade, Hydrangea quercifolias boast easy-care habits, handle occasional dry conditions and respond readily to pruning. Be sure to check out our Oakleaf Hydrangea selections in the shrub section of our website. 

November Pizzazz...

November’s shorter days and cooler nights have ignited the garden with spectacular foliar color. An array of woody plants coupled with herbaceous perennials and ornamental grasses promote an abundance of beckoning late season pizzazz. The plants included in this newsletter afford either ample berries, late blooms, commanding leaves or tasteful branching patterns.

Happy Digging from all of us Plant Wranglers! 

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