All Articles
All Articles
CULTURE

Laguna Nursery

CULTURE

Laguna Nursery

by Doug Black
on 11 December 2008
laguna_nursery.jpg

A Laguna Beach staple since the 1940s, the Laguna Nursery is currently experiencing something of a renaissance. After shuffling through a handful of failed ownerships in recent years, Ruben Flores—the shop's current proprietor — has turned it into an eclectic wonderland of plants and artifacts. A local resident and president of landscaping company Visionscape Inc, Flores jumped at the opportunity to buy Laguna Nursery when it went up for auction last year. His creative vision looks nothing like your basic flower shop. The store is set up into distinctly themed garden sections and peppered with artifacts he collected on frequent international trips. More experience than retailer, a visit can involve traditional Asian gardens, Italian portraiture and 19th century iron gates salvaged from New Orleans, all under one roof in Southern California. We recently had a chance to speak with Ruben about his unusual approach to retail and its backstory.

Cool Hunting: What lead you into landscaping?
Ruben Flores: Outdoor life has always been intriguing to me. Even as a kid, I remember looking at the huge plum tree in the backyard and wondering why food came from it. So when the choice for a career came up after high school, I knew it had to do with art and gardens.

CH: How did you come to own the Laguna Nursery?
RF: The history here is great. It's been an institution here in Laguna for over 50 years. It was going to be turned into a storage space the last time it was turned around, so I decided to step in and save our small town nursery. I've been a client here for over 15 years, so I understand the need for something local, something green and a place where beauty abides in the reflection of nature's best.

laguna_nursery4.jpg

CH: How do you juggle your landscaping business with the nursery? Do the two compliment each other?
RF: The two are a great compliment. Now, when I travel and buy art, fountains and statuary, I don't have to put it in my gardens at home. I can bring it to the eclectic environs of the nursery and properly display it. That way, my landscape clients can come to the nursery to view it instead of just looking at a picture. It gives the piece a viewing audience within a great space of ambiance rather than in a stale storage environment. It also allows me to set up rooms and areas as I would in a home, so I can mock up a contemporary pool area or an Italian terrace or a New York rooftop garden all in one place.

Continue reading...

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community
Loading More...