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San Clemente Journal

Shore Gardens Nursery, Offering the Freshest Christmas Trees in Town

Dec 07, 2021 09:42AM ● By Nina Welch

Owner Quinn Bork purchased the nursery from Bob Carrick, Jr. in 2015.

by Nina Welch

Shore Gardens, a full-service nursery on ¾ of an acre, has been a San Clemente mainstay since 1955. Owner Quinn Bork purchased the nursery, located in the heart of the city on Ave. Ola Vista, from Bob Carrick, Jr. in 2015 and many long-time San Clementeans remember when Bob Carrick, Sr. originally owned the nursery. He moved to Murrieta, nestled in the Ortegas above Lake Elsinore, to a horse ranch when his son took over, and sadly, he passed this year at age 94. 
Quinn started working for the nursery at 19. “When I got out of high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do and when horticulture came up in an aptitude test, it was fitting that I got the job at Shore Gardens,” said Quinn. 
After learning the ropes from Carrick and earning his AA degree in Ornamental Horticulture at Saddleback College, Quinn found his craft. As a bonus, he offers customers a variety of plants that aren’t offered at other nurseries. “I like to see what I can propagate,” he says. Doing a lot of his own growing at home, he is able to bring costs down. One of his favorite exotic plants is the rare succulent Bromeliads. 
Along with regular nursery fare such as plants, flowers, seeds, garden supplies, soil, fertilizer, insecticides, herbicides, pots, planters, and gardening tools, Christmas Trees are the big draw during the holidays. Shore Gardens has been selling Christmas trees for over 40 years. They sell Noble, Nordman, and Grand Firs shipped fresh from Windy Acres Tree Farm in Oregon. The trees are so popular, they sell out every year.  
During Covid, they started an appointment system, and it worked so well, they are continuing it this year. Appointments can be made online, and free local delivery is offered, which includes San Clemente, Dana Point, and San Juan Capistrano. High quality poinsettias, planted arrangements, and wreaths, are also available during the holidays. Popular gifts include wind chimes, Buddha statues, turtles, and pelicans. During the cool season, flowers and vegetables are abundant. 
Shop dog Lola follows us around as Quinn points out the seasonal flowers with blooms of colorful poppies, snapdragons, hibiscus, and pansies. “Everything is popping today,” says Quinn.
Starla, Quinn’s wife, is a florist, who started working in flower shops at age 16. She cultivates her cut-flower garden at home and brings the fresh bouquets in three times a week to sell. Quinn noted that their two daughters, Rain, age five, and Aurora, age three, are a big help. This active family’s hobbies include gardening, biking, beach-going, and camping.b
Shore Gardens Nursery, 201 S. Ola Vista; Hours: Every day from 9am-5pm;