Las Pilitas Nursery

California Native Plants are all we grow!

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3232 Las Pilitas Rd
Santa Margarita, CA 93453

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This website is dedicated to Bert Wilson. His genius continues to inspire us.

About Las Pilitas native plant nursery

Writers and Contributors


Owner and Creator of Las Pilitas

Two years college classes, Bakersfield Junior College 1970-1972, worked his way through Cal Poly as a gardener 1974-1976, Bachelors of Science degree in Chemistry from Cal Poly, SLO 1976

Graduate work on Cadmium Accumulation in Agricultural Soils, 1976-1980, (The 1980 recession finished the thesis..)

California Licensed Landscape Contractor, specializing in native plants of California, 1977-1994. Moved the license to inactive, C-27 license number 345678. Yes, really.

Volunteer Fire Fighter, EMT, San Luis Obispo County Fire Dept, 1980-1994

Oversaw numerous native plant restoration and mitigation projects. 1985-1995. Stopped to keep remaining hair.

at present he...

Manages day to day operations at Las Pilitas

Web Site development. After a terrible series of disasters with MS products moved to linux and other opensource software. (We have not had a windows machine for more then a decade.)
Supports Opensuse, Gentoo, Python,  Postgresql, Mysql, and Tryton

(Our resident mad scientist that practices altruism)

We can ship native plants  to most states as we have an interstate, sod and apple certificate. - grid24_6
We can ship to most areas of the US. We do not ship to the Southeastern States as the plants commonly die before they get there.

We grow California native plants.

2 years classes Bakersfield Junior College- 1970-1972,  Bachelor of Science Biology, Cal Poly,- 1978

Masters in Biological Sciences from Cal Poly, SLO-1999

Biologist, conducted numerous biological surveys

Plant Taxonomy (tries to figure out what the wilted dead stick we bring her is) we try to check every species we grow. Sometimes we miss something.

Quality control (has trouble keeping up with all of our "great ideas") The unly one hair who can spel. 


Cuesta Community College 1996-1998
Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences, Cal Poly, SLO, 2003 (was driving from King City  and working two jobs)

At the nursery ...
#1 gopher
Customer service
Inventory (Tryton)
Pulls most of your mail orders
Wrote lots of funky web pages (many of the bird and butterfly pages)
Weeding, culling, weeding, organizing, weeding
Writes off and on for several magazines. Has had articles in Fine Gardening, and other publications.
Has worked in the nursery since she was 2.

Ian Wilson

Mathematics degree from Cal Poly, SLO

The techie son that lives in San Francisco and is in charge of our three data base monsters and a Garden of his own.

Technical support ( " please tell me you didn't break it again") Fluent in Java, Java script, Gentoo, Python, Css, Postgresql, Mysql, Tryton,  and,  of course, basic html.

Actually works another full time job for a computer company. (All of us work about 80 hours a week, so whats new?)

*Is delighted by his position next to the family pets*

(our geek, in charge of database and code since he was 14, really bad code, but still better than Bert's)

Harry Potter running through the field of Lupines - grid24_12
Harry Potter our top dog for the moment. Found abandoned under bridge, Gonzales,California resident greeter likes everything humans find disgusting (horse poop, road kill etc.)
Anabell smelling the poozzies - grid24_6
Annabelle, Dogus domesticus Found abandoned in ditch near artichoke field, Castroville, California Obsessed with rabbits Penny's poodle, only here when Penny is here.
Nini cat on a good day. - grid24_3
NiNi the House Cat Found abandoned in King City, California A highly superior being known as BAD Cat!
Carry a big stick and bark softly. Can't bark loud because of stick... - grid24_6
Carry a big stick and bark softly.
Found abandoned under bridge, Gonzales,California resident greeter likes everything humans find disgusting (horse poop, road kill etc.)
Foxxy was a pound save that is very friendly to humans or dogs she likes. She hates rodents, skunks or salesmen. - grid24_6
Foxxy was a pound dog that got saved. Sometimes she remembers this, sometimes she runs off looking for the dog catcher.
This area was not quite level enough for pots so it was grade in about 1985. - grid24_6
This area of the nursery was graded in about 1985.
Here is what the 1984 grading looked like 27 years later. The nursery has gradually filled with tress, shrubs and wildlife.  - grid24_6
This is about the same spot in the nursery in 2011.
Las Pilitas Nursery after the 1979 fire before we got the first water tank up. - grid24_6
In 1979 we had got the water tank delivered. A wind picked it up and blew it across the field, fortunately away from the house, Then the place burned. Where the photo was taken was 15 foot manzanitas before the fire.
The nursery in about 1984.  - grid24_6
The nursery in 1984. We had to abandon most of these lower areas as the cold was too low. You can't grow live plants in containers at -4F, (-20C),. You sure can grow some dead ones though.
The nursery looking down towards the front gate on a cold winter morning in 2011. The white row cover can keep the gallon plants a few degrees warmer. They still freeze, but stay above about 20F. This is why our plants grow when others fail.  - grid24_12
The lower areas of the nursery were planted in motherstock.The 1984 picture in 2011.
Here are the principals of the nursery in 1988 or so. - grid24_6
Here is the Wilson family in about 1988.
Celeste and Penny weeding while Ian was supervising in about 1992. The photos were not dated, so just a guess. - grid24_6
Picture taken by Bert, rest of family out in the nursery on a winter day about 1992.
The front of the main nursery house in 1985. - grid24_6
The front yard of Las Pilitas Nursery in 1985.
The front of Las pilitas Nursery house 2011. - grid24_6
The front yard of Las Pilitas Nursery 2011.
A photo of the green bridge in 2011. - grid24_6
This is the green bridge that we drove across for the first 25 years we lived out here.
This was the back on one of our price lists in about 1985 - grid24_24
The back of one of our price lists in 1984 or 1985. Hand drawn pictures of native plants by Ann Cochran of the Carrizo. We think she had a gift and we should share it.