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Laguna Nursery is revamped in Laguna Beach

It carries antiques, salvaged pieces, outdoor accessories and -- oh, yeah -- plants.

December 26, 2009

Landscape designer Ruben Flores saved Laguna Nursery when he purchased the 50-year-old plant emporium two years ago. A fixture on South Coast Highway in Laguna Beach, the 1 1/2 -acre retail operation was slated to be replaced with commercial storage units when Flores bought the business and brought back its original name.

Today the nursery is part home decor gallery, filled with plants as well as antiques, chandeliers, salvaged architectural pieces, contemporary sculpture and garden fountains. A carved stone bull head, about 3 by 4 feet in size, came from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange building. Flores brings other pieces home from landscape design commissions in Europe and Asia.

Laguna Nursery's tiny rooms, courtyard spaces and varied levels make a visit something akin to a scene from "Alice in Wonderland." At the entrance you can't ignore the 8-foot female nude, clad in 22-karat gold leaf, perched on the roof. Her name is "Happiness," for obvious reasons. 1370 S. Coast Highway; (949) 494-5200, www.lagunanursery.net.

-- Debra Prinzing

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