Oh, Sierra Water Gardens, You Complete Me

Reno's SierraWaterGardens.com

I’ve been hearing about this place for awhile now. My Reno friends visit often, and talk it up. They bring home the loveliest little garden bits every time that they go. So, I started following Sierra Water Gardens on Instagram, and then on Facebook…and there was no turning back. On my latest trip to Reno, I had only one request: I. Must. Go. To. There.

And you know what? If you are ever in Reno, I’m telling you, you must, as well. Take a little swing down Dickerson Road…you’ll know where to park: right next to the old Hudson. The one with plants cascading out the windows.

Old Hudson turned into a planter at SierraWaterGardens.com

This is taking upcycled garden art to a whole new level of awesome.

Through the wisteria-covered steel beam archway (you know I love me some rusted steel, people), is a secret botanical wonderland. You just don’t see it coming; the loveliness that unfolds in front of you as you step off the road and through that entrance.

Visiting the magical Sierra Water Gardens. sierrawatergardens.com

Immediately, you are immersed in container-garden and water-feature heaven. Everywhere you look are pots overflowing with lush greens and splashing water. My eyeballs could not even keep up.

Lovely water feature at SierraWaterGardens.com

Potted water feature at SierraWaterGardens.com


A mosaic succulent wall hanging at SierraWaterGardens.com

There is just something wonderful about the variegated green mosaic of a succulent wall hanging.

Sweet resident garden doggie, Copper, at SierraWaterGardens.com

It’s at about this time that you’ll probably get greeted by the resident garden dog, Copper. As if I didn’t love this place enough! Sweetest boy.

Stop by the Succulent Bar and find all sorts of goodies to create a DIY garden in a found object container:

A rusted toolbox succulent planter at SierraWaterGardens.com

More upcycled container-gardening. Rust and succulents are always a brilliant combo.

Succulent display at SierraWaterGardens.com

Succulents waiting for their turn at the Succulent Bar.

Once you have wound your way through the container garden moment at the front of the property, the true magic of Sierra Water Gardens unfolds:

'Hello Love' letter succulent planters at SierraWaterGardens.com

The main pond at SierraWaterGardens.com

Water lilies at SierraWaterGardens.com

Gotta take a Monet moment here.

The main ponds at SierraWaterGardens.com

Lush, vine-covered seating area at SierraWaterGardens.com

Koi fish at SierraWaterGardens.com

Happy koi.

It is simply breathtaking to stand and take this all in; the ponds, the waterfalls, the bright koi fish, the lush greenery, the secret little nooks and seating areas. And all the while you’re wrapped in that yummy hum of running water. No joke, I could just stand still and look for hours. It’s one of those places that you just want to be.

But, wait. There’s more!

Reclaimed wood sliding barn doors on the adorable potting shed at SierraWaterGardens.com. Doors by BoneyardDesigns

Check out the UHmazing doors on this potting shed. Reclaimed wood gorgeousness designed and built exclusively for SWG by Boneyard Designs.

Let’s just talk about this shed for a moment, shall we? Those salvaged wood sliding doors are phenomenal.

Detail of salvaged wood design in the potting shed doors at SierraWaterGardens.com


And the reclaimed, rusty corrugated metal roof is killing me. Killing me.

Phenomenal reclaimed wood sliding barn doors and vicious guard dog at SierraWaterGardens.com. Doors are the creative genius of BoneyardDesignsReno.com

Copper digs it.

But also–the inside of that shed is not to be missed. Treasures!!!

Tillandsias displayed in rusty old tool bin drawers at SierraWaterGardens.com.

Tillandsias displayed in rusty old tool bin drawers.

The mouth of a big, glass terrarium with a belly full of lovelies at SierraWaterGardens.com.

The mouth of a big, glass terrarium with a belly full of lovelies.

Tillandsias displayed on a rusty mattress spring at SierraWaterGardens.com.

Tillandsias displayed on an old mattress spring. Joy.

Stained glass window in the potting shed at SierraWaterGardens.com.

A reclaimed stained glass window glows in the back wall of the shed.

Potting shed light fixture at SierraWaterGardens.com.

I’m in love with the shed ‘chandelier’. Casual, industrial, and so delightfully colorful!

A giant tillandsia at SierraWaterGardens.com.

Excuse me, Miss? There seems to be a mistake. I believe I ordered the *large* tillandsia. Laura of Olive and Love displays the newest addition to her airplant family.

Reclaimed wood and chalkboard potting shed side door at SierraWaterGardens.com.

Look at the side door to the shed. Just look at it! GAH!

Back outside, I fell in love with these:

Succulent heart planter at SierraWaterGardens.com.

And took one home. 🙂

I also fell in love with these:

Shop kitty Fig at SierraWaterGardens.com.

Shop kitty #1. I disturbed Fig’s catnap.

Shop kitty, Newt, at SierraWaterGardens.com.

Shop kitty #2, Newt, assists me in exploring the gardens.

I thought about taking them home.

Oh, and when you wander to the back of the property, you find that the whole thing backs right up to the Truckee River:

Reclaimed wood garden gate leading to the Truckee River at SierraWaterGardens.com.

I love that charming reclaimed wood gate, too. The river’s not bad, either.

And, in addition to the all-around awesomeness that is Sierra Water Gardens, they also do live music on Saturday nights during the summer season, featuring independent local musicians. You bring your wine, you bring your cheese, and you sit and soak it all in.

Summer Saturday night live music at SierraWaterGardens.com

The vibe on a summer Saturday night is absolute bliss.

Shop doggie, Copper, loves live music night at SierraWaterGardens.com.

You may get some Copper love while you’re enjoying the music. Especially if you have cheese.

Musician Tyler Stafford (TylerStaffordMusic.com) plays at SierraWaterGardens.com's Saturday summer live music event.

Musician Tyler Stafford was the incredible talent for the night. Check him out at TylerStaffordMusic.com.

A blissful evening of live music at SierraWaterGardens.com.

Like I said: BLISS.

Undoubtedly, you’ll meet these two smiley faces:

Sam and Sutter of SierraWaterGardens.com.

Sam and Sutter; they run the joint. Oh, and they also live there. Oh, and they’re also the cutest couple EVER. (Photo courtesy of Samantha Stremmel).

So YES. Put this place on your must-stop list if you are in Reno (between April and October, they are understandably closed in the winter). Sit a spell and soak in the tranquility. Hit the succulent bar and build yourself a sweet little garden somethin’-somethin’ to take home with you. Buy a couple of koi for your pond. And say ‘hi’ to Sam and Sutter for me. And Copper, Fig, and Newt, too.

Oh–and you simply have to find them on Instagram and Facebook–two of my favorite feeds. A lot of gorgeous photos getting got over there.








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4 thoughts on “Oh, Sierra Water Gardens, You Complete Me

  1. Becky Neville October 13, 2014 at 4:52 pm Reply

    Thank you for sharing. Your beautiful photographs made me feel as though I’d been there too.

  2. Tessa October 13, 2014 at 7:39 pm Reply

    I ❤ SWG too!!! (Obviously…)

  3. rj nurhossain October 14, 2014 at 3:29 pm Reply

    Vere nice

  4. lyn moon October 15, 2014 at 1:22 am Reply

    Wow. What a wonderful place. Just like some place I would love to visit. The gardens, water and animals. I doubt i’ll ever get there, I live on the east coast, but I sure enjoyed your photos. So beautiful. Glad you got to visit. Thanks for a great post.

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