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Our Design Philosophy:

You Deserve Paradise, We Create Paradise



Golden Gate Palms prides itself on providing total site solutions in land planning and development.  We believe that a landscape should not only be beautiful, but useful as well.  Not only should it be a place for relaxation, recreation, and contemplative reflection, it must additionally solve everyday problems.  An effective landscape must work for its users.  This means critically addressing every square foot to achieve the greatest aesthetic and utilitarian effect possible.  Of course, the solution will be different for each project.  We study your lifestyle and unique needs to determine the best use of your outdoor space.  As part of the process, we respect and celebrate your unique desires, existing architecture, and the natural features of the site and its surroundings to achieve a harmonious space that not only enhances your life but also maximizes your property value.



Golden Gate Palms offers a full array of design services ranging from economical, one hour consultation site visits, limited ongoing design assistance, to fully executed site plans and corresponding landscape installation.  Since 1985 at the tender age of just 16, chief designer Gary Gragg has designed and installed nearly every conceivable style of landscape imaginable.  However, it is in the realm of subtropical garden design that sets Gary apart from all others.  Gary has an intimate understanding of subtropical design style and the complexities of the San Francisco Bay Area climate.  Thoroughly understanding and utilizing to best advantage this ultra complex macroclimate and the many unique microclimates of each individual site is critical to create a successful subtropical garden. No one can do this better than the Golden Gate Palms team.


Growing up, Gary’s obsession for plants and the living environment set him apart from his peers, but also planted the seed for a successful career. Today, Gary has achieved a dream that is elusive for most people: he loves what he does.


After working through college creating gardens throughout San Diego County, Gary founded Exotic Flora Landscape & Nursery, Inc. in 1991. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Gary designed and installed hundreds of residential gardens as well as dozens of notable commercial projects, including seven major exhibits for the Oakland Zoo. 


In 2001, Gary founded Golden Gate Palms Nursery Inc. which has grown to become the largest and most diverse collection of palms and exotic plant material available for sale in the San Francisco Bay Area. Many of the large palms that grace public avenues and large buildings throughout the region have been grown and supplied by Gary’s firm.


In 2005, Gary set his sights further and decided he wanted to create a garden television show to bring his love and enthusiasm for plants to the world. In the Spring of 2006, he created a major exhibit for the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show. His exhibit,  “Livin’ Cheap in Baja”  won the prestigious “Best in Show” award and caught the eye of HGTV. HGTV's Superscapes was born.




HGTV’s Superscapes features Gary as host, designer, and builder. Two seasons were shot with a total of 26 episodes. Also in 2008, after a decade of horticultural experimentation, Gary patented a new plant variety called Agave attenuata ‘Kara’s Stripes’, which he named after his wife. He then created another Agave attenuata variety that is pure gold which he named after is Daughter Raea, "Raea's  Gold."  To complete the trifecta, Gary has found a random seedling avocado variety that creates monstrous sized fruit right here in the Bay Area and has cloned this variety and named it "The Big Mup" after his second daughter Arianna "Muppy" Gragg.


In 2011, Gary purchased a Citrus Ranch in Winters, CA to utilize as a nearby hot climate growing ground for the Palm Nursery.  In addition to having ample space and well water for the nursery plants, the property came with a working citrus orchard of over 120 mature Navel oranges and other various fruit, Gary helped his children set up a home delivery fruit service called Alta Crest Fruit Company to deliver this wonderful crop to the kitchens of the East Bay.  Gary has transformed the grounds around the Early California themed spanish ranch house into an epic landscape and exotic botanical garden featuring a plethra of rare subtropical plants, An 8 acre Native California plant Restoration landscape, natural rock freshwater spring plunge pool, huge patio entertaining areas, bocce ball court, volleyball court and even a full size "Field of Dreams" style baseball diamond  The breathtaking property can be rented out as a family vacation, couples weekend getaway, corporate retreat, or even wedding location.


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