The Yamagami’s Nursery Story
It all began in 1948 when Taro Yamagami purchased two acres of land from the Regnart family. He started Yamagami's Nursery as a fruit stand in the midst of orchards in San Jose, California. As Taro became more interested and involved with landscaping, the fruit stand started selling plants and that gradually became the emphasis of the business.
Taro was one of the first to be awarded a license in Landscape Architecture in the state of California. The nursery, in his mind, was a means of supplementing his landscape architecture and installation business. With his brother Jiro, Taro Yamagami is credited with designing and installing many of the older landscapes in the area.
In 1953, Taro hired a young man, Mas Oka, to work during the busy season. Mas spend the other half of the year "sexing" chicks (separating new chicks by gender). When the nursery business took off, Mas was needed full-time and soon became the nursery manager.
The land Yamagami’s Nursery occupies becomes part of Cupertino, California. When Taro built the present Garden Center in 1960, the concept was to have a business focused on the home environment which was an idea that was ahead of its time. Incorporating the nursery with other retail shops in the neighborhood shopping center had never been done before. Taro even knew the importance of having a tall sign to attract customers from the busy street that De Anza Boulevard would one day become.
In 1963 Taro decided to concentrate on the landscape portion of his business and sold the nursery to Mas and Betty Oka. Keeping the name of Yamagami's Nursery, Mas & Betty proudly upheld the Yamagami image and continued to run the nursery under the same principles as Taro had done for so many years. With a staff of 2 to 3 people, for the first 3 years, Mas and Betty worked 7 day weeks to support their family of two children. 1963 to 1983 were the flower power years, and a time of great growth for the nursery, for the Oka family and for the Santa Clara Valley.
After 20 years of hard work, Mas and Betty retired in 1983 and their eldest son, Preston, took over the business. Preston brought to the business a new vision and a new vitality. Upon assuming the reins, he remained true to his parents'(and Taro Yamagami's) commitment to high quality service and products and real family values.
In 1998, Yamagami's Nursery celebrated 50 years of bringing beauty to the Santa Clara Valley. The nursery upgraded its facilities to keep pace with the expectations of its customers. Concrete walkways, convenient display tables and benches were added to making it a pleasure to browse and shop at Yamagami's Nursery. Bright computer generated plant signs help customers to find information about the plants they buy. A high standard of service is maintained by a well-trained staff of California Certified Nursery Professionals whose background and breadth of horticulture knowledge is unsurpassed in the Santa Clara Valley if not the state.
Today, in 2003, we are providing gardening information to our customers online. You can learn about our nursery, popular plants for our region, plant care, FAQs, and monthly gardening tips, as well as other great information including special savings coupons.
The underlying strength of Yamagami's Nursery is its commitment to people who value and cherish customers by providing the best service, plants and gardening advice possible. Yamagami's has been here for 65 years and we look forward to many, many more.
Our traditions and values are set by our past and we can truthfully say, they are our strengths. Our commitment is to provide you, our customers with the best (and sometimes unusual) plant material and the best gardening advice to help you be successful...the first time.
Our Vision of the Future:
In future, look to Yamagami's Nursery for the latest in horticultural developments. Within the year, an advanced capillary watering system, unique to Yamagami's Nursery, will automatically water much of the bedding plant material. Landscape designs will be generated by computer, offering neat and clear presentations.
We are also looking into the use of video-enhanced computer displays that will bring up your plant recommendations and show how they would look in your very own setting. Demonstration videos about basic gardening practices, such as "how to plant" and “pruning techniques” are also being considered.
And, if you have any suggestions on how we can improve your gardening experience at Yamagami’s Nursery, please let us know. Just contact us with your ideas.