Our Fruit Collection

Our Rose Collection

Site Guide

Redvein crabapple blossoms

Greetings from Ettersburg……

Greenmantle Nursery originated in 1983 as an offshoot of
Ram & Marissa Fishman's respective horticultural collections.
We are pleased to make our plants available to you
for your own garden….

Rosa rugosa hips

The Fruit Collection

" First in spring to gather the rose,
and ripe apples in the autumn…."

- Virgil (70 - 19 BCE), The Georgics

The Greenmantle Catalog © 1983 was in print for
more than two decades — Our original 30 page reference work was the blueprint for our adventure in the nursery business. While this website supplants it, we still miss the simplicity and beauty of the printed word on paper. Perhaps someday, we will find time to publish an old style book for an uncertain future...

Meanwhile . . .

A great deal of horticultural history, information, and advice is presented here on Greenmantle's website —in order to anticipate most questions about our stock and our business. Please take the time to explore this site and learn about our hundreds of heirloom Fruit and Rose offerings....
If you wish to consult further on specific questions,you may contact us at:

Greenmantle Nursery
3010 Ettersburg Road
Garberville CA 95542
(707) 986-7504

The Rose Collection

Ram specializes in diverse fruit for the home orchard, with varieties ranging from the commonplace to the rare. Over the years, we have grown and offered more than 300 varieties of apples - plus numerous pears, Asian pears, plums, cherries, peaches, quinces, & figs. Emphasis has always been primarily on eating quality as well as such factors as historical significance and disease-resistance.


Now we have refined our apple listing down to around 75 of our personal favorites. Moreover, we will be propagating and offering only BENCHGRAFTS of the varieties in our Apple Master List. The foundation of our Apple Collection rests on the old homestead varieties of our bio-region, and features the legacy of Albert Etter (1872-1950) the plant breeder whose private experiment station was located a few miles from here. Many other varieties have been collected from pomological colleagues, both amateur and professional, throughout the United States.

>The Fruit Collection


>Apple Master List


>"Antique"  Fruit  for New Orchards


>Fruit Features / FAQ


>The Benchgraft Option


>Fruit Tree Ordering Info


Pink Pearmain® Apple

Marissa cultivates over 300 different roses, and these form the main motif of the Greenmantle landscape gardens. The focus of the Rose Collection is on the great classics - all of the older types are represented - along with the finest species and a selection of choice modern varieties. Superior merit has been the standard for every rose - a quality measured by beauty, history, health, fragrance, and rarity.


Our mother plants were assembled over 3 decades of intense collecting from many sources in half a dozen countries. When we began to gather roses in 1976, there were still only limited possibilities in the United States - and importation was the way to assemble a wide-ranging collection that would include what might be considered the highlights of the genus. The inherent charm of the Genus Rosa is its astonishing floral diversity. The Rose offers a plant for every time, place and taste... Choose well for your garden - and enjoy the pleasure of their lasting beauty.

>The Rose Collection


>Rose Master List


>The  Age  of  the  Rose


>Rose Showcase / FAQ

>La Vie en Rose


> Rose Ordering Info


Magenta Rose

Welcome to our home on the Web …..

Thirty-five years ago, we dedicated the Greenmantle Catalog - "To all the Old-timers, Long may they thrive…." By now, most of the men and women we were honoring have passed from the scene - leaving a legacy of knowledge and cherished heirloom varieties. Our own generation is now maturing into old-timers, and with this inheritance comes the responsibility of stewardship.

Like the plants we nurture - we're rather old-fashioned .......... Our apologies in advance for not conforming to contemporary standards of electronic commerce. Even as Greenmantle Nursery enters the Information Age, we remain grounded in the down-to-earth work of preserving and sharing a living horticultural heritage. All this takes time, but the two of us are committed to traditional service - giving each order our personal attention.

Site Road Map

The Road to Ettersburg

Greenmantle does not maintain a regular retail facility at our nursery grounds
and regretfully we are unable to accommodate visitors.......

Ixia viridiflora

The Glastonbury Thorn
........ Crataegus monogyna 'Biflora'
" Art does not yield the crown to Nature in the creation of a garden adorned with rare trees, and a green mantle always."
Veronica Franco (1546 - 1591)

Our Climate......and Organic Culture

"The climate of Ettersburg is just like paradise, only you have to work."

- Albert Etter (1872 - 1950)               

Greenmantle Nursery is situated on 32 acres at an elevation of 1500' in a remote area adjacent to the Kings Range National Wilderness. Weather varies from extremely hot and dry in the summer, to cool and very wet during the winter rainy season. Despite our proximity to the Pacific Ocean, the Kings Range blocks the moderating effect of marine air. While we see fog billowing in waves over distant ridgelines, our own relative humidity remains quite low. Consequently, our summer daytime temperatures frequently reach into the 90's, then drop into the 40's at night. Highs of 115 degrees F have been recorded and any rainfall between May and October must be considered exceptional.

"To those of us who are gardeners and therefore also interested in landscapes - the earth's green mantle as it affords a home for man - these regions of winter rainfall have a significance that immediately separates them in our minds from other parts of the earth........ The traveler always knows when he is in a Mediterranean land."

- Lester Hawkins (1915-1985), "A Gardener's Guide to the Mediterranean Climate"
in The Pacific Horticulture Book of Western Gardening 1990

The rainy season usually commences by November and continues through April. During this period, we can receive 100" of rainfall, and in some years upwards of 150" has been recorded. Precipitation in these amounts makes us one of the wettest climates in North America, with virtually all the moisture falling during one-half of the year. While snow is an occasional phenomenon and extended freezes have occurred, temperatures below 25 degrees F are uncommon; our historic low was 9 degrees F in 1990. We do get our share of light frost during the dormant season, hence winter chill requirements have never been an issue for us in the garden, orchards, or nursery.

Etter believed that the climate of the Ettersburg area was unusually felicitous to a broad range of plant life, promoting vigor, size, and longevity - especially for trees. Our region is notable for its venerable and giant specimens of Douglas Fir, Coast Redwood, and Madrones. For domestic plantings, the lack of summer rainfall mandates frequent deep irrigation. This offers a significant boon to plant health; diseases like fireblight, apple scab, and rose black spot are much less prevalent than they are in more humid places. This makes organic culture a more viable option for gardener, orchardist, and nurseryman.

"Water, soil, and the earth's green mantle of plants make up the world that supports the animal life of the earth. Although modern man seldom remembers the fact, he could not exist without the plants that harness the sun's energy and manufacture the basic foodstuffs he depends upon for life....The earth's vegetation is part of a web of life in which there are intimate and essential relations between plants and the earth, between plants and other plants, between plants and animals. Sometimes we have no choice but to disturb the relationships, but we should do so thoughtfully - with full awareness that what we do may have consequences remote in time and place."

- Rachel Carson ( 1907-1964 ) Silent Spring 1962

Since our inception, Greenmantle Nursery has adhered to a strictly organic approach to plant cultivation. We use no chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides. To counteract the constant leaching of nutrients caused by our heavy winter rains, we are always working to build up the soil's organic matter. Composted horse manure is our main reliance, occasionally supplemented with natural amendments like fish and kelp meal. Bins of redworms digest kitchen waste and produce a first-rate soil dressing. Plants do respond to timely attention, especially where it comes to water and nutrients. Pests and predator animals always impose a challenge that requires constant vigilance.

In the end, the old Chinese proverb rings true: The best fertilizer is the footsteps of the farmer.

"Put your ego in your compost heap"
The Greenmantle Catalog
© 1983


Our Duchess of Oldenberg Apple Tree (1895-2003)


"Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust - we all dance to
the mysterious tune intoned in the distance by an invisible piper ."

- Albert Einstein (1879 -1955)


All Original Text and
Images © Greenmantle Nursery 2005