Please note, our pool will be under construction winter 2023. We look forward to having you enjoy our updated pool and patio area when it is completed by May 2023.
Stroll the grounds and admire the 50 varieties of camellia plants that give our Sonoma Lodging its name, then enjoy a dip in the villa-style swimming pool or lounging on the water’s edge.
Camellias at our Sonoma Lodging
Many of these beautiful camellias were already here and flourishing in our Healdsburg gardens when the Wilsons purchased the property, dating back into the 1970s. More than 80 plants bloom throughout the winter on the inn’s landscaped grounds.
Sonoma County was home to American botanist, horticulturist and pioneer in agricultural science Luther Burbank. We understand that Luther Burbank knew Dr. Seawell, who lived and worked in the building that is now the Camellia Inn, and that Burbank was responsible for working with the doctor and his wife on the planting of many of the camellias that make up our Healdsburg gardens.
Sonoma Lodging Garden Tour
Enjoy a little journey though our gardens to view and learn more about some of our favorite plants and garden features. When you come to visit, we invite you to take a self-guided Healdsburg garden tour of the gardens. Info tour sheets are available at the inn and a systematic guide to touring the garden is also available here. In the meantime, enjoy a shorter visual journey below.
Starting at the Fish Pond patio, and facing the tree-lined North Street you’ll see our light and airy Evergreen Dogwood on the left. It is a very rare variety. Also nearby is the old Oriental Magnolia (Tulip Tree). When Dr. Seawell used the home as the town’s first hospital, his patients delighted in seeing the tree’s cheerful blossoms in the spring, it’s an heirloom dating to the 1820s. Crossing over the brick patio to the right are some of the old Camellias at the Camellia Inn planted by the doctor and his wife. The Lewands, who previously owned the Camellia Inn added more than 40 additional varieties of camellias since starting the Inn. Many of the later additions were purchased from or donated by the late Jim Smith, a local artist. He tenderly grafted numerous plants. Some are more than 30 years old. The Japanese Maple was added in 1988 as shade for the camellias.
The Goldfish Pond lies in the center of the patio; a focal point and favorite spot for guests. Peek around the water lilies, to glimpse the glittering scales of goldfish. Built in 1927, the tile and frogs are from the famous Rookwood art pottery company in Ohio. This was the first fishpond in town. All the neighbors attended Mrs. Seawell’s grand unveiling party. A Blue Spruce is just in front of the Fish Pond. Close by is the Sasanqua Camellia with its distinctive serrated leaves and small flowers.
Fragrant rose bushes line the sidewalk, blooms are best March to July. Two dogwoods at the sidewalk’s edge greet guests as they arrive. One is a white Western Dogwood and the other a Pink Flowering Dogwood. Towering next to the house is a Cedar of Lebanon tree that stands about 65′ tall. This giant was planted around 1870.
Growing lavishly on the wooden overhang next to the house is a fragrant white wisteria. To the left of the steps you’ll note a series of pink, white and red Dolores Hope Camellias. They are camellias with exclusively very large blooms (more than 5 inches). variety. They are the most common camellia and are noted for their dense foliage and many different flower shapes.