You are here:Home/Library & Archives/ Garden Archives/ Biographies/ City and Kentia Nurseries

Archive Navigation

City and Kentia Nurseries

City and Kentia Nurseries

The City and Kentia Nurseries, owned and operated by the Verhelle brothers, were among the most important nurseries located in Santa Barbara in the early 20th century. The Verhelles lived on an estate near the Bel Air subdivision of Santa Barbara; in addition, they owned a large stretch of land on Modoc Road. In the 1920s, the Verhelles planted Kentia palm trees on their Modoc Road land, and soon they were exporting the fashionable trees to all parts of the country. They also provided plants to nearby residential estates like Casa Dorinda.

The hey-day of City and Kentia Nurseries began to wane by the late 1940s. The Verhelles subdivided their land and sold a large portion of it for residential use in 1949. What remained was sold and renamed Kim Nursery. Kentia palms still grew in that area. By 1977, the nursery business left the property, and a small portion of land—the last traces of City and Kentia Nurseries—was set aside as the Kentia Palm Preserve Park.



Smith, Homer F. “Amended Covenant with Sharon and David Landecker to Modify the Kentia Palm Area at 2101 Mountain Avenue.” City of Santa Barbara. Last modified September 26, 2006.

Tompkins, Walker A. “Westside History.” Santa Barbara Board of Realtors. Accessed August 1, 2014.