Beloved North Bay nursery in jeopardy as owner is forced to sell – CBS News

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SEBASTOPOL — Some would consider it a gem in the North Bay — seven and a half acre property with a botanical garden and nursery is up for sale. The owner had hoped he wouldn’t have to part with the land that he loves.

Welcome to the Hidden Forest Nursery in Sebastopol. Mike Boss left his award-winning landscaping business in San Francisco and bought this property in 2017.

“I was living in paradise,” Boss said. “My dream was coming true.”

Boss’ love for nature started at a very young age. “I’d mow the lawn 20 times before I would vacuum the rug,” Boss recalls.

When the opportunity to buy this place came up, he dove in with every dollar he had. Unfortunately he fell on tough times. Business plummeted as he dealt with fires, the pandemic, the drought and floods. He tried to hang on as long as he could.

“So many people find joy in this place,” Boss said. “They thank me profusely. I’m a hero to a lot of people in this county.”

But now a for-sale sign sits at the entrance of his home, a 7 1/2-acre property with a 2-bedroom, 2-bath house for $2.5 million.

“It may be time for the next chapter of my life,” Boss said. “Which I thought this was going to be my final chapter but, no, the story gets rewritten.”

Boss knows he has to sell but he’s hoping a corporate sponsor or a philanthropist with deep pockets will be interested in taking over the land. Best case scenario: Boss would be able to stay to run the nursery.

“There’s still time for that Hail Mary pass to be thrown and caught,” he said.

There’s been an outpouring of support from the community to help Boss hang on to his property. He’s grateful for the support but says it’s only helping him buy time to find the right offer.

“It’s been bittersweet,” he said. “If the traffic that I’ve been getting now was here for all six years, I wouldn’t be in the position I was.”

Boss will miss the beauty and diversity of the plants, the sounds of the birds chirping and the serenity of this property. If he has to leave, he would send a simple message to the next owners.

“I would tell them, ‘I hope you love this place as much as I do and respect it and enjoy it,'” he said.

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