BIZstory: Nursery and landscaping El Plantio


Members of the El Plantio team.

Tucked away in a scenic valley just outside of bustling Escondido, near Bear Valley Parkway and Idaho Avenue, is 1322 San Pasqual Valley Road, where you’ll find the El Nursery and Landscaping Plantio.

This gardener’s happiness has been accompanying and advising budding horticulturalists for over 50 years.

El Plantio is Spanish for planted area or garden space and this nursery is a nature lover’s paradise.

Nathan Snapp and his wife Edith were born in Utah. Nathan loved the outdoors and camping and graduated in forestry. Nathan and Edith’s children Carolyn and William (Bill) were born in Washington DC where Nathan went on to work for the government. Sons Warren and Douglas were born in Pasadena. The family moved to Escondido and Nathan began working as a purchasing and personnel manager for the town of Escondido and Edith, a teacher, taught home economics at Orange Glen Secondary School.

The nursery was founded in 1959 by George and Jean St. Denis. The Snapp family’s history with El Plantio began in 1969 when Nathan Snapp retired from town and decided to buy the nursery business. For Nathan, the business was primarily a retirement hobby, using a spiral notepad to record business and hiding the bag of money under the trash in the trash can overnight. (No, this practice is NOT in place today!)

Bill Snapp joined the Nursery in 1974 after graduating with an associate’s degree from Palomar College. His wife, Wendy, was a teacher for 37 years, including 17 years at the San Pasqual Union School. Bill and Wendy have two children.

Warren began working at the nursery in 1976. Warren’s wife, Kathy, works for the Escondido School District. Warren and Kathy have six children. Three, Nolan, Lloyd, and Melinda have horticultural degrees from BYU, Idaho and work at the nursery.

The brothers bought the business from Papa Nathan in 1976 and added the maintenance of commercial and residential properties to the retail and landscaping departments.

Bill Snapp says, “We started at the bottom of the ladder by digging irrigation ditches and holes for landscaping plants. Over time we literally rose through the ranks of the job learning the ropes of the trade – using ropes to climb trees that needed to be pruned or removed, before reaching the highest rungs of property.

Bill is a licensed contractor with the State of California and handles landscaping and maintenance.

Warren Snapp manages the company’s retail business and is a certified nurseryman in California.

El Plantio has been featured on local TV news and hosts informative seminars featuring unique plants, planting techniques, and other useful information. Warren says that at one of their seminars he offered medium sized tomatoes and invited the attendees to taste them. Everyone liked the tomatoes but commented that the size was just medium. Warren smiled then asked, “How do you like my cherry tomatoes?” Then explained how to grow delicious, larger than average cherry tomatoes.

The beginnings of the El Plantio nursery, which opened over 50 years ago.

Bill Snapp recently recovered from heart surgery. He had felt something was different and remembered that his father had passed away at the age of 66 from heart disease. Bill visited his doctor and said, “I came for an appointment and four days later I was recovering from heart bypass surgery. Bill recounts that when he met his surgeon after surgery, the surgeon placed his hand on Bill’s chest and said, “a lot of reconstruction” and describes the blockage and how Bill’s body changed or rebuilt – smaller vessels adjusting to keep the heart functioning.

Like the plant that finds a way to keep growing, life finds a way.

Or, as nurseryman Bill says, “I have been bred. The good news is that everything is fine!

Whether you are a novice or an experienced gardener, looking for ideas or expert advice, or just wanting to enjoy a stroll through a park-like park, visit El Plantio.

At the front stands a majestic fig tree welcoming all those who enter with outstretched branches. During the summer months, ripening figs loom behind the verdant green foliage and birds abound.

Mature tree and slatted canopies cast a dappled shade over the winding garden paths that lead to fruit trees, roses, vegetables, water gardens, native plants, aquatic plants, ground covers and grass. perennials, make for a relaxing, soothing and interesting walk around the grounds.

It is not uncommon to see nesting hummingbirds, golden finches, house finches, wren, sparrows, starlings, mockingbirds, orioles, woodpeckers, robins and blue jays.

There’s even a turtle park, home to Buddy, a California desert turtle.

Three generations of experience are here to help make your gardening a Snapp.

Good deal. Great people!
Nursery and landscaping El Plantio
1322 San Pasqual Valley Rd., Escondido CA
Questions? Call 760-745-8736 [email protected]

Melinda, Warren, Bill and Lloyd Snapp. El Plantio is definitely a family affair.

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