Best nursery with a purpose

The Prickly Pear

Mona Bahraini’s backyard succulent nursery celebrates plants and people.

Mona Bahraini’s backyard succulent nursery celebrates plants and people.

Photo courtesy of Paige Brittany Photography

Sacramento succulent lovers who gather under the #sacsuccs hashtag on Instagram have found a perfect place to gather in person as well: The Prickly Pear. Nestled along a quiet street in Oak Park, Mona Bahraini's tiny succulent nursery focuses not only on selling succulents, but also bringing people together for “Pot & Sips,” group potting sessions in which folks chat while enjoying their favorite beverages. Bahraini's events have become a favorite of bachelorette parties, group date nights and team-building workshops.

A self-proclaimed “earth muffin,” Bahraini knows that working with nature is healing. In fact, therapeutic is a good word to describe her warm little shop, located in the backyard of her home. Outfitted with a large potting table and a bright yet shaded greenhouse that’s lined with rows of cheerful succulents, you can’t help but experience a sense of calm here—and Bahraini’s open smile and easy demeanor seal the deal.

Bahraini started The Prickly Pear after a 2017 accident left her disabled and unable to return to her dental hygienist job. She turned to her passion—plants and supporting people. Besides the Pot & Sips and open-house Sundays, where she opens her greenhouse to the public, Bahraini works with developmentally disabled adults to help them find joy and build skills through gardening. She also works with children from disadvantaged neighborhoods, including a program with Leataata Floyd Elementary School in Oak Park.

“I wanted to start a nursery with purpose,” Bahraini said. “I work with the disabled because I truly believe nature has the ability to heal.”

Gardening can be therapeutic, she added.

“It’s also great for kids, because gardening teaches basic life skills and keeps you balanced. It can make you more conscious and mindful of your choices." 3956 First Avenue; (480) 717-8452;

Correction: The article incorrectly credited its photographs to the writer. The photos were taken by and belong to Paige Brittany Photography. SN&R regrets the error.