Agua Fria is great!.
I am a permaculture designer in Las Vegas, N.M. I have shopped at the rest, and I can tell you that Agua Fria has a great selection of edible and xeric plants, and they are less likely to be rootbound than they are at other nurseries.
I also think that Agua Fria has the most knowledgeable staff.
Terrible customer service, high prices.
We've stopped shopping at Agua Fria because of the rude unhelpful staff. Last time we were there my husband asked an employee to identify an unusual plant growing in their display garden and he acted like my husband was wasting his time. He finally threw out a possible name but said we really needed to go look it up ourselves on the Internet! And they weren't even that busy -- we were the only customers there about 3 p.m. on a weekday.
On the same visit, the cashier was clueless when I tried to inquire about the price of an item on display at her register -- there was no price tag, and she said she didn't know what the price was, and didn't even try to look up a price or make any effort at all to enable me to buy it. After we had paid for our dozen plants, she didn't box them up for us, or point out where boxes were, or offer to help us get our plants to the car, so we staggered to the car with all our muddy plants in our arms. It wasn't like there were any other customers there competing for her attention, so her lack of helpfulness was especially annoying and noticeable. Most other nurseries I've been to box up your plants and will carry them to your car if you're buying heavy ones.
Many, many of the plants for sale don't have name tags or price tags, and the staff wandering past you on the cramped aisles act like you're an unwelcome intrusion, so good luck getting any help. To make matters worse, their prices seem higher than other nurseries. I now regret we spent money there, for all these reasons.
I routinely shop at many of the Albuquerque and Santa Fe nurseries, and Agua Fria has the worst customer service. For a much better shopping experience, with friendly, helpful, knowledgeable staff, try these nurseries in Albuquerque instead -- Osuna Nursery, Purple Sage Nursery, and Jackalope. In the east mountains, try the small but charming Mountain Gardens on Hwy. 14 in Cedar Crest.
Best Nursery for Well-Grown & Native Plants.
I am a landscaper specializing in native, xeric and unusual plants. Agua Fria has the largest selection of plants in Santa Fe, and the best selection of native plants. The owners collect seed from wild plants, and provenance is often known and supplied. They grow plants "hard," so they will do well in your garden. The reverse is often true for other nurseries.