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San Francisco Garden Show

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

This week I headed up to the Bay Area for the annual San Francisco Flower and Garden Show. Believe it or not, I had never been to this show so I was pretty excited. And with 29 display gardens and 200 exhibitors, I wasn’t disappointed either (though I was a little exhausted by the end of the day).

This installation was entitled “Gardenmob” done by Saunders Designs. What I loved was their use of old corrugated steel with perforated copper pipe in front as a rain fountain. It was really lovely.

The contrast of the old metal with the wood of the tree is beautiful. I was quite taken with this.

The next garden I liked was called “Urban Habitat” done by the San Francisco Academy of Art and it had the most amazing Ceanothus trees as I’m mainly used to seeing California Lilac as a bush. They were really great.

The installation was also filled with graffiti and black light which looked pretty interesting in the very low light of the exhibition hall (I had no idea they kept those places so dark).

Probably the most interesting display, to me anyway, was called “Savanna!” done by Rock & Rose Landscapes and Greenlee & Associates.

I really enjoyed how John Greenlee took the ideas from his book American Meadow Garden and transformed them into this jungle he had going here.

It was really great, complete with ceramic snakes, though not that easy to photograph.

This was a very clean, modern garden call “Serenity Lounge” by Envision Landscape. I loved the smooth stucco walls that looked like polished concrete and the built-in IPE benches that also created the planter edges.

But my favorite element (and one of my favorite things in the show) was the fire pit made of two single bands of Corten Steel. So simple and so gorgeous.

This was a pretty cool installation by Outdoor Environments and while large, wasn’t too over the top (as some of the others were). I was especially enamored by the Pitcher Plants.

And really, who doesn’t need their very own pendulum?

This garden by T.H. Norton used pervious pavers, a really cool fence design using aluminum tracks and an amazing glass sculpture from artist David Ruth.

Besides all the big installation gardens there were also smaller installations scattered throughout the exhibition hall. This was one of my favorites with its great use of reclaimed wood (I really like the way they’ve done the pattern) on all the raised beds.

And this is one kick-ass chicken coop.

This installation done by West Valley College was really creative. They used drywall braces to build this fence.

And then cut it up into pieces to make this dripping fountain. What a great idea.

And this lesson in Hydroponics from Wemco Landscapes was also really cool. They had this whole elaborate waterfall that was irrigating these edibles growing in a hydroponic media of expanded clay. Probably the most expensive lettuce you will ever buy but totally awesome.

And finally from the large installations, I really liked this fountain/table from McKenna Landscape. I have this theory that most outdoor furniture is looked at more than it’s actually used anyway so why not have a fountain that’s also a table…especially if you drink enough wine.

And then there was just fun stuff I saw. I’ve always loved those elaborate patios done with river rock…well this seems a whole lot easier and less expensive and really really pretty. This is my second favorite thing from the show.

These were glass spires you can put into your garden done by an artist named Barbara Sanderson. I think we have to carry them in the store.

Jeff Owen was another artist I liked (though I’m always a sucker for anything done in iron). It’s hard to find good garden art and his work was unique and fairly priced. The piece on the right he call “Angeles” because he says it reminds him of downtown Los Angeles. I can see it.

And what garden show couldn’t have a succulent wall? And though they are becoming somewhat standard fare, this was a particulary nice one and seemed a fit way to end this very lengthy blog post. There were many installations I left out and in the interest of being unsnarky, I’ll just leave it at that.

The San Francisco Garden Show…I came, I went, I’ll go again.


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