My inner Garden Geek went into overload last weekend at the SF Flower and Garden Show. Held at the San Mateo Event Center, it was a great place for the botanically inclined to go a little crazy. It’s a yearly event, and it’s been a while since I was there last, but I wanted a little garden inspiration. SO….
(Going to the show also makes me think fondly of my dear friend, Joice, who passed away about 3.5 years ago. We had a frightening lot in common, not the least of which were gardening and flower arranging. We went to one of these shows a few years ago, and we both learned that the experienced attendees always brought wagons and shopping carts so that schlepping all the goodies wasn’t so difficult. I thought about Joice, but forgot about the cart!)
Typically at this show, there are a bunch of display gardens, and then a ton of vendors selling stuff to provide adequate retail therapy for any good Garden Geek. Most of the gardens didn’t yield anything unusual, but there were a few standouts:
Many gardeners tend to forget to “go vertical.” I liked this example of hanging mosaics and metalwork.
One of the most colorful gardens there was made by the folks at Ah-Sam Nursery. I love how they used color and height in their garden – it reminded me of Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. Bright, happy colors, great use of space.
Garden art is always fun to incorporate in the garden, but all I could think about when I saw this is that it’s just a big cat box with a play toy hanging from the top. Or it could be a raccoon playground. Yes, I live in the ‘burbs.
I couldn’t quite figure this one out: carniverous plants in a deck bench. Just at the right height for the kids and their little fingers.
Edible landscaping was a really big deal this year. If you have an abundance of yardsticks, here’s how to put them to good use! (Don’t laugh, we actually DID have an abundance of them a few years ago, back when we went to Southern Lumber a lot and each time they gave us a free yardstick…)
In terms of individual plants, I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw this variegated Rhododendron. I WANT ONE.
I had a really good time, but I think what I enjoyed the most was seeing all of the people there, especially the older folks. I absolutely loved seeing all the elderly folks slowly making their way through the exhibits with their wheelchairs, walkers, and canes, and discussing technical aspects of the gardens with passion! And most of them discussed the different plants using their botanical names. I’m encouraged that when my body completely falls apart, there’s hope that perhaps my brain can still function as a Garden Geek.