Sunday, March 31, 2013

San Fran Flower and Garden Show: Show Garden highlights

Ok, so it's not the Northwest, it's "different" my colleagues say....

First of all, I want to mention the positives: GEORGE HULL is the man! Hooking us up with comp tickets to the show! He's a horticulturist and plant breeder from Arizona and he was there with his students who built a wonderful show garden display and through the perks of social media, we got in for free!

Having attended the NW Flower and Garden Show for almost 17 years, I couldn't help but have a bit of an expectation when I heard of the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show. I've always associated the city as multicultural, cutting edge in terms of design, trendy and would pave the way with the latest in lifestyle.

So, I walked in the halls and saw this:


So yeah....

It had an interesting, almost COUNTY FAIR feel to it; a large exhibition hall minus the livestock. Then the photo below just needed a clown and maybe a few rides in the background.


Not gonna lie, this was awesome to see!

The show gardens represented a country with the overall theme of "Gardens Make the World Go Round". Let's see which countries you can identify with just the photos I took.

What I tried to look for in the show were interesting and eye-catching compositions and, of course, wonderful plants!

This composition and walk-through garden has these interesting panels and cone-shaped containers. I like the effect the grasses at the base create to make it seem like the pots are hovering just above them. The lighting and the shadows created on the panels were unique. The plant palette....meh.

Now this garden had some wonderful plants! Diverse selection of what appear to be primarily grasses, California natives and, basically, a drought tolerant landscape. It just lacks a little definition and no one plant really stands out. The stone work all around the garden was pretty cool though:




Kudos to George Hull and the students at Arizona State University who put together a display that pretty much swept all the awards!!!  Of all the gardens, it was the most complete and the different rooms show goers were able to experience was pretty well done. Their use of materials, mostly (if not all) recycled, was fantastic. They wanted to demonstrate simple vignettes that the home owner can easily build and replicate in their warm/arid landscape. More photos of their garden and how it was built in this LINK.

These faux stone walls lit from the base were very effective and done to scale very well.

And the architectural plantings of mostly desert Southwest plants were in fine display and wonderfully contrasted with the intensely colored walls.

So this was suppose to be the Philippines.

I can't remember what country they were trying to represent here, but it was both interesting and odd at the same time:


One of my favorite gardens was this simply planted space that was both comfortable and sophisticated at the same time. Wonderful specimen olives with excellent form and the paving materials were very nice. Great use of gabion walls as well.




The true centerpiece of the entire show was this phenomenal globe planted up with succulents! A mighty impressive feat!!


Then there was this:



I'm sorry I didn't have time to read the description of this garden. It was simply a "WTF??" moment.



  1. Good thing you got in for free.

  2. That last picture, Riz, is truly "WTF"! Oh, well, at least there's no watering involved...

  3. Love the grassy one with the cool stonework!