Yesterday I attended the annual San Francisco Flower and Garden Show and this incredible “Wonder Land” garden, by Arterra Landscape Architects, was my absolute favorite exhibit. Their creative use of materials and whimsical yet sophisticated use of color made this the most inspiring garden I’ve seen in a very long time.
The Arterra team very successfully used 3 Form acrylic panels to create a subtle transition between public and private spaces within a very small footprint. Imagine using these to shield a private outdoor living space from the street (similar to my Eichler front courtyard). Staggering the panels allows for air movement and creates a sense of depth and interest.
These red stems really stand out against the blue background. I’ve always felt that most plants, especially those that are varigated, look better against a solid color background. It’s one of the reasons I stained my fence a dark chocolate brown.
Porcelain sculptures on steel rods were created by artist Carol Koffel.
Another must see exhibit is the world’s largest “living succulent globe” created by Robin Stockwell, Weston Cook, Brad & Corey Bohl and Joe Roubal. Measuring in at 14 feet high and ten feet in diameter, this 2800 pound masterpiece was created from 30,000 cuttings of eleven different succulent plants. It’s amazing.
Likewise, the fabulous exhibit put on by the Bonsai Society of San Francisco should not be missed. I especially admired the 55 year old Coast Redwood, the 40 year old Flowering Apricot and the 60 year old Chinese Elm (with amazing scars and beautiful deadwood).
My favorite booths and vendors at the show were the California Native Plant Society (for tons of helpful information), Love Apple Farms (for worm castings and a huge variety of heirloom tomato seedlings), Digging Dog Nursery (for unusual and hard to find plants), Succulent Gardens of Castroville (for succulents, duh), Big Island Plants (for super fragrant double pearl tuberoses), Hudson River Inlay (for beautiful marquetry furniture, mirrors and artwork) and Harley Farms Goat Dairy (for all-natural goat milk paint).
The San Francisco Flower & Garden Show, held at the San Mateo Event Center, continues today and tomorrow from 10am to 7pm, and on Sunday from 10am to 6am. Tickets are $20 per person and parking is $12 per car.