One of the year’s horticultural highlights & a bastion of the bustling Bay Area botanical biz is SF’s Flower & Garden Show. A must see event, it annually attracts thousands of fans of flora, some from as far as Canada, the South Pacific and Europe. I first attended a dozen years ago when it was a smaller scale affair at Fort Mason, and it is now a huge event held at the Cow Palace.
Here’s a selective bit of look back on the scene that went down last week, as the show was built & opened to entertain eager enthusiasts of eragrostis, admirer’s of amaryllis, lovers of lilys, and ooglers of orchids. Acres of displays and hundreds of sales booths dot the grounds of the rodeo ready Cow Palace, providing ample space to gather and gander and tour truly awesome takes on the gardening arts, and some occasionaly ostentatious exhibits.
Take this year’s Golden Gate Cup (aka Best of Show) winner, a display created by Organic Mechanics, that was an amazing undersea-esque garden replete with submersed looking succulents, ocotillos in bloom and sculpted tritons, octopus & seahorses provided by Oakland metal sculptor Patrick E that woulda made Ringo Starr feel right at home.
To the right is a pic of the durable duo known as the Organic Mechanic’s James Pettigrew and Sean Stout, proud winners of the Golden Gate Cup with Show Producer Kay Estey at last Tuesday’s opening night fete’.
Below is a shot of ornamental grass expert and “meadow maker” John Greenlee ( in hat ) talking to interested fans of his work on the last day of the show, amazingly he and his garden are holding up well after a week in the cold and cavernous concrete Cow Palace. Greenlee’s garden display won three awards including recognition from the other garden designers and an award from the American Horticultural Society for environmental stewardship. Entitled “The Metropolitan Meadow, Driving Towards A Solution”, the garden highlighted ways people can make a small but real difference in our environment with their lawns & gardens alone. Greenlee has long been appalled that conventional lawns, their chemicals & maintenance account for 100′s of tons of air pollution weekly throughout California.
He and his partner’s display asked the provoking question “Is Your Garden Part of The Problem or Part of the Solution”, by incorporating literally thousands of low water using, natural habitat friendly, and maintenance unintensive plants. To knock home his “step lightly” point, parked smack dab in the middle, was his wife’s cherry red Nash Metropolitan, a car that still gets 40 mpg, but was made 50 years ago.
check out some more random SF garden show pix after the jump…