Plants, Stone, California Landscapes


2012 Flower and Garden Show

Dynamic Reflections

I managed a quick visit to the San Francisco Flower and Garden on Thursday. My personal highlight was not a garden, but rather Bee Chama Honey who comes out from New Mexico most years and has about a dozen different kinds of honey (my favorite was oak, followed by Sage/Willow and Meadowfoam). Anita was a judge at the show this year and was especially impressed at the quality of the gardens and the craftsmanship. I agree, though I thought they weren’t quite as memorable or dramatic as some other years. They were well designed and really nice and it takes a lot of effort to do such good work. I haven’t added links to all the garden creators, but you can find that info at the show’s garden creators webpage. Also there’s some cool stuff at the show’s Facebook page, including a timelapse of a nice, relaxing garden that I didn’t photograph.

Dynamic Reflections again

Dynamic Reflections had the most stone interest. Its by the same designer who did angled walls a few years ago. They’re pretty cool. There’s a heck of a lot going on in these walls, with a ceramic face, a container, various slabs and boulders, more than I would want in a real wall, but probably the right amount for a garden show. I found myself wishing more of the other gardens were more over the top this year.

Dynamic Reflections again


Savannah was the other garden that felt satisfyingly over-the-top. It was done almost entirely with grasses, a narrow path through a tunnel of grassy foliage. It was a distinct experience, with crickets and other sounds created by a guy does garden sound for a living. It was a hard thing to do it justice in a photo, but this blurred photo sort of gives a sense of it. I felt like it was far and away the most interesting garden and the main one that offered a distinctive experience you wouldn’t see in a real bay area garden. It was also the only garden that truly felt like it was about the plants.


Windows was more about the hardscape and the design and making a real outdoor space with good attention to materials and details. It swept the awards from the ASLA, CLCA, APLD, and Sunset, all the groups that are focused on making real residential gardens.

Serenity Lounge

I liked the Serenity Lounge also.

Serenity Lounge again

Urban Habitat on the Left, Sculpture Party on the Right

I also liked the big dragon and the juxtaposition of it next to the graffiti garden. I guess there was more over-the-top things than I remember.

La Vie en Vert

The pendulum and the little gabians in La Vien en Vert are the last of my photos. There were other nice gardens — almost all of the gardens were good this year — but I didn’t photograph them for some reason. I guess I spent a lot of my time tasting honey.

La Vie en Vert again

SF Gate has a slideshow here.


2 Responses to “2012 Flower and Garden Show”

  1. March 25th, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Town Mouse says:

    Interesting take on the show. Now I’m sorry I didn’t taste the honey ;->

    Ms. Country Mouse and I both enjoyed this years gardens. I’d grown a little tired of the “car in the jungle” theme, and even more tired of outdoor pizza kitchens. This year’s gardens all seemed like something you could transport to your own place — well, with the possible exception of Savannah, which we both loved but which would look odd under the redwoods in our gardens.

    More about the show on our blog tomorrow, we hope. Today I’m wiped.

  2. March 25th, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    ryan says:

    Townmouse, I think Savannah would look odd in a good way underneath your redwoods, so I hope you entered the drawing for the plants. I found myself wishing there was a little more car in the jungle, but I was also really impressed with how well done the gardens all were, and how they could, like you said, be transported directly to most people’s backyards.

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