Plants, Stone, California Landscapes


SF Flower and Garden Show 2015


I went down to the flower and garden show this week, saw the display gardens and other curiosities. This year’s gardens are individually all quite nice and as a group noticeably scaled down from last year. There was no submarine party car or bamboo water wheel, and I think the gardens occupied less square footage than last year, too. But I liked just about every garden. This egg-shaped water feature/sculpture by Mariposa Gardening and Design is a good example. It’s pretty neat, a lot of work went into it, and it’s somewhat similar to their egg-shaped sculpture in the 2013 show. But there’s nothing wrong with doing variations on a theme and I was glad to check it out up close and see how it was made.


The diagonal walling is pretty much a Mariposa signature at this point. I’ve seen it before, but I’ve seen a hell of a lot of horizontal walls too, so I’m happy to see it again.


The little planting of native grasses with non-native flowering accents was pretty. There wasn’t a ton of plant interest overall in the display gardens this year, but I think people say that almost every year. It’s hard to get interesting plants for the show.


The most interesting stone elements at the show are these three sculptures by Edwin Hamilton.


My favorite is this third one. The assemblage/walling aspect adds a lot of interest.



The other highlight of the show was the gourd art, artist Betty Finch’s amazing gourd creations. The horse is uncanny, her heron marionette has an internal life of its own, and her gourd mask is distinctly creepy. When she put it over her face and cradled a little gourd baby in her arms, I compulsively stepped back as if I’d suddenly found myself in a town with way too small a gene population.



Treebeard was at the show last year. Pretty great.


I always look at the bonsai display. I sometimes feel bad for the trees, but this California Buckeye really is a condensed little manifestation of the awesomeness of buckeye trees. Some more photos of the display gardens are below.


This garden had two areas, labeled Control and Change. The camera preferred Control, but people were sitting and hanging out in the less austere Change section.




Some nice horizontal walls in the garden by Foothill Design.



A lot of gabians this year.



This garden by the students at the Academy of Art was the big award winner. River stones suspended in the cages represent gas bubbles rising into the air, solid matter transubstantiating, if I understood correctly. Which is apropos of the show I guess, tomorrow the gardens will be all packed up and gone away.


2 Responses to “SF Flower and Garden Show 2015”

  1. April 1st, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    Town Mouse says:

    Yes, I agree, it was less space, the gardens were attractive, but the plants were taking a back seat. (I think your garden had very interesting plants last year, so I think more plant focus is possible – but it’s a lot of work).

    Altogether, it was fun – I especially liked the Ikebana, and some of the lighting. Glad you had a good time!

  2. April 11th, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    ryan says:

    Thanks. I’ve been to the show most years, so last year I made a point to use at least some plants that I hadn’t seen in previous years’ gardens. It’s hard though. I think a number of the garden creators this year signed up to do the garden without much time leftover to find interesting plants. I agree the Ikebana was great. Anita talked to one of the creators there for a long time. Pretty interesting stuff.

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