Thursday, March 19, 2009

San Francisco Flower & Garden Show 2009

'American Horticultural Society Environmental Award'
'Sustainable Gardening Award by San Francisco Botanical Society'
Delightfully pretty edible garden bursting with colorful companion plantings 
kale, collards & Swiss chard
               parsley, peas & pansies               
violas and calendulas.

Sustainable Garden Design   ....recycled/reclaimed materials  ..... veggies grown in compost
Garden creators:   Common Ground and College of San Mateo 

Built by volunteers of the San Mateo County RecycleWork's Master Composter Program with support form Common Ground Garden Supply & Education Center in Palo Alto.

Sky's The Limit

Designed by Rebecca Cole Design
San Francisco Flower & Garden Show  2009

Best of Show garden
built by Mark Campbell, Garden of Eden Landscapes
Exciting news on opening day of the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show. Duane Kelly of Salmon Bay Events announced.... it's looking like the show will go on in 2010!  A letter of intent has been signed.  More details, and show gardens to follow on BayAreaTendrils.

Emerging in the main hall, a hip, contemporary garden designed by Rebecca Cole of New York, Sky's The Limit, garnered my vote along with the Golden Gate Cup for Best of Show... and a bevy of accolades, including a Gold Medal; the Sunset Western Living Award; the Association of Professional Landscape Designers Award; the California Association of Nurseries and Garden Center's Award.

Conceived as a high-rise, rooftop space, succulents ruled in an indoor-outdoor layout melding eye-catching textures and patterns into a cohesive design statement.

Garden highlights: the bold forms of hard-edged, rusty, steel-rimmed planters framing Aeonium tabulaeforme and stunning echeverias; 
an inviting enclosed seating area softened by a green roof;
gorgeous living walls composed of geometric shapes where a dark-leaf ajuga plays off leptinellas, sempervivums and sedums.

Cole designed brilliant glazed tiles with plant motifs; the tiles used as elements in tabletops inset with plantings. Tiles also appear on the floor plane, though I'd guess the surface might be too slippery to be used here. 

Cole credits Mark Campbell of Garden of Eden Landscapes for the daunting task of building out the garden for the San Francisco event. 

The Sky's The Limit leaflet mentions numerous others, including sponsor Smith & Hawken, whose logo appears in the cozy enclosure,  Mountain Crest Gardens, 
and Studio Replica for the cast-stone planters and sofa.

The San Francisco Flower & Garden Show runs through Sunday, March 22 
from 10 AM to 6 PM.  Visit for information.


  1. Hello Alice

    These are really interesting pics. I'd imagine a show like this in San Francisco to have it's "über cool" elements.

    I'm glad to hear that there's a strong possibility of it continuing in 2010.

    Thanks for sharing this.


  2. This looks amazing. Wish I could have visited!

  3. Great photos wish I was there. Good news about next year.

  4. Great news, Alice. It was hard to fathom the show not continuing. It is no wonder that design was so well awarded, it is fantastic with such detail, the tiles, the indoors/outdoors. Thanks for showing it.

  5. I like those images..It looks relaxing and amazing.When I go to a place I want to see like those flowers.:)

  6. I thought I was going to miss it, but made it to the show after all. Yeah! Rebecca Cole's garden was stunning. I gave a presentation for the APLD San Francisco district the day before and had dinner with the judges for the APLD award. Rebecca's garden was their pick and it was interesting hearing their process of how they determined the winner.

    Did you notice many of the gardens were less whimsical and more practical/sustainable than in past years? Great for getting ideas, but I missed seeing some of the crazier gardens.

  7. Thank you Alice, for taking us all on a tour of the show! Great photos and inspiration!

  8. Is it trickier to demonstrate an artistic sensibility while creating a garden that is sensitive to the environment and climate change?

    I'm always most intrigued by design that pushes at the boundaries of 'what is a garden'. And whimsy when well executed is refreshing.

    Pushing the boundaries may come to fruition at The Late Show Gardens this fall at Cornerstone. I'm waiting a bit before posting about this upcoming event, as it's still taking shape.

  9. Thanks for the preview! Are you posting a bit more? I can't wait to go on Sunday...

  10. Nice photos of some interesting spaces! I'm especially struck by the succulents in the roof garden. They're both practical for an exposed location AND great looking.

  11. Wonderful show - Thank you for bringing to us via the web! Happy Spring - LOVE YOUR WORK!

  12. How did your pics turn out so well? What camera were you using? I just might have to upgrade.

  13. I wish I could have visited. It looked like alot of fun for us flower/gardening enthusiasts!