Tag Archives: SFGS

Fun and Funny Stuff at the San Fran Flower Show

I know that the name is technically the San Francisco Garden Show, but that didn’t go with my alliteration scheme.  When you spend THREE WHOLE DAYS at a garden show, you start to notice lots of little details.  Details that folks cruising by trying to see everything and buy everything would miss.  So, in order that you get the ENTIRE SFGS experience (that’s our twitter hashtag), I bring you:


I pretty much bought books at the show.  A great indie bookstore from Berkley set up shop with some fantastic finds.  But, here’s the other stuff that I just didn’t have room for in my suitcase.

Obligatory chopping implements

The FANTASTIC thing about flower shows, home shows and the like, is that you get lots of “As Seen On TV” folks there demonstrating.  By the time I took these pictures, I was not prepared to engage with anyone, so I snapped a quick shot from the side.  In addition to the hand pruners cutting through BRANCHES THE SIZE OF YOUR ARM!!!!!, there was a Super Fast peeler guy. He looked TIRED by the time I saw him, standing behind his mound of vegetable peelings, under the hot lights.

A whole booth full of geraniums

I so enjoy obsessive plant geeks, and there are LOTS of those wandering around at garden shows.  This booth is just for them.

Urban worms

These worms are NOT country folk.  They are happiest when lounging in their worm box on the balcony of a swank condo, overlooking the San Francisco Bay.

Subtle hints to refrain from stealing plants and/or lawn furniture

With a yard ornament like this, you don’t need a security system.

Handbags for people who REALLY love their pets

They also sell coin purses and keychains, which I could probably do.  But, a purse. . .

Giant, blood-sucking Insects

Oh, wait, those are in NORTH CAROLINA, my hometown.  (Hubby called and said, well, you know how people in the midwest see the first robin of spring?  I saw our first MOSQUITO of spring.  Can’t wait to get home. But, I digress) YES! You can buy a Praying Mantis!  They’re great beneficial insects that will gobble up the bad guys.  JUST DON’T LEAVE IT ON YOUR KITCHEN COUNTER when you get home.  According to a fellow SFGS tweeter, if you do that, it will HATCH IN YOUR KITCHEN and you’ll have 200 baby praying manti running around your house.

Whimsical Watering Cans

I have one shaped like a mouse.  Chances are you could get your little one to help in the garden if he or she got to water plants with this!

Necklaces made from forks

Spoon rings are SO last year.

Caramel Apples with no apple

Actually, there IS an apple in there somewhere.  Maybe 1/3 pound of apple to 6 pounds of chocolate.  YUM!  That’s my idea of fruit!


Yes, you can buy this at the SFGS.

Things to turn pots into tables

This is an interesting concept.  I think it would work best if you had a BIG garden.  It would look really strange in my yard, but I could see it on a patio garden in a swanky neighborhood.  Maybe. . .

One of my fondest memories of attending the “Flower and Patio Show” in Indianapolis, Indiana as a child was the opportunity to get a GIGANTIC tissue-paper flower on a dowel rod.  I just LOVED those flowers, and kept them in my room all year.  Yes, they were hideously tacky.  But, if you don’t have some weird stuff to look at, how can you tell how beautiful the gardens are?

I highly recommend stopping by the show this weekend if you haven’t already.  The GARDENS are beautiful, and there’s lots of cool stuff.  It is 100% worth the ticket price.  Check out their Facebook Fan Page for more info, GARDEN pictures, and posts from other garden bloggers!



Filed under Daily Photo, Garden, This and That

San Francisco Day Three: Sonoma County

My San-Fran trip is the best EVER! Having lots of fun!  Today, we went up to Sonoma County to visit the Cornerstone shops, including Artefact (recommended by Susan Cohan).  After the Cornerstone, we went into downtown Sonoma and walked around the square. Here’s a photographic recap:

Big Blue Chair

Everyone visiting the Cornerstone Shops must have their picture in the big blue chair.  Here I am (left) with my friend Natalie (right).  Natalie’s about 8 inches shorter than me!

Lavender Heaven

Clipped lavender shrubs were all over.

Colorful Inspiration

I always love seeing new color combinations, and inspiration in different places.  I always forget how much I love a dark red and turquoise together, until I see it somewhere.

Don’t Skip Zipper

One of the shops is called “Zipper,” and it’s like wandering through a carefully “curated” (as Susan Cohan said about Artefact) collection of gift items, books, household items and modern children’s gifts.  I wanted everything in the store.

Succulent Succulents

Artefact had several giant bowls of succulent plants. I really wish I could drive a truck home from this trip, so I could take one of these with me:


They had gigantic wood balls (5 feet in diameter and more) that would look GREAT in my garden.  Especially, since my garden is small, and these are HUGE.  They’d totally mess with the scale.

Architectural Gardens

Cornerstone has many (I ran out of stem before I could see them all) little display gardens on the property.  Some are designed by local designers, and others are designed by national or international names.  They’re all delightful.


We parked behind the Sonoma County State Park buildings.  The town’s architecture is an interesting mix of Victorian, arts and crafts and mission.

I had just about had ENOUGH for one day when

I spotted a sign for a book store and started speed walking toward it.  BUT, I was stopped in my tracks by this fun shop: Tiddle E. Winks.  They have lots of funny “penny candy,” as well as nostalgic reproductions and original games from the 1950s.  I picked up some funny souvenirs for my husband, and my friend found a Purdue University Rose Bowl pennant (we went to Purdue together) from Purdue’s appearance in the Rose Bowl in 1967, when Scott’s dad was there. Pretty swell!

End of the Mission Trail

And the end of the day, for me.

We drove home, looking at miles and miles of vineyards out the window, marveling that people drink all of the wine produced by the grapes.  (We also snuck in a wine tasting, but those pictures will remain on the camera!)  Artefact will be at the San Francisco Garden Show, and I recommend visiting their booth. Because I couldn’t buy a big ball, I bought a couple of books.  And then I got a couple more at the indie bookstore across from Tiddle E. Winks.  If you’re out for the Flower Show, I HIGHLY recommend a trip up to Sonoma.


Filed under Daily Photo, Garden

San Francisco Day Two: Redwood Trees and Surfers

Today was day TWO of my marathon trip to the West Coast! My fantastic friends, Natalie and Scott, decided to take me to see the redwoods and the surfers around Santa Cruz. It was absolutely fabulous!

When you’re standing underneath trees like these, everything else pretty much disappears.

Oxalis grew all over the forest floor.

In the clearings, forget-me-nots bloomed

At this point during the day, I almost fell into the river trying to get a picture of this little bleeding heart growing along the path.

Begonia, hanging out.

A fantastical fern!  Looks like a goose head.

Epiphytic ferns!

Santa Cruz

Surfer, foreground. Dolphins, background.

Gnarly waves!

View of the Santa Cruz waterfront

Giant plants in FRONT of a Surf Shop!

Paradise Surf Shop.

Board Blanks

My haul from the Santa Cruz bookshop. I was restrained. I only got 10 books, all paperback.  I especially like the title of the “alluring lettuces” book.

All in all, a pretty fantastic day!


Filed under Daily Photo, This and That

Gnarly, Dude!

California buckeye at the UC Berkley Botanical Garden, Berkley, CA

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San Fran Day One: UC Berkley Botanical Garden

Today was my first day in San Francisco, and I’m staying with my best friend Natalie, and her husband (also my friend–most of the time–LOVE YOU Scott :).  We went up to the UC Berkley Botanical Garden.  GORGEOUS! Here are some pics.

(I don’t know the name of each of the areas.  And, I have lost my map among all of the stuff I bought today.)

Gorgeous Plant Combo

Old California Buckeye Tree


A rhodie, growing on a staghorn fern, growing on a tree fern


Magnolia Stellata

Roaming the Oakland Neighborhoods for Pics

Osteospermum and Loropetalum. Pretty!



Filed under Daily Photo, Garden

Cherries Jubilee

I’m resurrecting the Daily Photo post for the time being. Partially in honor of the San Francisco Garden Show. #SFGS.  Enjoy!

Cherry tree blooming in Airlie Gardens, Wilmington, NC

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Goin’ to San Francisco

This time I’m going in March.  Last time I went in June.  It felt like March.

This year, I’m going to the San Francisco Garden Show.  Or, as it is known on twitter, #SFGS.  Even my sister’s asking what the heck this #SFGS stuff is.  (I’m slightly creeped out that my sister is on twitter-especially when she calls me out on something.  It is a bit like getting dressed down by your boss in front of everyone you work with.)  The twitter world is all a-flutter, with folks flying in from all over creation to meet, greet, and see some plants.

Me, I’m going to shop.

Why I Love Garden Shows

The landscapes are cute.  They provide opportunities to take close-up photos of almost every hot new plant on the market, and every old favorite standby.  There are seminars where you can learn a new idea or two.  For home gardeners, or gardening newbies, a ticket to a garden show, especially one where you can keep coming back during the entire show, is like a really cheap gardening workshop that, in the rest of the world, would cost something like $1,000 and have homework.

But, I know how to garden.  My landscape is pretty well established, except for the gigantic new vegetable garden I’m putting in this spring.  (That I swore I wasn’t going to do.)

I LOVE garden shows, because I love to shop.  Garden shows are THE BEST place to find all of the weird and wonderful garden tools, books, plants, and frou-frou things in one place.  Often, with deals.  And, in the company of other people who are JUST as PLANT OBSESSED as you are, so that you don’t feel like a freak of nature.  You might say, well, can’t you just go to your local garden center for that?  No.  You really can’t.  At a garden show, you don’t look out of place carrying ten shopping bags.  If you push four carts up to the register at Home Depot, or fill six wagons at your local garden center, after they take your money, they put you on a “list” of crazies to look out for.  (I made that up.  But, it isn’t far from the truth.)

I’m going to be among my own kind.

Poor hubby. I’m leaving him at home, so I can frolic with my fellow plant fanatics.  We’re going to tweet-up.  We’re going to play hooky and visit Filoli.  We’re going to eat ourselves silly on artisan yogurt, ethnic sausages, and home-grown produce grilled in front of us at the Saturday San Francisco Farmer’s Market.  (What? You didn’t know that was on the schedule?  Well, it is on my schedule.)

I’m going to the Left Coast to see weird things that don’t grow at my house, and finally meet, in person, many of my new twitter friends.  So we can talk about what we had for breakfast in person. (That was a twitter joke.)

If You’re In the Area. . .

You really should go.  So, San Francisco folks, people from the surround, and those who can get there in a few hours, come and join us.  It’s gonna be great.  The SFGS PR person, Laura, says so.

Click here for the important info you need.


Filed under Garden