Kids in the sandbox in the show garden

Well, the San Francisco Garden Show is over. We are breaking down my show garden today. It’s a wrap. Here are some  pictures of kids playing in the sandbox in my garden. There were a lot of kids at the show and many activities for them.

One little girl came running up and asked, “what was the number for the sandbox?” because she wanted to vote for it.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Showtime and the Plant List

We finished putting the show garden together yesterday at noon. Then the judges did their thing.

Later there was a gala party with show organizers, garden creators, show supporters, etc. It was nice to speak with the other garden creators. We nibbled on some hors d’oeuvres and there was a swinging big band playing some jazz too.

The SF Garden Show opened to the public this morning and goes through Sunday. There are some really great gardens. A whole lot of work went into them.

I spent most of today in my garden answering questions.

People are looking for ideas and were asking about plants.

This is the plant list I’ve been giving out. Lots of California natives here.

And this is the Postcard we’ve been handing out with contact information for the wonderful suppliers who helped make this garden possible.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Show Garden Construction Beginning

We started show garden construction for the SF Garden show yesterday. Below, the guys with El Alamo Landscape construction helped with loading in this huge multi-trunk palm tree from Palm Island Nursery.

The truck rolled in from Lyngso Garden Materials, the company that graciously supplies landscape materials for all of the show gardens (stone, mulch, compost, construction materials, etc).

Below is a really cool chandelier made of succulents that we’ll be hanging. It’s from Palm Island Nursery too.

Today we’re continuing with the hardscape construction: putting up some stucco walls and loading some of the heavier items.

Tomorrow our extremely amazing plant supplier, Lisa Arnold Nursery will be delivering some great specimens.

Partnering with a Leader in Outdoor Living

The show garden we’re putting together for next week’s San Francisco Garden Show wouldn’t be possible without our wonderful partners and suppliers, including Outdora, a company that supplies an incredible array of products for outdoor living.

They have a wonderful selection of luxurious home and garden merchandise:

You name it: fire pits?  greenhouses? outdoor furniture? high-end BBQ grills?

Outdora’s own president Stuart Sager will be at the show too.

Outdora is providing a new freestanding Lynx 36″ Grill and Rotisserie for the show garden display. It’s a gorgeous grill.  Below is a picture of me taking a picture of a very similar grill from Lynx that’s in Outdora’s showroom window. The one we’ll have is a tad bigger: Perfect for the California Dreaming Garden. Learn more and purchase here.

Outdora is also supplying two other key items for the garden: an Earthmaker Composter and an outdoor shower from the Outdoor Lamp Company.

The extra eco-friendly Earthmaker aerobic composter is a three stage composter that can produce 10 gallons of compost each month. The chambers keep the fresh waste, the digesting waste, and the maturing waste separate. This makes the Earthmaker Composter twice as fast as regular compost bins. Learn more and purchase here.

The outdoor shower will be placed behind a claw-foot bathtub that will be decorated with sea shells. Learn more and purchase here.

Outdora has had a presence online since 2005 and last May officially opened the Outdora Showroom, located a half block off the historic Sonoma Plaza in Sonoma – a fabulous location.

Come to the show and check it all out in person.

Show Garden Prep

This is a schematic of the design for my show garden for the upcoming San Francisco Garden Show.

And here’s a description of the garden:

California Dreaming – Beach Retreat with a Soul

This garden mimics the ocean’s tranquility with a restrained palate, making use of natural and recycled materials. It has a light footprint in the sand.

Included are pacific coast native plants, succulents and other beach-y plants that create a habitat for native honeybees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

The style is organic modern California beach nonchalance – i.e. gnarly chic.

Growing up in beach towns in California and childhood vacations in Mexico inspired this garden.

This garden has outdoor rooms with design ideas to steal and a backyard beach house vibe.

The first day of load in for the garden show is this coming Friday. Below, the guys are getting started on constructing my garden.

They’re working on the carpentry (that’s my house behind, to the left).

surf’s up

We were decorating this surfboard last night for the California Dreaming Garden.

Matching Paint Swatches for California Living Garden

The San Francisco Garden Show is coming up soon – March 23-27, and I’ll have a show garden again this year. My garden will be called California Dreaming, as the show theme this year is California Living. It’s going to be a relaxed outdoor living space with a kitchen/dining room and an outdoor room with a bed and shower. It will have a back-yard beach-house feel with plants from California’s Coast,  Mexico, Australia and other fun places.  More about the garden and the SF Garden Show later.

Yesterday I went to Sonoma Paint Center and picked out some cool Benjamin Moore paints  to match the artisan ceramics  for my table setting for the show.

Theresa from Clay Creations is making these ceramics specifically for the show. She’s opening a ceramic shop in Fairfield on Texas St in May and the grand opening with the first featured artist showing is in June. I had porcelain paper plates in mind and Theresa added wonderful color washes that evoke a happy and welcoming atmosphere where great memories will be made. I’m going to paint recycled, mix-matched chairs to match the color washes of the ceramics.

I picked out the Palladium Blue paint for the bottom of a claw foot tub to match hand-died fabric curtains that will be on a portoble canopy, surrounding a brass bed.

Sex in the SF City Garden Show

See the box to the left? This garden won a gold medal at the 2010 SF Garden Show. It was called “The Living Room” and was designed by James Pettigrew and Sean Stout of Organic Mechanics. It’s a 12′ wide room with living walls of succulents and a long dining room table inside.

You could step through the 35′ moat and eat inside the box. Is it just me, or does that door opening look a bit familiar? I don’t think very many people got it at all, and I didn’t speak with James or Sean about it, but my son who is now 15 blushed, turning a bright red as soon as he saw it.