Mid-Week Trifecta at the SF Flower Show

Wednesday, was opening day at the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show.  It was also the first day of spring and a day out with good friends, the perfect, mid-week trifecta.

So…two out of three ain’t bad.

The mere mention of the word ‘spring’ puts a bounce in my step.  Seeing two girlfriends for a day of hang time was awesome as well.  It was the much-anticipated show that left me feeling a bit deflated.

The show changed venues over the years and seems to have decreased in size and spectacle, perhaps a sign of the times.

At the heart of the show are display gardens.  This year’s theme, Gardens Make the World Go Round, featured the ‘World’s Largest Rotating Succulent Globe.’  That was pretty cool, though not something the average gardener could reproduce out back.  It’s been entered into the Guinness Book of Records.

Rotating Succulent Glove

Rotating Succulent Glove, Designed by Robin Stockwell of Succulent Gardens

Beyond that, only two gardens caught my eye.  The first was ‘Thailand,’ a silver-medal winner designed by Bay Maples, featured below.  The second, ‘Mexico: Inside Out’ swept the awards.  More on that later in the week.

I spoke with designer Alan Hackler who, coincidentally, also lives in San Jose.  He’s passionate about re-purposing resources, and is known to stop at construction sites, to reclaim materials for use in client projects. Hackler’s show entry featured planter boxes made from old garage doors, reclaimed lumbar, a used pond liner and other reclaimed materials.  The ‘temple’ also features the window panels from former garage door.  Fun!  I loved the aesthetic and his enthusiasm for his art and craft.  The design was restful and inviting.

Alan Hackler, Bay Maples

Alan Hackler, Bay Maples

Thai Temple garden show

Thai Temple Garden

Temple built with reclaimed materials

Temple built with reclaimed materials

From the program:

Inspired by the Buddhist temples of Thailand, our garden is intended to evoke the tranquility and simplicity of an ancient meditation space. Ecological gardening techniques featured are salvaged and re-purposed materials, locally sourced materials, and water efficient plantings.

Thai garden water feature

Recycled pond liner, boxes made from old garage doors

The garden features only California native plants to demonstrate that water conscious, climate appropriate plants can be used to achieve nearly any garden theme or motif. All Redwood logs were sourced from two downed trees salvaged from the Santa Cruz hills. Another water-smart feature about our garden is the recirculating aquaponic vegetable beds. This is inspired by the flooded rice fields of Thailand.

thai garden edible garden

Thai Edible Garden

Bay Maples: Wild California Landscapes

The San Francisco Flower and Garden Show runs through Sunday, march 24th, 2013