Come on in.
Where to start?
Our 6th annual Garden Bloggers Fling in the San Francisco area this year was phenomenal. The Fling crew, Kelly Kilpatrick, Andrea Fox, Charlotte, Claire and Maggie, did an amazing job of crafting a program filled with beautiful private gardens, public gardens and nurseries. They babied us and fed us well and it was so fun to gather with friends, old and new, and join together to discover the Bay area.
As we began our Fling, we all laughingly said that they can grow everything in California. After these garden tours, I think it may be true!
I’m starting my blog posts from the end. After numerous problems with my computer and iPhoto (all self- created problems having to do with TOO many files – 18,000 photos – even after moving 5 years worth of photos elsewhere), these are the photos I’ve uploaded so these are the photos you get to see!
Our last stop – a shopping tour and reception filled with wonderful food and drinks – at the well-known nursery, Flora Grubb. Wow.
The nursery had me on garden overload with its unique plants, bursts of hot color and just plain old cool stuff. Creative vignettes like this classic car overflowing with ferns and phormium captured our attention.
This exotic staghorn fern makes me think of Medusa as it spills out of this Buddha head planter.
The pruning of this palm tree created a live piece of sculptural garden art.
Endless bromeliads – loving the heat and humidity of the Bay area – and paired with hot pots.
Or succulents sitting side-by-side in cool concrete.
Flora Grubb did the landscaping for nearby gardens, and we got a walking tour of the area, which included these great yuccas.
I loved this plant – tibouchina – and was pondering its viability here in Austin, Texas, when Kelly came along, laughed at me, and said:
“No, it won’t grow in Austin, but it will grow in my garden!”
Then she snatched one up and sauntered up to the cash register! I had to laugh. I had a case of serious plant envy by this point without a doubt.
Inside the store, we were surrounded by more beautiful pots and decor.
As things were winding down, and I sat to chat with friends, I almost didn’t notice the cool trenched table inlaid with succulents. I knew I couldn’t get this in my suitcase. Think I could make one? Hmmmm…
Each year at the Fling, there seems to be one specific plant that’s in its full glory in almost every garden we visit. In Buffalo, I remember the mondarda, in Chicago, I remember the alliums. From the San Francisco fling, I will always remember the over-the-top phormium we found in almost every garden. We’re a little too hot and a little too dry to grow them here, but you can bet money I’m gonna try! Maybe in a pot, in a carefully chosen spot and lots of TLC. (No work involved in trying to grow this plant!)
Here’s a glimpse of what I brought home in my suitcase – a succulent, a fern and a few tilandsias along with a trio of metal planters and some red long beans. I would have liked to fill a truck with so much more and drive it home, but that would have been impractical.
This was a spectacular ending to a wonderful Fling. Thanks to everyone who helped by working, hosting, opening their homes, and sponsoring our special event.