Going Wild In the CNPS Booth at the 2015 San Francisco Flower and Garden Show

Ellen Edelson (Yerba Buena chapter) and Town Mouse, in the CNPS booth at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show
Yesterday we mice did our annual stint in in the California Native Plant Society booth at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show.

Ellen Edelson, who volunteers with the Yerba Buena (San Francisco) chapter of CNPS, has ensured that CNPS is well represented at the show for more years than I know. She brings a whole booth-load of stuff in her small truck, along with enough energy to power the entire event center.

This year Ellen had a conflicting commitment, and other volunteers stepped forward to fill in until she could get to the show. Town Mouse was there on opening day, and did all the cut flower arrangements. 

Even at closing on Sunday, when we were there to take the last shift and help with tear-down, the flower arrangements still looked absolutely lovely (as you can see). Town Mouse has quite a talent!

We mice wandered the maze of exhibit gardens and vendors for a couple of hours before our shift in the booth. This year's show theme was Going Wild. But really only a couple of the exhibit gardens lived up to that name in my view and, I think, Town Mouse's too. 

One that spoke to me was called Bring Nature Home. Here we both enjoyed the mixing of wood and stone and the wilderness feel to the garden, and the abundance of native plants. 

Oh, I would love to create an entrance like the above in my garden!

The Bring Nature Home garden was brought to us by the National Wildlife Federation, SUN Sustainable, and Vallee Landscaping, and was designed by April Owens, Nancy Bauer, and Charlotte Togovitsky.

I found walking into this dell particularly enchanting. The garden was called Uproot. I confess I didn't spend much time thinking about the plants assembled. I just enjoyed the magical space that being in this meadow slope gave me.

And it was fun to see how it was created from tiers of black gallon pots.

Town Mouse wore a jacket that took "Going Wild" in a whole different direction!

The Uproot garden designed by students of landscape architecture at University of California, Berkeley. I liked how they left the infrastructure open to view - a fun flip-side.

Living Light, designed by David Warren, was another fun garden to walk through. It featured succulents and edibles and native plants - and a cool wild-looking living roof. And an amazing bee habitat by Harkness Gardens. The living roof cabin even had a fungus garden inside!

The Living Light garden featured log cabins by Sterling Log Cabins of Vashon Island, WA, Old World Design, in Oakland CA, Green Gallery Landscape & Harkness Landscape, Berkeley CA.

Many exhibits focused on imaginative use of environmentally friendly and recycled materials. Town Mouse felt that some designers were using plants for their color and form rather than any other criteria for grouping them, such as their sun/shade/water needs, or native plant community, or value to pollinators. Still, there were plenty of visual treats, like this one (I didn't record the designer, unfortunately).

Want to see more? I uploaded a set of garden show photos to this Flickr album. Enjoy!


Anonymous said…
Wow, that new camera does the most amazing photos! Thanks for this wonderful report of our adventures!

Town Mouse
biobabbler said…
Ah, lovely. Glad "wild life" is getting some attention. Great point re: not grouping plants w/like needs together. I'm grouping things according to water needs more & more & becoming a FIRM lover of plants that need zero summer water, given the drought.

Very glad you were there to speak up for the natives--woo-hoo!!! =) Thanks for the virtual tour.
Diana Studer said…
I'm used to the native plant specimens being presented formally one by one with labels. How much more appealing to present them as a tiny slice of habitat. And I have those same Californian poppies in my own garden.
James said…
Wish I was there! The log exhibit with the logs arranged neatly into rectangles really appeals to my sense of order, but I was hoping the holes in them meant they were bee houses--but apparently not... And the last photo of waves of stone in the gabions and the wave-form foreground hardscape was really graceful. I think it could be pulled off with real plants in real garden situations and not just at a garden show.