The coming of spring has been so hectic that I have barely had time to dedicate to sitting indoors and working here on the computer. With the absolutely beautiful weather that we have had these past few weeks I have headed full on into working jobs right after immersing myself in the amazing sights of the San Francisco Garden Show. Heading out to the San Mateo Event Center at the latter half of March I was flushed with excitement. Among the sights I had heard people buzzing about there were conferences from some of the big names in the Garden community I had followed and had greatly influenced my paths forward towards a greener and more sustainable future of gardening.
The moment we had stepped into the garden design centers we were overcome by an unusual mystique and virtual inspiration. The fact that they had put together these garden designs in thought and exertion amazed me. The plethora of themes and feelings that these gardens evoked were only overshadowed by the sheer beauty of it all. Urban gardens to snaking walkways lost beneath towering grasses to the infamous ‘Hillbilly Hotel’.
Being a special place in my heart was the dragon carved from ‘Darjit’ which I am to gather is made from recycled materials. The use of so many ordinary items creating such peaceful beauty and nourishing gardens was awe inspiring. The recycled/upcycled gardens were truly spectacular to behold.
I’m not a big fan of the commercialization of many conferences, but understand that they have their place. However, once I stepped into the hall with the vendors I was swept away with the smells. So many smells vibrant and aromatic. Nothing was overpowering, and it only made me yearn to have some of those scents in my garden or home. While I did get to view just about every booth there were a few that I spent multiple days spending the most of my time perusing and enjoying.
Annies Annuals was there of course, but of note I had fallen in love with Morningsun Herb Farm from the moment I happened by there. Even the artist booths had a few that completely floored me. Andy Byrne, I must make special note had such intricate and beautiful work I will not easily forget. the Rustiques booth was full of wonderful designs I had only wished I had not been on such a budget. One of the oddities that struck me as interesting was the booth for ‘Air Plants’. I cannot begin to describe the many forms that these plants were in all soilless.
The names I mention are by no means the Best or Greatest, but are just a few of the ones I was able to attend or excited about learning from. Jack McKinnon of jackthegardencoach.com taught beginner pruning. I was able to actually learn a bit from him, and he was a very entertaining fellow. Alane O’Reilly Weber taught vermicomposting and I am quite inspired to begin vermicompost very soon. Martin Yan is…Martin Yan. If you have not been able to see him in person I can only say that it is something you must do with your life. Not only was his food amazing, but his techniques were intense to watch, but most of all he is one of the most entertaining fellows I have ever come across.
Of special note I want to say that Fern Richardson of Lifeonthebalcony.com was a pleasant surprise to catch. Having to deal with small space gardening for most of my experience it was great to see her talking about that very same subject. Her book is on my ever growing and already overbearing ‘To-Buy’ list.
My personal treat was to catch Joe Lamp’l of Growingagreenerworld.com. Joe is simply great. He’s so down to earth and knows so much I just sit there absorbing everything he has to say. Joe was a special treat for me because it was his show along with his book Over the Fence with Joe Gardener that inspired me toward building this very business Growing Dinner Gardenscapes. And if Joe ever reads this I can hope he will know how much what he and the others of GrowingAGreenerWorld mean to the rest of us. (And I really had a wonderful time after the show chatting!)