Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Trip to The San Francisco Flower & Garden Show

I really don't know where to start. Most of the trade shows I attend or exhibit at are commercial B2B shows and to be quite honest, the attendance has been beyond dismal the last year or two. I knew something was different about the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show as soon as I walked through the door. The display gardens were huge, elaborate and beyond impressive. More than that, the aisles were full of people. People who payed good money to get through the door. People who were buying all sorts of things from vendors to take home. Now, we all know that the current state of the economy is certainly taking it's toll, but the appearance at this show was much better than what I expected to find.

This was the scene at the ticket booths on Sunday, the 5th and final day of the show. Apparently folks just couldn't get enough of this event!

I cruised all the aisles and checked out all the display gardens. Talked to lots of vendors and attendees. The vast majority were very pleased with the show. I was surprised at the variety of exhibitors and vendors. Of course there were all the cool nurseries and plant stuff, but then there was art of all kinds, outdoor furniture, tools, clothes, kitchen gadgets and more.

Here is a sampling of the amazing gardens:

I'm starting with my favorite. This is the post-apocalypse garden built by The Garden Route. I loved the overgrown appearance and the over-sized metal critters.

Coming in a close second for me was the Recycled Creole Jazz Garden. The crocs in the waterless fountain were just too cool. Their plant selections really captivated me. Oh, and then there was that cool jazz music playing all the time.

The Jurassic Garden was a tropical adventure full of imagination.

More amazing designs.

This is the famous "Living Room". A complete room with walls of succulents, surrounded by water and a complete formal dining room inside.

The energy, creativity and planning that went into all the display gardens was extreme. The fact that they were all assembled in just three days really blew me away. I had only attended the SFGS one time previous, and that was several years ago. While I'm sure it was impressive then too, it sure didn't make the impression that this show did. I am certainly hooked and will most definitely be back next year.

Hope you enjoyed my novice perspective of the gardens. Check back in a couple days for my post about all the other exhibits and vendors.


  1. Thanks, Matt, we were totally missing a picture of the awesome new ticket tent! So glad you enjoyed the Show; maybe you'd like to be a part of the action next year???

  2. Interesting, the Red Snake (or whatever it was called) by Keeyla Meadows was my favorite. I am really drawn to that kind of crazy eclectic style, but I never have the guts to do it myself.

  3. Thanks for the tour through your eyes, Matt! And did you hear that the Armadillo was actually a BARBEQUE?? Laura clued us in...and even had a picture to prove it!

    Can't wait to see your booth there next year! ;)

  4. Great job Matt, you got some shots that I never thought of- cool!

  5. Thanks for the photos of the event. I enjoy your blog.