Blogging the Shows


Warning: This post is San Francisco-centric.

Claire at Alameda Garden always shows up for the garden writers’ gathering on the first night of the show and sits in the back row with me.  That’s where all the cool kids hang out. Good to see you once a year, Claire.  She says:

To be honest, I’m less and less impressed by the exhibition gardens
each year, not because they’re not interesting, but because they seem
to be getting increasingly surreal. It seemed like the recurrent themes
this year were the three S’s: sustainability, salvage, and sleeping in
the garden.

Derviss has photos up of her Zen garden, which won many awards.

Trey blogs about his non-attendance at the show (he’s a little busy in spring).  Our usually handsome and charming friend chuck b didn’t make it either:

As if being unemployed wasn’t depressing enough, it would at least be nice to go to the Flower and Garden Show…But no.  I’m coughing like a dying smoker.  My nose runs like the river wild.  My head spins like…usual.

In a post titled Wind Chimes, For God’s Sake, Eucalyptus Way says:

Last week, Mike and I went to a garden show at the Cow Palace, San
Francisco’s old convention center on the the cold, south side of town.
We don’t have a garden and we don’t have a house but it was something
to do. There were clusters of gardens arranged inside the convention
center. Many were longer on statuary, particularly Hindu and Bhudist,
than on green. There was actually an outdoor garden Entertainment
Center where you could watch TV in the yard. (God forbid we should talk
or listen to the crickets).

My Skinny Garden, guest-blogging on the garden show’s website, says:

What We Didn’t Love About the Show

The food! Mainly because there really wasn’t any. This is not the
place for two hungry vegetarians! We were so hungry that we finally
stopped to get nachos to hold us over until we could get real food and
then both felt guilty because we’d been eating so healthy for the
entire week only to blow it on heart attack food on the last day.

Girlfriend, I hear you!  What’s with the ball park food at home and garden shows? On one hand, you’re trying to sell us this upscale, eco-friendly, outdoor living lifestyle thing, and on the other hand, you’re feeding us nachos and funnel cakes.  Explain!

Although the San Francisco show is better than some.  I got a perfectly decent veggie burrito, and in years passed I’ve had some pretty darn good Indian food.  The coffee carts pour an excellent cup of coffee.  I can survive on good coffee and a veggie burrito.

Oh, and those awesome concrete stepping stones I posted a photo of?  Here’s their website.  They really need to get some photos up, but check it out anyway.

More garden show wrap-ups soon.  If you’ve got one to share, post a link in the comments.


  1. if I remember correctly, at least one of you guys was planning to attend the Chicagoland Flower and Garden show – I’m really looking forward to your review of THAT. I’m so hoping you ran across and plan to talk about the stereotypical Holland girls supposedly selling bulbs they brought straight from Holland *gasp*. I know I’m sure gonna blog about that. I posted part 1 of my review today but I think I can squeeze a couple more parts from this show.

  2. Good to see you too, Amy. And I agree about the coffee. I had a cup of Kona drip coffee there that would have been worth the trip over the bridge all by itself.

  3. Please do talk about those Holland girls – I see them at evey show – what is the deal?

    I was at the Washington (DC) Home & Garden Show with a booth signing up subscibers for our local gardening magazine. Some photos are posted at our blog – I didn’t write a wrap-up yet – long days meant all I could do was fall into bed each night. Will try to post something about H&G shows from the “other side of the aisle” this week. We show vendors are also not short on opinions on how shows should be run 😉

  4. Hey, don’t be knockin’ funnelcakes. (Where the hell did you find funnelcakes??)

    We got the food thing beat this year. I’d been dragging a microbial load around in my sinuses most of the week and knew I wouldn’t make it through the all-day marathon to the press reception, so we ate lunch at home and then drove over to the show. I just wish we’d found a better coffee-absorbent carbo when it became critical than those awful stale churros. It’s a sin to do that to a churro.

    We did the demo gardens at a dogtrot; I thought it was because we’re getting all old and jaded. I’d like to see more surreal, actually. I missed the U of AZ kids, who weren’t there this year.

    We once spent the night in a platform bed about 15 or 20 feet up an old oak somewhere east of Willits, held in its branches as if in a huge hand. Now that was what I’d call outdoor living. Lord, lord.

    Given the avowed theme of the show this year, I’m disappointed nobody showed anything involving a shopping cart.

  5. Finally got my pics up of the 2008 SF Flower & Garden Show. Spent all day, Friday, March 14, at the Show. Had a great time… feet very sore the next day… already looking forward to next year.

    A couple of the ladies I was with did the health pavilion thingy. Nobody pushed any drugs on them and they got free full-size bottles of mouthwash and travel toothpaste as a parting gift.

    The food? Well, it still needs work. I had the Indian food. It tasted OK, but all those food booths need better temperature control; instead of hot dishes being hot and cold dishes being cold… everything was just tepid. I made the complaint about the Mexican food another year.

    I did notice that the hot dogs are Niman Ranch dogs. Might be a safer bet next time if I’m too lazy to bring a lunch (again).

  6. Well, I just came back from the RI Flower show (Feb ’09). Talk about a rip off! I was so pissed. I took a day off work hoping to see all sorts of water features and different plants, etc. to get some fresh ideas for this spring. It was $17 to get in, $10 for parking and MAYBE 30% of what was there was garden related! They did have some beautiful waterfall features and I was in awe of those as I have made my own koi pond with waterfall and winding stream and it is a HUGE amoutn of work! I can’t imagine setting that up and taking it down and moving it to a diffent state every couple of weeks. Anyway, I digress…..they had ShamWow crap there, Bathtub Liner company (uh, what does THAT have to do with gardening?! ) Gutter Company, home improvment guys, tons of jewelry, some cheapo hair clips, tee shirts, and jam makers. I saw one person with seeds, and of course, there were the lovely women from “The Netherlands”…uh….ok, I was suckered into buying some bulbs from them for Japanese Wonderflowers and flower ferns…I REALLY think I will regret that. I have read multiple blogs about this outfit….think I got ripped off is what I think!

    Save your gas, your money and the whole 30 minutes that it MIGHT take you to go through the whole thing! It was awful and certainly not worth going to!

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