Skip to content

San Francisco Flower & Garden Show Highlights & Garden Tips: Part 1

April 1, 2010

Have you ever been enchanted by a garden landscape but didn’t exactly know why?  Understanding basic design principles can help you make common plants come alive and create your own garden masterpieces from scratch.  With so many plants and materials to choose from, the possibilities are endless, not to mention overwhelming.  I traveled to San Francisco, this time as a lone podcast host, to find the answers to some common design dilemmas, discover emerging trends, and to soak up some vitamin D-rich California rays.

The San Francisco Flower & Garden Show is a fabulous springtime destination. Especially after a long, dreary winter hibernation involving garden planning, seed collecting, and homemade soups to warm the soul.  While my lovely Nest In Style co-host Teresa O’Connor was holding down her fort in Idaho, I spoke with a number of garden designers, magazine editors and garden geeks about their interpretation of the various garden exhibits and vendors at the show.  The Highlights Podcast Show is separated into a two-part series, to avoid bombarding your brain with too many “nuggets” at one time.  Part I features: Ivette Soler, Jenny Peterson, Sean Stout, Shirley Bovshow, Elayne Takemoto & Claire Woods of Annie’s Annuals (see Part II below).

Take a scroll through the photos while each expert talks about different aspects of the San Francisco Garden Show exhibits.  Push the big, round orange play button to listen.  It’s time to get inspired!

Combining textures “tickles” the senses in the garden

Ivette Soler, a Los Angeles based garden designer, whose work has been featured in Garden Design, Metropolitan Home, and Sunset Magazine, talks about one of her favorite obsessions, texture.  Many people are drawn to the color of flowers, but Ivette makes a convincing argument about using texture to take your garden experience to a whole new level.

Garden Exhibit: Gold Medal Winner, Re-Generation “The World Without Us” created by The Garden Route Company

Where is Ivette Soler?

Simple color schemes for small space gardens

Jenny Peterson, an Austin-based landscape designer, has a soft spot for jazzy, New Orleans style gardens.  The secret to creating a relaxing retreat is in the details.  Jenny shares some designer tips to help you avoid creating a “visual assault” when using color and textures in small space gardens.

Garden Exhibit: Salvaged Creole Jazz Courtyard created by The Artist’s Garden, Diefenbach Landscape, Durascape

Where is Jenny Peterson?

Are living walls the “living room” of the future?

The creation is grand, but the idea is simple.  Sean Stout, of Organic Mechanics, shares his inspiration for their Living Room garden exhibit and how homeowners can apply his design to their own “living” spaces.  Most of us don’t have the time or the talent to create such a living masterpiece, however, Sunset Magazine has a great slide-show on how to Make your own living succulent art.

Garden Exhibit: The Living Room created by Organic Mechanics

Garden products that enhance the outdoor experience

Shirley Bovshow, a well-known garden TV personality, garden designer and creator of Garden World Report, highlights some her favorite products at the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show.  Shirley prefers products that are “functional and help us enjoy outdoor living.”

Garden Products: Essence of the Tree, The Ledge, Parasoleil Panels

Where is Shirley Bovshow?

Two funny women behind Annie’s Annuals

Looking for rare and unusual?  Of course you’ll find interesting plants at Annie’s Annuals nursery in Richmond, CA, but finding fun, knowledgeable and witty staff gardeners is a rarity in my experience. Claire Woods and Elayne Takemoto talk about the trends they are seeing at the nursery, dealing with plant killers, a super cool annual called ‘Cerinthe’ (the new blooms look like shrimps!) and Annie’s philosophy behind selling small, green 4″ plants for your garden.

Where is Annie’s Annuals?

From left: Claire Woods, Jayme Jenkins, Elayne Takemoto; Claire's flair

Thanks for tuning into Nest In Style’s San Francisco Garden Show Highlights.  Stay tuned for Part II, featuring Sunset Magazine’s Garden Editor, Kathy Brenzel, garden designer Keeyla Meadows, the garden creators of Pulling Up Daisies Tyler Reinhart and Kat Lewis, and an unexpected trip to Sunset magazine’s Menlo Park Campus with Associate Garden Editor, Julie Chai.

In the meantime, go GROW SOMETHING!

Photo Credits:  Laura Schaub and Jenny Peterson

9 Comments leave one →
  1. April 1, 2010 2:04 pm

    Excellent coverage of so many different aspects of the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show! (I’m not saying this because I’m one of your podcast guests!). I listened to the whole show and enjoyed the comprehensive coverage from garden “analysis” to talk about recycled materials in the garden, to plants, to new products.

    You are such a likable and personable host. Enjoyed my time with you.
    Shirley Bovshow
    Garden World Report Show

    • April 3, 2010 8:53 am

      Wow Shirley! Thanks for the super nice comments. I’m blushing. Thank YOU for your time and expertise. I particularly like our conversation about the parasoleil. Sunscaping isn’t talked about, or thought about, when homeowners create their backyard escapes.

  2. April 1, 2010 3:34 pm

    Jayme, great podcast! Even though I was at the show nearly every single day, listening to this podcast made me think of some elements that I hadn’t previously considered. One thing that is ringing through as a strong theme, though, is TEXTURE. We’ll always love color, but I’m really loving the fact that gardens and their designers are really paying attention to texture right now. It’s a strong design element that we sometimes forget.

    It was so great to meet you–I know everyone else enjoys your work as much as I do!

    • April 3, 2010 9:01 am

      I’m with you on the emphasis on TEXTURE in garden designs lately, and the fact that it’s overlooked. I really liked what you said about using a muted color palette in small spaces. Really makes sense! It will make even more sense when I post Keeyla Meadows garden in part 2.

  3. April 1, 2010 4:14 pm

    I love listening to the podcast while looking at the photos! Great idea. It helped tie it all together.

    Ivette uses some great words….It was a bit sexual. I think I need a cold shower now!

  4. April 2, 2010 10:07 am

    Isn’t Jayme the best? I really hated to miss the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show this year.

    But after listening to these interviews with Ivette, Jenny, Sean and Shirley — not to mention, the great gals at Annies Annuals — I felt like I had an insider’s look at the show. Thanks everyone for providing such interesting and intelligent perspectives on the new gardening trends for 2010.

    Can’t wait to hear part 2.

    Teresa O’Connor (aka proud NIS cohost)

  5. April 2, 2010 11:52 am

    Interesting and informative. 🙂


  1. San Francisco Flower & Garden Show Highlights & Garden Tips: Part 2 « Nest In Style
  2. San Francisco Flower & Garden Show Highlights & Garden Tips: Part 2 | aHa! Home and Garden

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: