The Little Local Garden Furniture Show At The Mall

 The little local garden furniture show always has lots of orchid vendors--a convenient place to pick up Mother's Day gifts.  These orchids are mass produced, manufactured, really.  If grown and tended and loved, however imperfectly, they develop souls.  Because alive.  They are not furniture.  
A local native plant seller was also there, with lots of Woolly Blue Curls and a blooming Opuntia (basilaris?)
 The display "gardens" were on the lowest level of the mall 
 Mostly furniture displays.  This mall has furnishing stores and they want the focus on furniture and throw pillows, not on a bunch of damn plants. 
 The light up pathway tiles on this one were kind of cool, but who would want to sit in the sun on a very small throw pillow surrounded by gravel?  Looked uncomfortable. 
 But the plastic lotus fountain looked very...plastic.  There was a "garden" with these last year, too.  Gaudier, as I recall. I guess you could sit in the hot sun and watch birds fly into the mirrors and clonk their heads and die while you drank some hot tea and listened to the gurgling of a giant plastic flower. 
 I liked the cobbled-together-from-old-windows greenhouse structure on this one.  These are always so charming.  Would love to have one, but, not very practical. 
 It got crowded pretty quickly.  This particular orchid vendor sold species orchids.  They were more like real plants and less like the manufactured kind.  I didn't buy any, though. 
 Beautiful pots by Muradian.  I didn't get one, though. 
As a home for an Agave, I liked the one on the top right in this next photo.  The simple lines were eye-catching from a distance, and a narrow leaved Agave would echo the lines in the pot.  Also evokes the Arizona State Flag
 These tiles (painted concrete?) made a striking path in another display "garden", but are they durable outdoors? 
 The laser-cut panels on this one were very cool.  On closer examination, they proved to be a kind of hardboard material, not metal. 
 They were nicely lit, which greatly enhanced the effect they made. 

 There were two archways of them.
 That's about all there was that was interesting.  Lots of Orchids, lots of tomato plants, and lots and lots of small succulents.  I was hoping to score a cool Protea from the protea seller from whom I bought Protea 'Brenda' last year, but all they had was 'Pink Ice' and bouquets for sale.  Just as well--better, really.  No room for another Protea with other plants still waiting for a spot in the ground. 

 I got an Erigeron glauca 'Sea Breeze' from the California native plant vendor.  Small plant;  will fit just about anywhere.  Probably morning sun/afternoon shade will be best. 
 As I said, it was little, and mostly poorly made furniture at high prices.  Can't complain, though.  So very lucky to have a garden!  Just sad that we have so little interest in plants and garden culture here.  I think I say that every year after this thing.  Sorry. 


  1. I visited the show on Thursday with a friend. We ran into Denise. Next year perhaps we should coordinate a visit. My expectations of the show have lowered dramatically over the years and, although we perused the "garden" displays, I let my friend know in advance that the vendors were the real draw. She bought a plant but this year I bought none, although I did bring home 3 decorative items, including a Muradian pot. I admired the same one you did but the price had me selecting a more diminutive one. My photos of the event are lousy but I may attempt a post within the next few days too.

    1. Yes, a coordinated visit would be fun. Count me in.

      I am not a good tender of potted plants, so I'm trying to gradually move everything into the ground and retire all the pots.

  2. Your final comment about the plastic lotus and the rest of the display made me laugh! Have also found myself poring through your pics of the Muradian pots, lovely lot with the wavy one a particular favourite.

    1. Some beautiful pots, yes.

      I tried to avoid making fun of the displays, but some of them were just begging for it.

  3. I didn't even bother to attend the SF Garden Show this year; they had returned to the venue at the Cow Palace hoping to rekindle the 'good old days' of the show . I was encouraged for months until they published the exhibitor list which was sadly lacking in the plant department.

    1. This show had "good old days", too. Great plant vendors and over 100 of them.

      The chain-store tenants of the mall finally staged a rebellion: sell our furniture.

      Get rid of those people in dirty jeans selling a bunch of damn plants.

      I can see their point; the rents are skyhigh, but it's just not a very good show anymore.

  4. The plant-filled heyday must have been a good time. As it is, the few best-looking offerings really leap out at you -- specifically, that fabulous angular pot. It's a perfect fit for the parallel world in which I live in a zen cottage in a frost-free climate.

    Mirrors in gardens are rarely a good idea, but in.sane. at this season. I hope the display didn't inspire any of the visitors to try it at home. Much more soothing to imagine them all potting up succulents and planting tomatoes this afternoon.

    1. No frost here, but no rain, either. It's always something.

      Let the tomato planting commence!

  5. Nell's comment about her parallel world cracked me up. I dutifully attended. Robin Parer's booth is still there, so that's enough for me, and Andy's Orchids always blows me away. And watching people engaging with plants has its own rewards. Maybe I'm more sanguine because I've given up on finding broad-based garden culture here. But there's interesting pockets of it about!

    1. In my parallel world, it rains one inch of gentle, steady rain once a week.

      There are pockets, you are right. Must remember that.

    2. Andy's nursery is great to visit, too. Got to visit last May.

  6. OMG, that neon blue (lit?) buddha. What up with that? I suppose, when sitting on pillows feeling all zen-like and serene, one would want strong red, white, and blue around them - and mirrors. Wait, why not add a big pink lotus to clash with everything. Your description made me laugh out loud! There were also some cool things that you pointed out. Love the pots and screens!

    1. The neon white ring was screaming bright and you could spot it from the other end of the mall it was so bright. My thought on the ring and the neon blue light-up Buddah was that you take turns trying to throw Buddha through the ring, as being more stylish than bean bags, to decide who wins the dead birds that hit the mirror.

      Yes, the pots and screens.

      Your shows in the PNW put ours to shame.

  7. I'm glad I dropped in today--I always appreciate snark and agree with you about the plastic lotus. Eeewwwww... :-)


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