Wednesday, March 31, 2010

SF Garden Show: the Victory Garden

Updated to give credit also to Garden Fare, who co-designed the Victory garden.  Thanks, Leslie!

I have to admit that the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show was pretty cool, but I think that the best part was meeting Clare and her husband of Curbstone Valley Farm fame.  It's so satisfying to meet a virtual friend in person!

We walked around the show and ended up chatting for quite some time with the nice folks at Star Apple Edible Gardens and Garden Fare about their Victory garden.  Super nice folks!

The chicken house in particular really caught my eye (shown above).  Chicken houses have historically fallen into the utilitarian column, but Star Apple decided to use it as an element of the design with exotic yet relatively easy to execute decoration.  It's almost ark-like!  Unfortunately, it's little hinged wooden roof piqued my curiosity and I just had to lift it up (you can't take me anywhere...), thereby putting me nose to beak with a little hen trying to get some rest in the hay.  Sorry!  I'm not sure who was more embarrassed- me or the chicken! 

Photo lifted from San Jose Garden Examiner and taken by S. Smith

The planted area was a real treat, reminding us that edible and beautiful are not mutually exclusive.  Ribbons of marigolds and violas danced in undulating rows while herbs, lettuces and cabbages filled in the spaces.  Fruit trees and trellises of exuberant vines observed it all from the center of the beds.  I like their concept of using edibles as landscaping instead of hiding them in that thrown together box in the corner of the yard.  It celebrates the beauty of the plant, and you can eat it! 

Little touches, like wooden spoons as plant labels really made the garden memorable.  It oozed in cuteness, but also practicality.  It's so exciting to see that growing your own food has almost become a standard in backyard gardening.

Have I mentioned their business card?  Most gorgeous card, like ever!  Overall, this garden landed in my favorites list- it didn't have to be gimmicky to get my attention and its pragmatic beauty has inspired me to get a move-on with my seed starting adventures. The heart and passion involved in creating this really showed- and its infectiousness really spread throughout the show-goers gawking their way through.


  1. Yes, this was one of the more enjoyable gardens. I felt a little sorry for the chicken, and now that I hear about your adventure, I feel even more sorry for them ;->

  2. I have to admit that, because I don't have the necessary defenses against local critters, I skipped past vegetable garden stuff, though I felt the same as you, Christine and would love to mingle edibles in a landscape - I have a couple books on the topic, but am putting my interest to one side till I can do something about it. How fun to visit with the CSV folk! Chickens, I would also enjoy, for the eggs, and the entertainment - but we'd have to have a retirement home for them next door because I wouldn't want to kill any of them!

  3. Christine,
    I'm still agonizing over the fact that I simply did not have enough time to spend at the Flower Show. Feel as if I did not see everything - usually I allow enough time to cover pretty much everything, if not in great depth.
    I wonder when we will finally have the chance to meet?
    Looking forward to that day!

  4. I especially the one little detail on the chicken house, the "wings" on either end of the gable peak. Perfect for a home for winged creatures.