In 2014, I was, for six weeks, the (kind of) director of the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show.I was enlisted by John Greenlee and the new owners and we worked hard to elevate the show to a standard befitting one of the best horticultural and landscape design centers in the world. I believe we did a good job given the restrictions and, let’s just say, personalities that were present .I will also pass on describing the emotional and logistical ups and downs of coming to a flower show just six weeks before it opened. It was a mess. I lost one friend who had a temper tantrum but I gained a couple of new ones. So it goes.
I went to the Show today. It is opening day. I went with as much of an open mind as possible. I had recovered from the miasma of 2014 and now…not my circus, not my monkeys. I wanted the show to be great. After all, the Bay Area has some of the best landscape architects, garden designers and nurseries on the planet. Evidently they were all elsewhere when it came to this year’s show.
In its heyday, the show featured 20 to 30 gardens. They were elaborate gardens, many of them excellent. Today there are ten gardens. I almost liked a couple.
What I saw, as I entered the gates of the show, left me gobsmacked. Gobsmacked is a British slang word meaning extremely surprised or shocked; astounded. I will forbear on writing a lengthy criticism and let the photos speak for themselves.