Immersed in Gardening

Gardening is generally a slow process. We progress on a seasonal schedule, as we monitor the emergence of seedlings, the opening of buds, the ripening of fruits. We might even sit and contemplate the birds and bees, or just the leaves moving in the breeze.

Learning about gardening also is a slow-paced process: we notice when plants bloom, early, late or mid-season, and examine how our pruning affects the development of our plants. We might take notes to help us recall what we have seen and done in the garden.

On rare occasions, we can advance our gardening knowledge at a more intense pace. One such occasion is the annual San Francisco Flower & Garden Show, Wednesday, March 21st through Sunday, March 25th, in the San Mateo Event Center. This year’s theme is “Gardens for a Green Earth.”

The Show invites interested gardeners to immerse themselves in a rich array of learning opportunities for a full day, or even several days, to see the latest plant introductions and the newest garden tools, hear informative talks, and study trends in garden design.

Many need a couple days to benefit from this multi-faceted event. Here are the Show’s primary components:

• The Display Gardens are always the Show’s featured attraction. This year, twenty design teams will demonstrate their innovative approaches to garden design with full-scale garden settings. These displays will include imaginative creations, often with stunning presentations of trees, boulders, water features, and outdoor furnishings. The plants are always the centers of attention.

• Gardening Seminars will fill a continuing schedule in three venues within the San Mateo Event Center. Well-known garden experts will share up-to-date ideas within their fields of particular interest. Consider scheduling your visit to include your choice of 80 presentations. A hot topic this year is small-space gardening, with talks and displays for those who garden on balconies, in tiny side yards, or on small decks, or who just prefer small-space gardening.

• The Marketplace is a unique setting to see and acquire plants, tools and decorative accessories for your garden. 200 vendors will offer a wide array of garden-related items, and gourmet food items as well. “Window-shopping” is welcome, but the event invites you to stock up on your garden desiderata. There’s a free package check, too, so you need not haul your purchases around all day.

The Show’s website,, is an excellent resource to learn more about the Show, plan your day, buy tickets ($20), study the seminar schedule, find driving directions and even reserve lodgings for multiday sessions. The Show’s phone number is 415-684-7278.

Immerse yourself in gardening at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show and gather inspirations to enjoy your garden during all the following year.

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