20 February 2010

The Magical Land of Flora Grubb

a seating area with bright orange metal chairs next to
signature Flora Grubb pots and palms

On the prowl with one of my hippest young clients for cool, repurposed & floral items to anchor a wedding design, in the early morning mists and fogs south of San Francisco today, we found ourselves lost for hours in the magical land of Flora Grubb.

It's quite possible that I am hopelessly un-hip, or at least the very last person on the planet to discover Flora Grubb. But that's OK. It's still an experience of wonderment and awe, and worth blogging about!

You know you are somewhere very cool when you spot an old bicycle planted (somehow!) with air plants & succulents and suspended over an old reclaimed zinc-top table, looking for all the world like the Wicked Witch of the West had just hopped off of it and left it in mid-air when she stepped inside for her organic latte with The Mad Hatter. It's that kind of place.

succulents and old suguaro plants
accented with red ceramics create a
stunning entryway

cool planting table in front
of inviting green shutters

I love this blue orb set among the succulents!

a cool tile that could work for a cheese plate in
a rustic-chic setting

these plates have the look of
botanical etchings, wonderful!

inviting and colorful bistro set
on one of the garden pathways

another view down the garden path

a very cool blue chair with modern
lines invites a little respite in the garden

if you like the metal furniture, choose your favorite
from the wall and take it home today

blue chairs face the wonderful
coffee bar inside

sinuous concrete chaises for your

concrete and redwood table is lovely
contrast to the lacy air plants

this rusty old Chevy Impala has an
ongoing life as a whimsical (not for everyone!)
planter in the quixotic garden

Lady Flora herself...a delightful
and charming creator of gardens!

When you get past the astonishing huge installations (that's really the only word for her artistic plant, artifact and salvage vignettes) and vertical green wall gardens (all the rage these days...and much easier to achieve than the green roof) scattered over the large, botanical-gardens-like outdoors, your eye will also find exquisite details and furniture. This is not your old Smith & Hawkins!

Wandering the pathways in her gardens you will see a vintage 60's Chevy Impala gently rusting away as one of (surely) the world's most unique planters. You can meander up to the coffee bar and request the barista make you one of the best espresso drinks around, then take in the scene sitting at the whimsical Caribbean pastel bistro chairs and tables while you admire every little detail. There's a lot to take in.

While we decided not every bride would choose this much drama and originality for her wedding, some elements would work beautifully for that rustic-chic wedding up in Sonoma or a wild Pacific coast setting.

This is the domain of the landscape artist and not to be missed by anyone with an eye for design and beautiful, exotic vignettes. Although the living green walls have a certain portability about them, most of these amazing plantings are well-suited for the long haul, enhancing a space on a permanent basis.

Flora Grubb Gardens
1634 Jerrold Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94124


in 2010, it's:

Kit Golson Design

for elegant, sustainable and pragmatic

Chic Provence Interior Design


  1. Alice in Wonderland is the perfect description of the lady Flora and her fantasy business. Flora Grubb is second only to the Ferry Building for me when I need a quick mood change or escape from my own busy head....awesome coverage as usual Kit!

  2. Karen now this could be our next meeting spot, no? Also I want to see more of Tomatoes, Chickens and More in the Urban Garden!!! let's get together soon! thanks sweetie!

    xx Kit

  3. The concrete chaises were not wowing me, but the rest of the pictures convinced me that she's a genius. I love the bright colors intermingled with nature.

  4. Hi Paulita! what I love about the chaises is the sheer unexpectedness of concrete in shapes like that...although try moving one over a bit to get a little more sun..:)

    thanks for visiting!


  5. I just adore those plates...so beautifully delicate in line and color. And that bicycle is a whimsical thing of beauty! Looks like a wonderful magical place. Thanks for introducing me to her work.

  6. Hi HopeAva, thanks for visiting! those plates a wonderful..you'll have to come visit this magical garden! thanks for the mention on your wonderful blog last week!!



  7. I love the little colorful bistro chairs!

  8. Bardzo pięknie wygląda ten stary rower jako klomb na kwiaty. Podobnie też myślę o starym samochodzie! Masz bardzo ciekawego bloga!:)))

  9. Hi Stephanie, the little chairs would look great in New Orleans gardens! Have a great Sunday, will hop over to see your blog now.

  10. Dear Slavkosnip...thanks for visiting and your comments..I don't speak Polish, but gather from Masz bardzo ciekawego bloga!:))) that you are being complimentary! I visited your blogs, they are very cool!


  11. I love everything. are the chairs from fermob ?

  12. Bonjour Melanie, not sure if they are fermob..thanks for visiting, it's an exotic setting, no??



  13. I love the bike with plants hanging off it.


  14. I've heard about this place from friends up in Santa Rosa who rave about it! Too bad I'm in NY... but I'll be out there in April and def. plan to visit; can't wait!

  15. Thank for Your visit in my blogs! My english is verry bed! Dzięki, że zadałaś sobie trud by napisać tych kilka słów po angielsku! Kiedyś też próbowałem dla zabawy raczej malować i rysować! Wizyty na Twoim blogu sprawiają mi wiele satysfakcji, jest on prowadzony ze smakiem i zawiera bardzo piękne fotografie!:)))

  16. HI Lushe that bike is quite intriguing! thanks for visiting, I'll check out your site too...


  17. An Eye For Detail, be sure to visit Flora's gardens when you come out, it will be an antidote to the winter you guys are having this year! and the coffee is wonderful, too!

    I'm off to visit your blog!


  18. Hello Slavkosnip, it looks like I'd better learn at least a little Polish...how do you say "Good Morning" and "Thanks for Visiting" in Polish?

    Your English is better than my Polish!


  19. Just discovered your beautiful blog and wanted to stop over and say hello from Paris. I'm a Chicagoan and have recently begun connecting with lovely ladies from all over the world thanks to these kind of shares.
    Have a nice day,
    A bientôt,

  20. Bonjour Brigitte! thanks so much for visiting and following, you are so kind! I'll scoot over to your blog now, too!

    milles mercies!



I would love to hear what you think! merci!


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