Destination Nursery: Flora Grubb Gardens

When traveling to San Francisco, most people think of the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, or the cable cars as the “must-see” things to visit. But for plant and gardening geeks, there’s a new destination in town: Flora Grubb Gardens. This nursery is like Chez Panisse is to slow floodies – her blog and online shop have helped launch so many trends in the garden world that visiting the nursery in person is an adventure in finding new design ideas.

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After reading Susan Morrison and Rebecca Sweet’s book Garden Up!, you probably felt all fired up to make your blank, boring walls and fences into real garden features. Flora Grubb has tons of displays on how to do that, from wall pockets to heavy-duty plastic frames to plant in, and re-purposed treasures used as decor. . . She even has indoor vertical gardening ideas; her new Thigmotrope Satellites are a simple screw with three prongs that hold elegant Tillandsias anywhere on your wall.

Wally wall pockets:

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Creative re-use:

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The Thigmotrope Satellite:

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Hanging or wall orbs:

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Bold décor inspiration

Flora Grubb is also great at showing how to use bright colors in the landscape. From her pot displays, modern sculptures and beautiful seating arrangements; if you’re feeling afraid to use color with passion in your garden, it’s worth a trip just to re-charge your creative juices and remind yourself why it’s good to go bold.

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Quirky touches

Everywhere I looked at Flora Grubb Gardens, there was something inspiring to see. The jungly planted car got comments from everyone, while the subtler elements were a pleasure that were unveiled through slower contemplation. Unusual pairings of foliage and flower color, new ways of stacking pots to create artistic arrangements, and just the interesting shapes and colors of everything in the shop made my trip a fun one.

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If you’re heading to the San Francisco Bay Area on a trip, be sure to stop by Flora Grubb Gardens, and bring your camera to capture plenty of inspiration to take home.

Want a view into some other new destinations? My fellow members of the Garden Designers Roundtable are doing a virtual garden tour this month, with special guest Fern Richardson. Click the links below to see some of their top spots to visit:

Fern Richardson : Life on the Balcony : Orange County CA

Susan Morrison : Blue Planet Garden Blog : East Bay, CA

Susan Cohan : Miss Rumphius’ Rules : Chatham, NJ

Scott Hokunson : Blue Heron Landscapes : Granby, CT

Rochelle Greayer : Studio G : Boston, MA

Rebecca Sweet : Gossip In The Garden : Los Altos, CA

Lesley Hegarty & Robert Webber : Hegarty Webber Partnership : Bristol, UK

David Cristiani : The Desert Edge : Albuquerque NM

15 responses to “Destination Nursery: Flora Grubb Gardens”

  1. Chex Penisse…I can see that comparison! I can also see the need for something like this in Abq. Hasn’t happened even close in 20+ years here, so I guess it’s my turn. Inspipration with the appropriate to place.

    Funny how you and Danger visited this place when it was sunny, and us when it was raining. Flora Grubb’s colors / forms all contrasted just as well when gloomy and gray, by the way. Next time, I am taking time to sip coffee there at Ritual, even if I can’t fit any plant goodies back in my suitcase or car if I decide to do the 1100 mile drive…

    Thanks for your visit!

  2. Genevieve… I understand that many garden designers look at Flora Grubb as a designer that has taken her moment with social media and flown, maybe a tiche too far. I’m a 60+ container designer that she inspired to push my limits , and I have. Her retail space is amazing, her business is inspiring… and Susie Nadler’s work totally boggles my mind. Anyone that can inspire beauty with nature… works for me.

  3. I try and visit Flora Grubb’s wonderful nursery every few months or so, and your wonderful post reminds me I’m way overdue! I’m so glad you had fun at her nursery, too! The real question is……how much did you spend? 😉

  4. I appreciate the “visit”. Thanks to blogs we homebodies can get an idea of what’s going on out there…thanks!

  5. How inspirational!
    Of course the good nursery creates ‘gardens’, however temporary, to display. Actually some of my fave gardens are show gardens. Gone but not forgotten!
    Thanks for sharing Gen!

  6. Loved the pictures dear. loved the whole concept. Creative and inspirational .