You see, I am no stranger to the Garden Show. The first time I ever attended was to help build an educational booth I designed for Foothill College, when I was a student in their Ornamental Horticulture & Design program. The booth won an award, and we had a great time.
I remember visiting the display gardens and marveling at how such huge, living, breathing creations could have come to life in the bowels of the Cow Palace; it was quite magical! I thought maybe one day I would like to build one of THOSE gardens...
My opportunity came just three years later, when fellow designer Daniel Owens of Enviromagic, with whom I had collaborated on an episode of Curb Appeal on HGTV the previous year, asked if I would co-design a display garden for the 2005 show. And of course I said yes!
Daniel designed the front part of the garden, with sleek modern lines and a cute little Crosley car parked on a travertine driveway.
(Ha! The pic on the Wikipedia link! Look familiar? How auspicious!)My contribution to the garden was through the gate and up up up the stone stairs...
...where a tranquil woodland garden was built around a glass mosaic meditation platform overlooking the show floor. The process of producing a garden like this can be rather grueling, both physically and mentally, but the show itself was such fun; it seemed that everyone I knew stopped by to visit! Still, I have great respect for garden creators who do this again and again; once might just be enough for me! We did win a Gold Medal by the way (Daniel has it!)
This year I was once again working on an educational booth, this time for the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. We had an excellent team, and my contribution was a massive slide show highlighting the wonderful work of our members (here I have been caught pondering the finer points of screen resolution.)
This is part of the beautiful booth we built, which was masterminded and designed by friend and fellow designer Allison Olson. Her design and our hard work was awarded 'Best In Show' for educational booths. It was a great way for me to reconnect with the show again, especially since it was the first year at its new home, the San Mateo Event Center.
It was a chance conversation with the show producer's husband at this very booth six months ago that led to the opportunity I have with them today; I said if they ever needed help with the show to think of me. And they did. I'm really excited to see what happens next.
So what are you doing March 24-28 2010? This will be the show's 25th Anniversary, and it is going to be a great party! And if you know of any terrific gardening, green tech or green living companies that would be interested in being part of the action, send them here!