Marin Master Gardeners
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San Francisco Flower & Garden Show grows to include edibles and cooking demonstrations

March 19, 2011
Jane Scurich

This year, March is like the holidays for Bay Area gardeners. Roaring in like a lion, the fabulous Pacific Orchid Exposition offered stunning floral displays designed around the theme of "Natural Wonders." The always spectacular Bouquets to Art at the de Young closes March 19, so you still have a few hours to enjoy this floral treat. And now it's time for the annual San Francisco Flower & Garden Show, from March 23 to 27. It's enough to send the gardening world into sensory overload.

"Life in the California Garden" introduces enticing and timely elements not available in the previous 25 years. New this year is the seminar series "Designing a Chef-Worthy Garden." Part-time Bolinas resident Alice Waters headlines this daily "Garden to Table" cooking demonstration that includes presentations by Jeffery Stout of Alexander's Steakhouse, Sean Baker of Gather Restaurant, Andrea Froncillo of the Stinking Rose Group and Mill Valley resident Roland Passot of La Folie and the Left Bank.

To complement the cooking demonstrations, wineries from the historic Livermore Valley Wine Country will be on hand to offer tastings.

Also new this year is a farmers market offering fresh produce and flowers. The Star Apple edible gardening team is planning a 6,000-square-foot aesthetic edible garden to offer unique and creative ideas for incorporating herbs, vegetables, heirloom fruit trees and even a chicken coop into your victory garden.

You'll find lots of Marin connections at this year's show. Saxon Holt, an award-winning garden photographer whose plant and landscape photos can be found in numerous books and magazines, will present "Lawn Reform" from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. March 24.

At 6 p.m. March 25 award-winning documentary filmmaker and Mill Valley resident Deborah Koons Garcia will offer the first Bay Area public preview of her upcoming multifilm project, "Symphony of the Soil."

Annie "The Dirt Diva" Spiegelman, and fellow Master Gardener, will offer food for thought at "Diary of a Mad Gardener" from 10:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. March 26.

Mary Te Selle of Quite Contrary Gardens is once again a featured designer, bringing a bit of whimsy into her unique designs. Over the years, I've had several opportunities to hear her speak about her design concepts and her interesting transition from dentist to garden designer. She also raises a few well-loved chickens. I'm looking forward to seeing what she has in store in her "Home in the Garden" exhibit.

Don't miss the more than 200 vendors offering bulbs, perennials, annuals and all types of garden gear. Robin Parer of Geraniaceae in Kentfield will be a key vendor in the Marketplace. Parer specializes in geraniums, erodiums and pelargoniums, and always has a great selection of plants well suited to our Mediterranean climate.


• What: "Life in the California
Garden," San Francisco Flower & Garden Show

• When: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 23 to 26, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 27

• Where: San Mateo Event Center, 1346 Saratoga Drive

• Admission: $20 to $25, children 16 and younger are free

• Information: www.sf

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