One of my garden bucket list adventures has been to visit the very creative Flora Grubb Garden Center and meet Flora Grubb in person. During a recent trip to California for the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show, I spent a morning with Flora in her astounding San Francisco garden shop – it was everything I dreamed it would be.
Flora’s personal message is one of kindness for her neighbors and concern for living well in a hyper local shopping environment. She says, “The practice of growing anything and connecting with a living thing is a meaningful experience, we want to celebrate that experience and share it with our community.” Her style, instead of simply planting and growing plants, is more about creating places “to be”. Designing an experiential place to sit and relax on your balcony or in your garden where you can live mindfully in the moment instead of forever rushing to the next stressful destination. This is seen in the sitting areas around her shop filled with Fermob bistro sets and seating areas – she wants to teach locals how to find rest and beauty.
With a garden center which focuses on the hyper local community, Flora is concerned about her neighbors (Flora is working on the right in the above photo). “We exist in a region that has an unprecedented income inequality,” says Flora. “Therefore, having Flora Grubb Gardens help schools and neighborhood non-profits serving vulnerable local communities is something I am very interested in pursuing. We often work to hire locals and the children of employees in order to build an emotionally sound work structure that encourages job training as well as emotional and financial stability within the families that live in surrounding community.”
As you can see by the photo tour of her garden center, Flora Grubb Gardens is also filled with some amazingly well-versed employees and quality plants. Palms, tillandsias, staghorn ferns, and succulents abound with a strong regional herb and vegetable selection. Get yourself to Flora Grubb Gardens when you are in town and find a creative and interesting solution for almost any growing scenario. Have a coffee from her shop (below), walk for hours, and fall in love with this heavenly niche like I did.