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Flora Grubb Garden Center Tour

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Flora Grubb Tillandsias Photo copyright Shawna Coronado
Flora Grubb Self Portrait Photo copyright Shawna Coronado

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.

Flora Grubb Living Wall Photo copyright Shawna Coronado
Flora Grubb Chair Wall Photo copyright Shawna Coronado
Flora Grubb Working Photo copyright Shawna Coronado

With a garden center that 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 the surrounding community.”

Flora Grubb Staghorn Fern Photo copyright Shawna Coronado
Flora Grubb Shopping with Dog Photo copyright Shawna Coronado
Flora Grubb Gardens Succulent Sorting copyright Shawna Coronado

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.

Flora Grubb Coffee Shop Photo copyright Shawna Coronado
Flora Grubb Planted Garden Car Photo copyright Shawna Coronado

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  1. Loved your post on Flora Grubb. This is one of my favorite places when visiting my daughter and her family in the Bay Area. I visit Chicago around once a year to visit my husband’s family. Any suggestions for similar treasures for a gardening lover when I visit?

  2. So many places — I love “The Planters Palette” in the western suburbs — it’s just near Cantigny and makes a lovely stop if you’re doing Cantigny and/or the Morton Arboretum on the same day. Another nice garden center is downtown Chicago – “Gethsemane.” Naperville has a sweet garden center called “The Growing Place”. There are many more, but this is a good starting list. Additionally, you MUST go to both the Lurie Garden and the Chicago Botanic Garden. I adore these gardens — very beautiful!

  3. Thank you for your suggestions. We stay in Oak Park but take the El all over. Beautiful city! So happy to discover your site.

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