Things I Love... Succulents and Flora Grubb Gardens

I love succulents. I'm even a bit obsessed with them... and can't get enough of their colors, shapes, patterns and diversity! They are striking, versatile and can be enjoyed in a variety of places, from a tiny window box or modest deck garden, to a framed vertical wall or an entire living roof. In my opinion, you can't possibly have too many plants around - after all, they take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen, improving the atmosphere.

Succulents are not only gorgeous, but so easy to care for because they thrive in a wide range of soils and moisture conditions from one side of the continent to the other. They are drought-tolerant, so not a lot of watering is required to keep them happy; they actually utilize their stored water - very smart plants.

Here are some of my Tilandsia, nestled into the crook of a tree and topping off some great books.

I also adore Tillandsia or air plants. They are epiphytes and need no soil because water and nutrients are absorbed through the leaves. I have them hanging out all around my house, perched on trees, nestled into pieces of driftwood or sitting atop a stack of books. Like succulents, they are very easy to care for and only need a light misting of water every week or so. It's incredibly rewarding to fill your life with plants that are not only healthy for the planet, but super easy to manage.

My favorite place to relax, get ideas and purchase these incredible plants is Flora Grubb Gardens. It's a truly inspirational place and I can spend hours meandering around. I always leave feeling energized, refreshed and totally creative. I'm even designing my next jewelry collection based on these wonderful plant forms... so stay tuned!

This succulent frame was made by Kevin Smith for Flora Grubb Gardens. Photo credit Caitlin Atkinson.

The staff, including owner Flora Grubb herself, can be found working amongst the plants. They're happy to stop and chat about a new addition to the store, answer questions or give advise. Their passion is obvious and they don't hesitate to give back to the community. Every third Sunday at 10:30AM they host a free workshops at the store with their staff experts. A discount will be available that day on the plant group or products being discussed.

Coming up on July 19 - you can create exquisite succulent designs with Hank Jenkins. As stated on the Flora Grubb Newsletter, he is a garden design phenomenon and Flora Grubb Gardens asset who will school you in the ways of succulents. Don't miss this generous workshop - it's free!!!

Keep updated on their events, read Flora's blog and see more gorgeous images of the space:

Flora Grubb Gardens
1634 Jerrold Ave. at 3rd Street
San Francisco, CA 94124

Here are some lovely details I shot of the framed wall.

Flora Grubb worked with some amazing architects, Bonnie Bridges and Seth Boor of Boor Bridges Architecture to design her space. They are a LEED certified firm and approach every project from a sustainable design perspective. They designed the building out of a galvanized steel structure, 44’ x 200’ long that spans curb to curb. Sustainable design features include 100% power from a PV array (tied into grid), 25% fly ash concrete, radiant heat and day lighting. Reclaimed materials include barn wood siding and retail display fixtures made from old chicken feeders.

Check out more of their impressive projects:

Boor Bridges Architecture
1686 15th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

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