entertainingFood & Drinkoutdoorstudio choowe like it wild

we like it wild: san francisco flower & garden show

by StudioChoo

We were so very excited when the ladies from Star Apple Edible Gardens invited us to participate in their Modern Homestead display this week at the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show. This exhibit is a great example of how you can incorporate edibles and homesteading gear seamlessly into your landscape without sacrificing looks. Stefani and Leslie interpreted the show’s “Life in a California Garden” theme by creating a 5,000-square-foot display complete with “house” and chicken coop, eco-friendly furniture designs, hexagon beehive, floral designs by us and some really awesome gardening ideas.

We’ll be at the show on Saturday to check out the fabulous chef seminars (including Alice Waters!), jam-making and edible-gardening demonstrations and tons of new gardening products and ideas. This is the perfect rainy-weekend activity for you lucky Bay Area folks! We’ve also included instructions for putting together our simple freesia box arrangement and lots of great gardening links! –Studio Choo

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We created a series of large arrangements in our collection of old dynamite boxes as the floral centerpiece of the show. Two of these boxes featured local freesia and ranunculus in waves of color that echoed the sea of green in the garden made with rows of lettuce and herbs. This project is a super easy way to create a large statement-making piece for an event, and you don’t need any “arranging” skills!


  • large box (could be clean and modern or a bit worn with some character)
  • collection of bottles with narrow openings to fill the box
  • lots of flowers of the same type in a color gradation that is pleasing to you


1. Fill bottles with water and dry them.

2. Pack your box with the bottles resting tightly against each other.

3. If you want the tops of the bottles to show, you may need to elevate them by placing a smaller box inside and resting a sheet of cardboard cut to size on top.

4. Determine how you want the color gradation set up. The gradation effect will be more noticeable if the heads of the flowers are close together.

5. Snip a small amount off the bottom of the stem and place in the bottle. Repeat until all the bottles are filled!

Our grouping of arrangements included the two gradations, gorgeous white and pink crabapple, two jumbo arrangements in an orange and dark purple palette and an herb/succulent box with drapey honeysuckle vines. The boxes sat on a beautiful 20-foot table with matching benches made from recycled roof beams by BA Design Lab. This was our kind of “picnic table” — heavy-duty, built to last and big enough to fit lots of friends. We know for a fact that it was as sturdy as they come — we helped carry it out of the truck! BA Design Lab worked primarily with steel and local hardwoods and also created some fun, yellow stools that went nicely with all the citrus in the garden.

The house and chicken coop were designed by Modern Cabana and really completed the “homey” feel of the installation. The ladies designed a kitchen garden right outside the door for easy clipping at meal time. We seriously wanted to live in this display.

The exhibit also included all sorts of wonderful ideas from Sunset magazine’s Johanna Silver, including these potato towers, a pretty and utilitarian tea garden and urban gardening tips. We also really liked this beautiful hexagonal alternative to the traditional square beehive. The creator, Randy Sue, wanted a hive more in harmony with the natural shape of hives in the wild. We wouldn’t mind having any of these things incorporated into our landscape!

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