Garden show draws large crowd


Nathan Godwin

A waterfall was displayed at the front entrance as one landscaper tried to entice new clients.

Nathan Godwin, Staff Writer

The 31st annual San Francisco Art and Garden Show was held at the San Mateo Event Center last week. This show is the 3rd largest of its kind in the country.

“Each year we hold this event to educate the public about how to maintain their landscapes. The purpose of this whole show is to inform them about new techniques, better water conservation methods, and how to build and keep a healthy garden,” said Sherry Larsen the event organizer.

This year there were 125 different presenters throughout the four-day show. The presenters directed workshops and lectured on multiple stages in the event area. There were seminars about topics ranging from creative succulent containers to saving pollinators. Most seminars had sizable attendance.

Every year the event draws artists, vendors, and inventors to sell and showcase their products. This year, 150 exhibitors were selected to occupy booths on the main floor of the event center.

“Exhibitors come from all over the country and even from Europe and Australia. The size of the show attracts people because they can display their products to a large number of potential customers or partners.”

In another area of the event center landscaping companies construct small gardens indoors to show to promote their businesses and spark visitors imaginations about their own gardens. Visitors can walk through the gardens and sit in them to observe different designs. The indoor gardens had their own unique themes and varying types of plants and furniture. Some gardens made points of having water conscious plants or native Californian plants.

“This year we had 10 gardens but in years past there’s been many more. The drought has affected how people have started redesigning their yards. People want more resilient plants that will not die in the dry summer,” said Larsen.

A visitor plays on the bocce ball court within an indoor garden display.
Nathan Godwin
A visitor plays on the bocce ball court within an indoor garden display.

There is over a year of planning and organizing that contributes to each show.

Larsen said, “First we decide on a theme, this year is was Discovery. Then we build our show around the theme. We choose the speakers to relate to the show’s theme and to also educate the public. We have a large team working to put this all together and bring even more help in while the event is running.”

Each year a show draws about an average of 40,000 visitors.