Grubb Heaven

Hanging bicycles dripping with plants adorn the ceilings at Flora Grubb

Hanging bicycles dripping with plants adorn the ceilings at Flora Grubb

a great display of airplants

a great display of airplants

If your name is Flora Grubb, what better business to own than Flora Grubb Gardens? She couldn’t have picked a better name to own a garden/nursery business! Flora Grubb Gardens is a sophisticated garden boutique, nursery and floral/landscape design business located in San Francisco. Something like I would love to own! All the elements unusual plants, design, fresh flowers, and, unique nursery hard goods are part of the mix that I thrive on and draw me like a magnet.

Planted wall with succulents

Planted wall with succulents

On a recent trip to San Francisco with other garden bloggers on our annual “fling”, we visited this destination with a lot of anticipation and ready to shop. The nursery is located in the Bayview section of San Francisco in a pretty rough industrial neighborhood, but Flora Grubb stuck out like a green thumb!

Looking at Flora Grubb's wares

Looking at Flora Grubb’s wares

Flora Grubb started with about 4 employees and as soon as she opened her doors at the Jerrold Ave location in 2007, the business was “hot” and has continued to grow with over 25 employees at present. Featured in many magazines and Martha Stewart Living, Flora Grubb must have the right “stuff”. And from what I saw at the store front which is simply a tall steel open-faced structure, covered with Douglas Fir reclaimed wood, I can see how she has been so successful.

Innovative containers!

Innovative containers!

The plants are integrated with the nursery wares in a seamless way that shows you how to display them in your home.  Typical nurseries line up the plants in sections and have a section for hard goods, but Flora Grubb takes plant shopping to a new level.

They offer all kinds of services such as a potting station where you can pick out your plant/s, pot, choose your soil, and top it off with a selection of toppings. Just check the Yelp reviews and you get the idea that people love this place and can’t say enough good things about it. Here is a typical description on Yelp – Part plant oasis, part dream garden, part coffee shop, and part nirvana! What a recommendation.

Even the shopping baskets were unique

Even the shopping baskets were unique

As well as very unusual plants, they have a huge selection of succulents in a rainbow of colors and shapes suited for the San Francisco climate, but houseplants for me in zone 6b. They sell the coveted Victoria Agave which is a slow-growing beautiful Agave known for its striking markings.

Queen Victoria Agave - Agave victoriae-reginae

Queen Victoria Agave – Agave victoriae-reginae photographed at the Ruth Bancroft Garden

Also, the beautiful spiral agave.

Spiral agave at the Ruth Bancroft Garden

Spiral agave at the Ruth Bancroft Garden

Flora Grubb is a trend setter for plant lovers and buyers and has an array of beautiful unique containers.

We had our cocktail hour and munchies at the nursery so had plenty of time to browse and get into trouble with plants needing to go home on a plane! Some people were lucky and could drive home and picked up some nice larger specimens.

Delen Kitchen of Plant Propaganda with her treasures at Flora Grub http://www.plantpropaganda.com/

Delen Kitchen of Plant Propaganda with her treasures at Flora Grub
http://www.plantpropaganda.com/

I picked up some unusual things that I have never seen before. I found a new salvia that is hardy to minus 20 called ‘Curling Waves’.  I loved the crinkly textured leaves, and though it wasn’t blooming I am a sucker for salvias and bought it.  And am I glad that I did! Here it is on You Tube-  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dq8eUttc4U.  I can’t wait for this one to bloom.

I am also a sucker for oddities and loved this cactus called ‘Tail of the Monkey’ and since it was small and portable bought it.

Hildewintera- Cola de Mononis or Tail of the Monkey

Hildewintera- Cola de Mononis or Tail of the Monkey

I found that it grows pretty quickly to look like this.

Mature Tail of the Monkey- Beautiful!

Mature Tail of the Monkey- Beautiful!

Since I do a lot of flower arranging, I was intrigued with their grape wood selection and their colored reindeer moss collection. The grape-vine wood is sold in pet stores as perches for birds and reptiles but Flora Grubb’s selection was especially interesting, good for accents in arrangements.

Reindeer moss and lichened twigs

Reindeer moss and lichened twigs

Old gnarly grape vine that has been bark peeled and trimmed to an interesting shape

Old gnarly grape vine that has been bark peeled and trimmed to an interesting shape

This is a destination nursery for anyone interested in plants and floral design to pick up that unique plant or container. The living succulent walls alone are worth the trip.

I loved this treatment of a container!

I loved this treatment of a container!

Planted table with succulents made out of repurposed pallets

Planted table with succulents made out of repurposed pallets

Beautiful living succulent wreath

Beautiful living succulent wreath

If you happen to be in the San Francisco area, this is a must-see for plant lovers everywhere!

About Claire Jones

Claire Jones is a landscape and floral designer and owner of Claire Jones Landscapes, LLC. She designs and helps people to create their own personal outdoor oasis and loves to write about her gardening failures and successes.
This entry was posted in garden travel and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Grubb Heaven

  1. I’m a sucker for succulents and would love to have the wall of them or the wreath. Maybe after my next move. I can get lost in nursuries for hours. I love the name Flora Grubb. How perfect.

  2. Alison says:

    Great post! You showed me plenty of stuff that I missed. That tail of the monkey cactus is cool. It’s such an interesting shop and you did a good job capturing its allure.

  3. Hey, there’s me! :)
    Great post, you took a ton of great pictures. I wish I was back there right now! How are your plants doing?

  4. Monica says:

    What a lovely place!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s