Top 10 gardening innovations

These trends and innovations are redefining every aspect of gardening in the West—and changing the way we live, eat, and connect with one another

Nurseries made cool
Photo by Coral von Zumwalt; written by Julie Chai

Nurseries made cool

Even if you know nothing about plants, Flora Grubb Gardens store—tucked into an industrial neighborhood in San Francisco—will captivate you. There are no clinically neat stalls of seedlings lined up for sale. Instead, Grubb and her staff treat plants like artist’s paints, using them with colorful pots, holders, and design accents to create unique natural vignettes.

Visitors wander among lush bamboos, past displays of rare palms from India and the high elevations of Hawaii, and lounge on locally made furniture for sale while sipping Ritual Roasters coffee from the mini shop inside. They stop, spellbound, in the room dotted with “aeriums,” small, soil-less terrariums filled with air plants and moss that perch on tables or are suspended from the ceiling like tiny creatures from another world. This place isn’t just a garden store—it’s an experience.

“My goal is always to provide a fascinating encounter with the natural world,” says Grubb. By doing so, she has created a new kind of nursery that beckons all visitors—even seasoned gardeners—to explore and dream. “I want people to leave more peaceful, connected, relaxed, and inspired than when they arrived.”

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