Best Gardener - 2009
A lot of people don't know that Flora Grubb, of Flora Grubb Gardens, is a real person. And that's her birth name. After opening a 28,000-square-foot solar-powered nursery in the Bayview District in 2007, she has spent the last year delving into her love of gorgeous gardens as art. She recently completed a vertical garden made entirely of Tillandsia, a bromeliad capable of growing without soil, for the Napa Valley eco-art hotel Bardessono. "I think they look like fireworks — or a mass of sea creatures — or an invasion of aliens," Grubb writes on her blog. The project ended up in the pages of The New York Times. Our favorites, however, continue to be her vertical succulent gardens, framed pointillist masterpieces made up of houseleeks (sempervivum) and Echeveria, among others. Grubb brings unique beauty to a city full of green thumbs.