“You could be the first in the U.S. to buy one,” Damion Merry, owner and director of Kensington Cabinetry of London, tells retired Santa Clara assistant city manager Tom Goulding at the 35th South Bay Home and Garden Show at the Santa Clara Convention Center last weekend. Goulding promised to bring his wife back the next day for a serious look at the imported, luxury garden gazebos that come with everything but the butler.
The British company shipped its all-cedar gazebos to the U.S. for the first-time, debuting them at the Home and Garden Show, which opened the eyes of attendees to the latest designs to revitalize their homes and gardens—and maybe even their lives—in 2013. The company will be setting up a workshop in Sacramento to serve the U.S. market. View the gazebos yourself at www.kensingtoncarpentry.com.
The new, expanded garden section of the spring 2013 South Bay Home and Garden Show had plenty more temptations. Charlie Studley was so fascinated by a cement wishing well fountain made by Fernando Lopez and his crew that Jenny Studley, his mom, bought it for him for his third birthday February 3.
“I’m buying this [particular] one because Charlie loves it so much,” says Studley. You can find Lopez’s fountains at the San Jose Flea Market in the Lover’s Roses area.
The Knox Garden Box company from Scotts Valley (www.knoxgardenbox.com) also had lots to love, including elevated gardening boxes to keep gardeners off their knees and bird houses and feeders made from recycled wood. The cleverest were the bird houses handcrafted as musical instruments—a violin, mandolin, banjo, saxophone, and French horn. They are functional, outdoor art and conversation pieces at for-the-birds prices of $55 to $110—worth a trip to Scott’s Valley.
Mi Jardin (www.mijardiniron.com and www.oldworldelegance.net) displayed lovely and sometimes whimsical wrought iron garden accents and welcomes orders for larger items such as furniture, doors, and gates. At Schroeder Patio and Garden (www.schroederpatioandgarden.com), you can order attractive outdoor furniture crafted from recycled plastic milk cartons.
For instant gratification, Chico native Terri Sue Van Dusen and her husband Ron sold handmade English toffee topped with walnuts from local Chico growers and toffee chocolate chip cookies worth every calorie. Terri Sue’s Toffee (and more) is available at www.tstoffee.com.
At the end of a tempting day at the 2013 spring South Bay Home and Garden Show (www.worldclassshows.com), on impulse and against her better judgment, at least one show attendee (I won’t say who), signed up with Shell Vacations Club to attend a 90-minute sales presentation in exchange for two free nights in Hawaii. The trip and flight conditions are written in type that is too difficult to read without a magnifying glass. Will there really be a postcard from paradise in 2013?