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San Francisco: City by the Bay is abloom with floral festivals

February 23, 2012|By Jane Engle | Special to the Los AngelesTimes
(Pier 39 )

Talk about flower power. From February through April, San Francisco and environs, the historic home of hippiedom, busts out in blooms. Here are dates and details for several Bay Area floral displays and festivals:

Through Sunday: Tulipmania

This annual festival adorns Pier 39 on San Francisco Bay with thousands of tulips and other flowers. Free guided tours step off at 10 a.m. daily from the entrance plaza, followed by free coffee, cookies and other refreshments at Fog Harbor Fish House. Pier 39, 2 Beach St; (415) 705-5500.

 Thursday-Sunday: Pacific Orchid Exposition

The San Francisco Orchid Society’s 60th annual Pacific Orchid Exposition,  one of the largest such shows in the U.S., displays more than 150,000 orchids from the Bay Area and around the world. Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason Center. $15 for adults (13-64), $12 for seniors (65 and over) at the door or buy online.

March 13-17: Bouquets to Art

In this annual show, more than 140 designers will create floral arrangements inspired by art in the De Young Museum. Also scheduled are floral demonstrations and special lunches and afternoon teas on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Admission $21 adults, with discounts for seniors and students; demonstrations, lunches and teas are extra. Order tickets online, Golden Gate Park , 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive; (415) 750-3504.

March 21-25: San Francisco Flower & Garden Show

Now in its 27th year, this is billed as one of the largest garden festivals in the Western U.S. This year’s event, with the theme “Gardens for a Green Earth,” will include garden installations and seminars focused on environmentally friendly techniques. Among the speakers will be Annie Somerville from the Greens restaurant at Fort Mason and Wendy Johnson of Green Gulch Farm Zen Center in Marin County Tickets, which may be ordered online, cost $20 per adult (age 17 and older), discounted to $16 if ordered before March 12. San Mateo Event Center, 1346 Saratoga Drive, San Mateo; (415) 684-7278.


March 25-April 7: Macy’s Flower Show

The 66th annual show, with the theme “Brasil: Gardens in Paradise, ” will display live flowers, plants and trees from around the world, including Amazon rainforests. Macy’s Union Square; (415) 397-3333.


April 14 and 15 and 21 and 22: Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival

More than 200,000 people typically attend this celebration of Japanese culture in San Francisco’s Japantown. Among the traditional arts and crafts will be bonsai and flower-arranging demonstrations, along with dancing, martial arts and taiko drumming. The 45th annual event will climax April 22 in a grand parade; (415) 563-2313.

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