Tina Calloway's wooden planters hang on the wall like paintings.
Flora Grubb has figured out a way to attach the plants directly.
You know that the vertical-gardening craze begun by the flamboyant French botanist Patrick Blanc has gone viral when a chain like DWR starts selling a version for your home. And Bay Area gardening mavens are at it, too, in a style that better befits our region’s artisanal sensibility. Tina Calloway, the artist-cum–garden designer behind Urban FarmGirls, has created three sizes of vertical-garden boxes, handcrafted from western red cedar with a nontoxic, waterbased stain, that you plant and hang directly on your wall. (Calloway recommends using only drought-tolerant succulents, for obvious reasons.) And after nurserywoman Flora Grubb and architect Seth Boor created a sublime vertical garden at Yountville’s Bardessono hotel using several species of tillandsia (air plants in the Bromeliad family), they kept brainstorming so the rest of us could re-create the look. The result, improbably called a thigmotrope satellite, is a steel prong that discreetly cradles the sculptural plants and screws into the wall, indoors or out.