Every spring, local green thumbs converge on the annual San Francisco Flower & Garden Show. With more than six acres of lush landscapes, 26 themed gardens, and 100,000 plants for sale, surely you can find a sprout to love. Yearning to grow your own vegetables but live in a tiny flat? Get inspiration at the container garden designed for apartment living. Love plants but never quite grasped the fact that they need water to survive? Check out the dry environment full of cactuses and succulents. Die-hards can also get their hands dirty at seminars exploring such topics as topiary creation and worm composting. But most garden geeks attend to hang out with like-minded souls. Where else can one debate the merits of orchids versus native species? Delve into the green scene starting Wednesday at 9 a.m. at the Cow Palace, 2600 Geneva (at Santos), S.F. Admission is $13-20; call 771-6909 or go to www.gardenshow.com.
-- Jane Tunks
Golden Gate Jog
On weekends the Golden Gate Bridge is crowded with pedestrians admiring the view. So you'll just have to take in the scenery between their shoulders during the Emerald Nuts Across the Bay 12K race, a Sausalito-to San Francisco route that passes through stunning terrain like the Presidio, Fort Mason's Great Meadow, and everyone's favorite bridge. It's a jaunt so pretty that Runner's World named it the Best Bridge Race in America in 2003. Meet at 8 a.m. at East Fort Baker, 557 McReynolds (at Kober), Sausalito. Registration is $40; call 759-2690 or visit www.rhodyco.com.
-- Josh Rotter
Practically everyone who passes through the Bay Area heads out to Muir Woods to admire the towering redwoods, but since most folks merely walk and gawk, all they get is an interesting eyeful. Gain a deeper perspective on our arboreal attractions at a "Naturalist Walk at Muir Woods," a 3.5-mile educational trek that focuses on the park's climate, geology, and habitats. Here's one interesting tidbit: Our relentless local fog provides most of the water these trees need, which is mighty handy considering our puny average yearly rainfall. Think about that the next time you curse the chilly mist! Strap on a pair of comfy shoes and bring your own lunch and water at 10 a.m. to the Muir Woods Visitor Center, Muir Woods Main Entrance (at Muir Woods Road), Mill Valley. Walking is free and reservations are required; call 388-2596 or visit www.nps.gov/muwo.
-- Joyce Slaton