“My garden is this tiny, controlled environment,” says Flora Grubb, the much-lauded owner of Flora Grubb Gardens (floragrubb.com), the groundbreaking nursery in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood. The chance to organize chaos was a big motivation for Grubb when she moved into her cottage home in 2014 with her son Greyson. She was recently divorced and grieving the death of her father. To cope, she turned to the simple lawn and concrete that covered her front yard. “My life was in a lot of upheaval. All I wanted was an antidote to the intense stress I was feeling,” says the self-taught nurserywoman. Grubb’s plot begins at the front with a courtyard entry that gives a sense of enclosure and privacy. Within its confines are layered, subtle gradations of green foliage, including mounds of Buxus ‘Green Mountain’ poking through feathery groupings of Acacia cognata ‘Cousin Itt’. Also included are dense plantings of low-water Australian natives such as weeping acacia trees, cone-flowered banksias, and hummingbird-magnet grevilleas that thrive in the Bay Area.