The Flower Piano festival is underway at the San Francisco Botanical Garden, allowing Barrett Feuis, 24, of Shanghai, to play some favorite melodies.

KCBS Radio

Pianos And Flowers? Botanical Garden Visitors Like The Sound Of That

Melissa Culross
July 06, 2018 - 9:35 am

Like a lot of good ideas,  Dean Mermell wasn’t sure if anyone would take this one seriously. He and a partner wanted to arrange pianos around the San Francisco Botanical Garden so visitors could play and listen to melodies while they lingered among the flowers.

“We’re artists and we have wacky ideas about every 30 seconds,” Mermell said. He and Mauro ffortissimo already had had success with a similar project that stationed pianos along the coast in San Mateo county.

Botanical Garden officials liked what they’d heard and the Flower Piano festival was born. Now in its fourth year, a dozen pianos are placed around the garden and available for anyone, from virtuosos to the inexperienced, to use. 

Barrett Feusi, 24, lives in Shanghai and was pleasantly surprised to sit down at an upright piano while visiting the city with his mother on Thursday.

“Lo and behold, this was here for me, and it was wonderful,” said Feusi.

Let there be music. Barrett Feusi, 24, loosens up on one of the pianos distributed around the San Francisco Botanical Garden that are free to play whether you’re a virtuoso or novice. Hear more about the Flower Piano program on KCBS Radio.

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The Flower Piano festival opened on July 5 and runs through July 16. Many professional performances are scheduled as part of the festivities including three nights of concerts on July 12-14.

“There’s nothing quite like this place,” said Mermell. “For two weeks of the year, it’s a great place to hang out.”