A few weeks ago, Joe and I stopped by the Dwell On Design conference here in San Francisco. There were a bunch of great companies at the expo and a few worth mentioning here:
I really like the Isla Sidepost by Shadescapes USA. The Isla was designed in 1998 by a New Zealand sailor and entrepreneur. It looks sturdy; built with anodized aluminum and stainless steal components and the canopy is mold, fade, and rot resistant. It also comes in ten colors. They start at $1,875 which sounds rather steep but if they are as sturdy as they say they are, it might be worth the investment (see Joe lounging under the Isla, below).
Also, a small landscaping company called all edibles, installs entirely edible gardens in your yard. They build beautiful wood containers that would make for a lovely herb or vegetable garden. If you’re in the East Bay you may want to give them a call. I have a feeling they are reasonably priced.