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Nautilus

SAN MATEO, Calif.--There probably aren't a lot of show gardens that have as a prime feature a Jules Verne-inspired steampunk submarine.

But at the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show here this week, visitors will delight in seeing the gorgeous Nautilus as the centerpiece of one of the two gardens landscape designer Nathan Beeck has in the competition for best of show.

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Jules Verne-inspired

The Nautilus was created by a team of artists led by Sean Orlando, who, among other projects, also was the lead artist on the Raygun Gothic Rocketship, an Art Deco spaceship built for Burning Man in 2009.

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Entryway

The entryway into the Nautilus, which when it is not the centerpiece of a world-class show garden, is a land-based submarine that weighs 11,000 pounds and can roll along at a top speed of 13 miles an hour.

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Nautilus in the garden

The Nautilus, seen in Beeck's garden. Each year at the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show, the show gardens are the prime attraction for thousands of visitors. Some of the leading garden designers and landscape architects vie for a series of awards. But each of the 16 entries is a stunning achievement.

The Nautilus is part of "Vulcania: An Oasis for the Soul," one of two Beeck entries. "The dense foliage of exotic plants reaches to the sky, enveloping you and the sounds of falling water," the garden's description reads. "Light from a glowing lagoon plays across the surfaces of this whimsical, fantasy oasis, vibrating with a new energy. Then you see it: Captain Nemo's Nautilus, reborn out of the imagination of Burning Man, has returned to its island home. The creative wonder it discovered on the Playa has infused the landscape and now radiates from all the botanical, sculptural, and exotic treasures that Captain Nemo has collected from his adventures around the world."

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Periscope

No submarine would be complete without a periscope. Luckily, the Nautilus has one. In fact, it offers night vision, which was ideal at Burning Man, where the submarine first was seen by the public.

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Periscope view

The view from the periscope, which in this case, is from the top deck of the Nautilus, overlooking the adjacent pond.

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Upper deck

The upper deck of the Nautilus is actually a poop deck featuring shade and a harpoon gun.

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Harpoon gun

The harpoon gun shoots water, at up to 13 gallons a minute.

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Tent and pool

The Nautilus is adjacent to a second major feature of Beeck's design, a glowing lagoon and a pillow-laden tent that is part of his fantasy oasis.

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Tent

A close-up look at the tent.

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Nautilus in the garden

From afar, the Nautilus seems to blend into Beeck's garden, with plants all around it.

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Rear seating

Inside the Nautilus is everything from a small library to a full sound system and this comfortable seating area.

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