May 14, 2013

Noe Valley Garden Tour - 2013


I went on this 11 garden tour benefiting neighborhood beautification with the Noe Valley Public Library as this year's beneficiary. (View the new library planting below.) For 5 hours I walked and drove a bit with my friend and colleague Erza. Below are my highlights:

The On Lok 30th Street Senior Center has a large garden terrace into the hill by their 3 story building. Accessing from the back of the 3rd floor , a wide open green space with benchs to seat 30 or more. A Master Gardener Q& A event was also taking place on this classically beautiful sunny California day. A small plant sale grabbed my attention. If I had any cash, I would have taken two home. There are small raised bed for vegetables in allotment fashion.

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On Harper Street above 30th Street this woodland garden is dominated by a large Coast Oak. This is the biggest Coast Oak I have ever seen. It may be over 200 years old. This garden has recently been updated with some design help from Patrick of Flora Grubb Gardens.


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On the steep part of 27th Street near Diamond is the stunning garden partly created by Jeff of The Urban Farmer Store fame. He along with his partner Jim have worked on this garden for 21 years. Jim's the plant person and Jeff's the water specialist .


The hot house with epiphytes and pond plants has two valves with lots of beautiful copper pipe to mist the plants for seconds over a hundred times a day.





The view NE toward downtown and the bay.


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Lovely garish tribute to outdoor living at a multi-generation Filipino family on Church Street near 27th.

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Passing my friend and colleague's house on Church near 28th Street. That rose is at least 80 years old according a 90 year old neighbor. 

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Next is a newly rebuilt house and garden. The two outdoor living spaces and newly aligned deck stairs in the back yard was designed and construction by Janet Moyer. Includes dining "room" , fire pit in a living "room" along with fountain, lagstone patio, Ipe wood deck over a low section of the garden and state -of-the-art irrigation system. I'm guessing this was a $45,000 or more garden design and installation.


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Now over to Hill Street on Liberty Hill just up from Church Street. This was a complete garden. It had all the elements that make a stunning garden.


Part my motivation to seek out natural spaces both public and private is to find new plants. I've never seen this Oxalis. It is succulent and quite lovely. Any one know the name. The guardian didn't know the name or where she got it.


This garden had Character; It clearly reflects the guardian. It had all the elements that make a great garden. It had variety, planted beds of perennials, hidden spots, mirrors, fountain, views, place to sit & ponder along with plenty of unique plants.


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This is the one garden not technically in Noe Valley by my definition of neighborhood boundaries. This is the home of my friend Zann whom I've known since the early 90's. Among other things he works at Flora Grubb Gardens. It's a great example of a Renter's Garden. No major hardscaping here; This garden is all about the plants. Specimen in containers for a quick get-a-way as One never knows when the Ellis eviction will come.



This north slope garden is situated under a neighboring conifer. My plant ID of conifers is so limited. I'm guessing a Cedar.


A quick stop at the branch library showing off their newly planted flower beds for pollinators and neighbors. I happend to catch the last bit of J Charmain Giuliani


lecture on container gardening. I love her prospective and delightly dry humor. I loved taking plant ID class with her at City College years ago.


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Out of 11 gardens there bounds to be a dud. This common renter's garden behind a 6 unit tenement on Noe Street, half a block from 24th Street commercial strip fits that. The borrowed sky is the best element of this garden today.




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This Jersey Street garden near Church Street is dominated by a wonderful pine tree and SF Giants Gnome.



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Finally this delightful Italianate white garden on Church Street.










May 10, 2013

Buena Vista Garden

I have worked in this garden for one season. Most noticed difference is the lawn and the roses.


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