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May 20, 2018

Roses on Bernal Heights

My cottage garden on Bocana Street in Bernal Heights neighborhood of San Francisco is producing the roses.



May 19, 2018

Plant Palette - My Roses

I love my roses.  They produce so many outstanding flowers and fragrance.  I've only been planting David Austin roses the last couple of years.   Here's the roses blooming in my gardens this spring.

We'll start off with my favorite at the moment.  Queen of Sweden what do I like about you?  I love the upright tight cups of pink.  Delicate pink above a glaucous leaf.   Stunning.


A good performing rose in yellow hues for San Francisco is Julia Childs.


May 17, 2018

Gold, Silver and Bronze Border

Today was great.  I'm finishing up a short but packed work week in order to get out of town for a 4-day holiday in Mendocino.   My friend Frank is turning 50.  Ha!  We're gonna have a party.   Last garden of the day before my holiday starts and it was looking stunning.   This garden is a theater stage floorplan with the main bed being a gold,silver and bronze English border.  The Irises we're the character today.



I made a good choice with Schneiner's Iris 'Tiger Honey'.




It's a small bed, maybe 10'x20', but it produces.  I think silver won this year.  Congrats to  Cardoon 'Pleno Inerme' for both stature and height.   Supporting actor is Carex tumulicola.  It is blooming is in perfect powder-puff arches.  Others blooming or just looking great are: Daucus carota 'Black Knight', Allium schubertii, Calla Lily, and Taxus x media 'Hicksii'.

May 12, 2018

4/4 Garden Tour - San Francisco Gardener's

Finally to my terrace garden in Glen Park.  This is my masterpiece.  Double wide lot on a south face slope.  The brunt of the Pacific is buffered by the cliffs of Glen Canyon.  An exceptional microclimate; it is the soil that is a challenge.   It has been at least two, maybe three years since I last showed this garden to a group and the changes are dramatic.  The changes include huge addition of white flowers, new roses, irise, alliums, poppies, ranunculus, scabiosa, Sidalcea hendersonii (Henderson's Checkermallow).   Pinks and purples are good too but no hot colors. This spring I began a project to extend the formal white garden 5 fold up into what was the mediterranean terrace and will become the white cottage garden.




Funny thing when I host a garden, I am too busy talking about the plants I forget to take photos.   I got four this year.  But of course, I have more photos of this garden then of my cats.   Resident cat 'Diesel' loves to photo bomb. 

Here's this years group of gardeners.  Left to right, Sam, Orchid, Frank, Jeannine, Mike, Emil, Dean and Lane (Oh, I hope I got that right) Sam gave me a great compliment.  He says, "Looks so natural".  I says "There's nothing natural about it.".  Sam looks me in the eye and says, "I know".


May 11, 2018

3/4 Garden Tour - San Francisco Gardener's

Jeannine's Potrero Hill Garden is a spacious double lot with lots of large interesting tree in the neighboring garden looking up the hill.   An exquisite Dymondia margaretae lawn with blue flagstone path.  The building of the raised beds is the owner's project.  It will be a diamond space parterre with five wood raised beds instead of boxwood hedge.  I love the red clover.



May 10, 2018

2/4 Garden Tour - San Francisco Gardener's

Next up in our local gardener's garden tour is Dean Ouellette's California Cottage Garden.   There's two parts to Dean's garden.  The strip of garden on the sidewalk next to where the cars park.  It's notoriously difficult spot to garden and that's why I call it the hell strip.   Behind the main building, a courtyard is created between the main residence and Dean's cottage.   In this courtyard is his California Cottage Garden test ground and nursery.


This year Dino added the flagstone curb around the street tree basin.   I love what he did.  He sunk the flagstone vertical 5-6 inches into the soil at the edge of the sidewalk concrete.   This does a wonderful job of keeping dogs out and trash and litter from accumulating.


May 09, 2018

1/4 Garden Tour - San Francisco Gardener's

After a decent rainy season, our Spring has been delightful.   Somewhat regularly spaced winter storms gave us a small but decent amount of water.   I'm not so sure about the snow pack.   It's been a couple of years since our last garden tour in San Francisco.  There's new things to see but more important it's a forum for ideas.   These are professionally maintained gardens by us.  We're the gardeners.  It our tour.

Up first in Pacific Heights is Frank Eddy's garden.   This is the 2nd season for the garden under his care and guidance.   Blooming among the roses are linaria, pansies & digitalis, Lychnis coronaria and Aquilegia vulgaris hybrid.


The front entry garden is mostly white.  With Iceburg roses stealing the show.  Wow!  In abundance.  Underneath you'll see the poplar Omphalodes linifolia 'Venus's Navelwort' lighting up the base of the roses.  It has such a delicate glauca rosette of leaves.  And is reseeds nicely.


May 07, 2018

SPRING Flowers of San Francisco

Twenty-five plants in blossom in my 12' x 7' raised bed.

So our seasons or climate are not like everyone else's. Forget your New England Lilac. English Tulips.  No.  We have distinctive growing seasons. Mainly growth, slumber, muted growth and finally rest. Those translate to spring summer, fall and winter of most of the rest of North American and Europe.

In San Francisco, you may see Dahlias blooming in the ground in February. Or Asters in May. Most perennials shrubs I work with will bloom twice every year. We have SPRING, dry, spring, water.



"Blue" Breadseed poppy, Red Poppies (Shirley poppies?), Allium 'Purple Rain', Ranunuculus asiaticus 'White', Rubus, Borage, Aster novae-angliae 'Skyscraper' (Symphyotrichum), Lathyrus 'Lisa Marie', Digitalis, Aster 'Chieftan', Red Streak Mustard, Omphalodes linifolia 'Venus's Navelwort'.



May 04, 2018

Returning to Saint Francis Woods Garden

Second year of a garden restoration in a lovely neighborhood of San Francisco, Saint Francis Woods.   Can't get any more nature lovers than in Saint Francis Woods in San Francisco.  

The olive hedge has filled in nicely.  The two Iceberg standard rose are only ok.  Both already have black spot.  Neither look like a rose should in May!  I fed them compost and Maxsea.  


The lawn look great.  A low water mix of festue, yarrow and english daisies.    It's easy because you let it grow long, don't fertilize and reduce the irrigation.  All good for California.


May 03, 2018

Arts and Crafts Garden

I planted this garden in 2013.  I was going for a cottage garden that would be equitable to the architecture.   I've been back regularly 2 or 3 times a year.  Today I sheared the pittosporums globes, weeded and added a few new recruits.  We'll see who survives.



April 30, 2018

Dearborn Bouquet and Bounty

We are currently reaping the wonderful bounty from our community garden plot.   This bouquet includes the unusual April Dahlia, Ranunuculus asiaticus 'White', white velarian and parsley.


I like to pack it in.  I don't want to see the soil.   I've combined the French intensive technique with my passive aggressive algorithm of editing annual seeds and perennial plants.   It's a tournament of the flowers;  May the best plant win.  But of course I stick my nose into the process, limiting those that are too vigorous and making sure there's an even succession of flowers.  It's all about the process.  I'm in control for a couple hours every Sunday.   Then Nature has her way for a week.


 Oh My.  That little white flowers in the back is my fleur du saison, Omphalodes linifolia 'Venus's Navelwort'.   I got these from Annies in the east bay city of Richmond.  Way do I love it?  it reseeds.  not too aggressive but plentiful.  The sprout are easily identified and become cute rosettes of bluish leaves that bolt to create an effervescent of dainty white dots.  So cute.

April 29, 2018

Rosa 'Queen of Sweden'

This lovely, so lovely pink rose with matte glaucus leaves is just starting it's first flush of 2018.  Along with Wisteria, Santa Barbara Daisy, Verbena lilacina 'De La Mina' and a blue Forget-Me-Not.   


April 28, 2018

Hollywood Juniper Hedge

Along with Pittosporum 'Golf Ball', Sesleria autumnalis, Achillea millefolium 'Paprika' and the Calla Lily.


April 27, 2018

Breaking the Lantern and Fixing It.

Yes, at the end of my visit, I break my client's lantern.  I hit it with my leg as I was removing the orchard ladder from the flower bed.   It fell over and broke into nine pieces.  Ugh!

Fortunately it broke cleanly.  I gather the pieces and glued them back together.  


April 26, 2018

Valencia Street Rain Catchment

Over the last 10 years, the city of San Francisco has been installing rain catchments to slow the rainfall that hits the treatment plants during storms.  This one is looking good with Salvias, Irises, Grasses, reeds, or are the rushes, and yarrow.


April 25, 2018

Roses in Glen Park

This week the roses busted out!  Wow!   Five rose bushes in the perennial garden are starting or are well into their first flush of the year. 

April 23, 2018

Dearborn Community Garden Spring Meeting and Fashion Show.

Our community garden's Spring meeting and my plot is looking fantastic.  We rebuilt our bed in November adding six inches of soil and completely redecorated the bed.

Today we see the end of the spring showing of the white dahlias.  Dinner Plate?  I'm not sure, they're big and lovely in a freaky February showing.   The purple poppies are starting to bloom and the foxglove is producing well.  Everything is staked well and should be well supported.


April 13, 2018

Dearborn After Atmosphere River Delivered Over 2 Inches of Rain

Most notable new entry blossum is the Ranunuculus asiaticus 'White'.   I started from bulbs from Flowercraft, a local retail nursery.  One of the four I planted turned out to be pink. 


April 12, 2018

New Plants from Annies Spring Fete

Here's a hint what's coming this summer in my gardens:


Early April Glen Park Rose

First week of April we have a rose blossom.   I planted this Rosa 'Mme Alfred Carriere' in February 2016.  This is the first of dozens of blooms on 7 vigorous canes, some up to 17 feet long.   This rose from David Austin in Texas, established itself in 18 months.  

April 10, 2018

Original Joe's Westlake Restaurant

Althought not in the city limits of San Francisco, this iconic mid century destination is well worth a trip to Westlake neighborhood in Daly City.

Original Joe's Westlake

April 08, 2018

Glen Park Spring Explosion

This Winter has been warm. It started off dry but more rain has arrived toward the end. Spring has been warm, sunny with moisture in the soil. Lots are plants are blooming. I'll call out the ones I know below:



White Flowers: Michelia crassipes (I hear its back in Magnolia), Erigeron karvinskianus, Omphalodes linifolia 'Venus's Navelwort', Heliotropium arborescens 'Album', and Loropetalum.

March 25, 2018

Mission District Green Wall

I walk by this green wall on my way to either Rainbow Grocery or The Eagle Bar.


Green Wall on 14th Street

This warehouse is on my walk to the coop grocery store.  It was installed two or three years ago and has filled in nicely.  Somethings better than others but no real failures.  A couple thin spots but that's okay.  I love the power lines going into the building.  Slightly surreal.



March 18, 2018

March in Dearborn Community Garden

Spring is at least 2-4 weeks early this year.   Warm and dry December followed by regular intervals of rain and sunshine has been sublime.

March 07, 2018

Just arrived dahlia tubers

From Swan Island Dahlias in Oregon, here's the new dahlias for 2018.  Final destination in Glen Park and Potrero Hill.  Maybe a few for The Marina.



Citrus blossom first week of March

Citrus is loving this extra warmth we had this winter. With the recent rains, it's all about to pop! This is the back patio garden at Dynamo Donuts on 24th Street in the Mission. The first two photos is an orange, the last is a Kaffir Lime, one of the ingredients in their donuts.


Citrus have been grown in containers for Centuries. The Romans took this fruit tree with them into north parts of Europe. But Citrus can not take the cold winters and thus needed to be brought into 
heated shelter.

February 23, 2018

What's blooming in February in San Francisco, California?


Agapanthus. That's right, in February!? Normally June or July. Add it to the list of plants that get confused in our climate.


February 18, 2018

February Dahlias in My Dearborn Plot

Big news is Dahlias blooms in February as San Francisco sees exceptionally pleasant winter sunshine and showers.




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