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May 31, 2018

Plant Profile: Pericallis-x-hybrida-giovannas-select, Senecio stellata 'Giovanni' or Cinerarias???

I'm enjoying putting together the elements that make a beautiful garden in San Francisco.  This is the first in a series of plant profiles of those plants that do so well for us in San Francisco.  This is a good plant to start with as it may be endemic to San Francisco and maybe the greater SF Bay Area.

I'm talking about the delicate aster-like blooms of white-pink-blue.  I've only seen them in San Francisco gardens but never for sale in the local nurseries.  According to Pam Pierce, this Pericallis (Cineraria) has naturalized in the garden from the cultivars of several parent species from the Canary Islands.  Check out Pam's informative article on Cineraria.


Anyway it is beautiful.  Oh and it likes shade, either dry or wet, deep or partial.

May 24, 2018

Digging Dog Nursery Tour

While on a long weekend vacation in Mendocino, we stopped by Digging Dog Nursery in Albion.  Here's what I saw blooming.



I think this is Astrantia major ‘Buckland’.  That's based on their catalog description and photos.

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.



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