Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Volunteer Day this saturday

Tidy Tips (Layia platyglossa)
Come on down! The weather will be warm, the garden just got rained on, and we have a host of projects small and large that need your attention in the garden. We might even get to make that compost bin we've been talking about for a month now...

We start at 10am and work til 12pm. Drinks will br available!

Monday, June 27, 2011

New tees in the house!

We'd been selling tees through Cafepress but they skim off so much money that we were only making about $2 per sale - not worth it. So we recently had about 50 tees made for us by Eco Imprints here in Potrero Hill and let me tell you, they are gorgeous.

Silk screened in two yummy shades of green on an organic cotton tee in 4 sizes, they make the perfect gardening tee. Go check 'em out! They're cheaper than the old tees, better quality, and your purchase of a tee brings $20 straight to the garden - much better for everyone!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

June 18th Workday... whew!

The workday today was an amazing success, a crew of ten worked over the garden (in a good way!) and it is looking better than ever. Jon cut back the Chasmanthe, the white Nicotiana, and removed all the corn marigolds that were making it difficult to walk in the paths. Carl, Debbie, Bekah, Leigh, Tanya and Paloma removed weeds from the brights bed and along the pathways. Nate and Carl also redid a twig border leading to the dog area (thanks guys!) and Ryan watered all of the new/newer plantings and the Cordylines by the arch. Matt, Ron and Gina were also at the garden for bit, and I think everyone generally had a great time.

Monday, June 13, 2011


We're always on the lookout for ways to protect the garden. It's unfenced, so anyone can walk in at any time of the day or night, and sometimes people steal plants, break things, leave trash, pull off the freeway for a quick pee or just sit around drinking and being obnoxious. Before we had a garden there we had a guy living in the bushes for over 4 months, and while the love and attention showered on the spot has greatly improved things, we still get the occasional problem.

With input from our lovely neighbors we've decided to make a sign (see a mock-up, above) to put in the garden. The purpose of this sign is twofold. First, it tells people we have noticed and don't appreciate their nasty habits.

The second and main point of the sign is directed at the law-abiding among us: it asks you, the neighbor, to please call SF Police non-emergency if you see crime happening in the garden and report it. That number is (415) 553-0123 - put it in your phone right now.

Since Jim began organizing neighborhood watch meetings on our block, we have come to learn that our local police are great guys who are very responsive to crime in our area: they will send extra patrols around right quick if they get a tip off that people are being annoying on our block. They WANT to know, they WISH you'd call and they CAN do something about it! Our main guy there is Sergeant Troy Dangerfield - I mean come on, he's practically got a comic book superhero cop name. Don't you want to call him up? ;)

Now, if you aren't sure whether to call, but just have an icky feeling about someone in the garden, call anyway! Yes, that's what the police said. Call anyway. Listen to your gut.

And if you see violent crime happening - a fight, attack, mugging etc, well I don't need to tell you the number for that - 911.

Thanks everyone for doing your part to make the block safer.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A few additions

On Tuesday the sun was out and I wanted to get a couple of extra plants put in the ground to complete the area behind the wrong way sign. I popped down to Flowercraft and got 12 Artemisias (two 6-packs of starts; one was "Powis Castle" and the other is just called "Dusty" - it's the wider leaved type we have in the front border).

These little guys love a dry spot and will fill in between the bold, architectural Agaves, Aloes and Phormium with a soft, silvery, feathery effect.

I planted them in our new area, and weeded a bit. I added kitchen scraps to the compost pile and noted that the Shirley Poppies (Papaver rhoeas) that Sophia and Jess helped me plant managed to grow a couple flowers up by the lavender hedge - shown left. It's a pity more didn't come up, but next year I expect they'll have a better chance to strut their stuff.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Plant profile: Scabiosa

Non stop flower action - that's what Scabiosas bring to the garden. Deadhead away and they'll keep flowering, and all without much water at all. And for a busy gardener that's a winner.

Latin name: Scabiosa ("scab-ee-OH-sah")
Common name: Pincushion Flower
Originally from: Europe and Asia
Blooms: Light blue, lavender, white and pink flowers adorn various species, but my favorite is the deep burgundy S. atropurpurea "Ace of Spades"
Light: Full sun, part sun.
Water: Rain is plenty. Little summer water is needed.
Where to find in P. Garden: S. atropurpurea "Ace of Spades" lives in the left bed, while a few light blue Scabiosa anthemifolias live in the middle back bed.

You can buy Scabiosa seed but the plants are readily available so unless you enjoy coddling tiny plants, just grab a few 4" sized pots at Annie's Annuals or somewhere and have at it.

UPDATE June 2016:
Treat these as a fun annual - we don't have any left as they tend not to make it longer than a year for us, but fun times when they are around!
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