Saturday, September 24, 2011

Rain tomorrow?

I heard we might get rain tomorrow - I am aghast on one level (it's "SF summer" aka fall!) and delighted on another (the garden is parched) so we shall see. I expect an overcast day and a few scant drops for P Hill.

Today I went out determined to clear up the tool shed area, and clear it up I did. I potted up a number of succulents that had been languishing and rearranged, trimmed, primped and organized the plants there thoroughly.

Emily showed up as I was getting ready to leave and she worked on the weeding of the brights bed, which she has been assiduously doing for months now. One day she will taste victory against the evil sheep's sorrel!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Middle front bed plans

Aeonium nobile
Now that the big variegated Echium "Pride of Madeira" is gone (RIP) what shall we put in its place?

Well, I planted a Leonotus leonurus in the hole that developed in the middle a few months back, so that'll provide a nice tough filler with orange flowers in fall... hurry up and grow!

But that does leave is with some gaps around the sides, and looking at some of the plants there, well, they could use some rearranging.

For one, the Agave attenuatas are off: one huge one at the edge, the two smaller ones further back, with the Aeonium collection sort of impinging on them. Then there are Achilleas around the base of the big Agave americana variegata, buried and sad. Two Kniphofias that were hidden under the Echium came to light as well. And a good-sized but rangy Aloe striatula is now quite tall after it's hunt for light through the Echium branches. Lastly a stub of Echeveria secunda glauca that I'd planted at the base of the Aloe has grown and branched out a lot - and got covered by nearby plants.

Rearranging all this can mostly be done now, as the majority are plants that accept summer transplanting (Aloes, Agaves, Echeverias etc) but the Achilleas and Kniphofias may want to wait a month or two. Which gives me time to choose another Agave for that spot, and rebuild the twig border. I think this is a job for the next volunteer day!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Composters completed!

Today Matt built the final parts for the composters - the lids. He built them out of redwood, and screwed on the hinges, added handles on the tops and locks on the front (we're short one hasp so the last handle/hasp will go on tomorrow.)

Why locks? So that ONE bin is always open for "deposits" (i.e. your kitchen food scraps) and the other two are "cooking" new compost. Right now you can dump your kitchen scraps or compostable PG items (deadheaded bits, and so on) into bin number two - the middle one.

He also added the new sign, in case there's any confusion about what going in the bins (weeds and twigs can go on the heap).

Don't put weeds in the bins - we don't want to spread more weeds around the garden!

I emptied the worm bins into the new compost bins so they can get a head start, and we now have a worm bin and the old plastic composter available to anyone who wants them, in exchange for a donation to the garden, naturally! Email me if you're interested.

I also did a lot of weeding, and watered the left bed, middle back and middle front beds. It's the hottest, driest time of year and a lot of the plants are feeling parched.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

GreenTrustSF hosts Coastal Cleanup Day at Warm Water Cove

This just in from our friend Janet - she puts on a very friendly volunteer day!
GreenTrustSF hosts Coastal Cleanup Day at Warm Water Cove

Sat. Sept.17, 9:30-noon.
24th Street at the Bay (2 blocks east of Third St.)
Use T-Line 23rd St. Station and free parking available at site. Walkers and bikes welcome too!

Join your neighbors, and bring a friend to help keep trash out of the Bay and the park. Approximately 80% of San Francisco's debris ends up in the eastern shoreline.
For a low environmental impact— bring your own water in re-usable container, gloves and large bag or bucket to collect trash. We will have some for those who do not have!

Also watering of the flower beds to perk them up from the rainless summer. We should see some water birds and/or a harbor seal, hummingbirds, butterflies, dragon flies, late summer flowers,earth art and great views of the Bay.

Snacks, water dispenser and some "door prizes" provided by local businesses!

See more and register here:
Fill in "Warm Water Cove, San Francisco" for site. We would like you to register but can also just sign in on day.
We look forward to seeing you there. See more about GreenTrustSF on our website.
GreenTrustSF-Central Waterfront
1459 18th Street, Box 186
San Francisco, CA 94107

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Pride of Madeira gets whacked

Today Matt and I went to the hardware store and bought the rest of the components for the composter lid. Redwood lumber, handles, hinges, hasps, screws and so on.

We got to the garden and Matt started assembling the lids. Well, tried too - a mismeasurement means we need to get more lumber tomorrow. It took quite a while to figure that out.

In the meantime I set up sprinklers to water the brights bed and dismantled the variegated Echium candicans "Pride of Madeira." Yep, also known as "Pride of Matt" this once stunning plant grew high on the hog, becoming so heavy-branched that sections of it would regularly split off and die. Well its swan song was today - almost all the branches had split and I was just sick of watching it die so I hacked it to death and got it over with. Took about 15 minutes to saw it all apart.

What took a lot longer was getting all the branches put away - there's not much room on the old compost heap so I cut down the branches and used them to edge part of the left bed. A couple hours later and the middle back bed is looking quite bare... I think this calls for some excellent Agaves, Aloes and so on!

In other news I deadheaded the Rudbeckias, Amaryllis belladonnas, Achilleas and a few other things.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Volunteer Workday

When you visit the dog area this week, be sure to give it a good look - I hope you'll notice that it is now almost 100% free of weeds! Jon, Sara, Jean, Jo, Carl and myself spent the better part of the workday moving like a wave of weeding fury across the dog area. The photos definitely tell the tale. While we were weeding, Carlin did some deadheading around the garden, keeping things looking nice and clean, before she headed off to Progress Park for their workday. What energy!
Jon watered, giving the Cordlyines by the arch a good drink along with new Phormiums Annie and Co. put in on Wednesday.
Ron has also been busy with the terracing project, and I've included an in progress photo to show how it's going, and also as a reminder NOT to go back there right now as it is under construction. We'll definitely let you know when it is ready!

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