Sunday, January 29, 2012

Darn those Daily Deals...

Narcissus "Grand Soleil d'Or"
Months ago I jumped on an Daily Deal that gave $30 worth of plants from Golden Gate Park nursery for $15. In fact, I bought 4 of the coupons, so I was getting $120 worth of plants for $60. I was feeling pretty clever. I'd been up to the nursery a few times and each time either found no plants I wanted, or forgot the coupons, or something else prevented me from using them.

Well they were set to expire on February 1st so yesterday I had to get $120 worth of plants or else!

Happily I managed to find a lot of good selections, and asked a volunteer to go fetch a couple more from the back. After waiting around for almost an hour I was ready to leave, but finally she came back and I got my plants. They are:

Agave colorata x 2
Agave whipplei
Artemisia pyenocephala (Sandhill Sage)
Cistus aguliari
Cleome isomeris (syn. Isomeris arborea)
Coreopsis gigantea
Dendromecon rigida
Euonymus japonica "Chollipo Gold"
Helleborus x sternii
Lavatera assurgentiflora
Phlomis italica
Salvia canariensis

A bunch of these will go live on the Mariposa Center Garden.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

5,000 Parking Meters - They're Coming

Yes, that is true. 5,000 parking meters are planned for the neighborhood (Potrero Hill, Dogpatch, Mission Bay). Based on the strong community objection about the parking meter plan, the SF MTA is finally doing neighborhood outreach.

It doesn't seem like there will be many of these meetings, so I urge everyone who wants a say in what happens to the neighborhood to attend this meeting on Monday:

Time: January 30, 2012 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Location: Z Space, 450 Florida Street (between 17th and Mariposa)
Organized By: Tony Kelly

Event Description: Actually talk to those who will write up the parking plan!
Further community discussion of Parking Plan with Supervisors Campos and Chiu, and Jay Primus, MTA

Please get the word out and email the picture on the left, or print it and flier your block!

Friday, January 27, 2012


Smells so sweet! One is flowering by the bench right now. Have a sniff before it's done.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Texas Street Community Garden

This just in from Emily Weinstein:



Dinner will be served at 6:00 and the meeting will begin at 6:30pm
This is the first Community Building Group meeting of 2012!

After years of planning, meetings and discussions we are finally ready to begin construction on the Texas Street Community Garden. Many people have participated in creating the vision and now we are looking to the community to help make it a reality. 

At the next Community Building Group, you will meet the two new Garden Managers and help plan for the expansion of the Potrero Garden Program and the next community wide event. It will also be a chance to learn about the new and improved Potrero Healthy Living Program that kicks off in February.

We hope you can join us!

Also, please keep your eyes open for the 2012 Rebuild Potrero Calendar. It should arrive in your mailbox (if we have your address) by the end of the week. If you do not receive one and would like one please call: Uzuri Pease-Greene at 415-368-4436.

Emily Weinstein
BRIDGE Housing Corporation
Community Builder-Rebuild Potrero
415-806-1429 cell
eweinstein at

Sunday, January 22, 2012

1.5" of rain

Nothing like a good storm patrol: Matt and I went up to the garden int he rain today and examined it for evidence of storm lashing. There was none, except the green Cordyline in the middle back bed appears to have broken it's main growing spike in the middle. Perhaps it'll branch in two there?

We also removed the old shed, a trusty tool container for the last couple years, by dragging it over the handrail and strapping in into our car. It went to live at the barn and now contains horse gear. I hope it is happy in its new life.

That tool shed never did get graffiti-ed as I'd feared, only fell over twice, and is still rain proof to this day.  It was a good, if too-small, shed.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Old and New

The garden received a thorough soaking from the storm yesterday, so I went over to check out if there was any storm damage and to pull some weeds. All of the plants were in great shape (no more giant Echiums to fall-in on themselves) but ourold storage locker had fallen over and smashed some plants. I put it back up, with bricks in the bottom for good measure, but a door had fallen off and I could not get it back on. Sorry for the eyesore everyone! I promise to get the old locker removed soon, and then we can work on extending the planting and making that area look good. Just avert your eyes from the sad old locker when you're walking along the back terrace.

In other news, some delivery person hung 'Galaxy Pizza' door knocker on our new shed (see photo). I had to laugh at it, someone walking all the way back there to leave the advertisement on a garden shed. Makes me almost want to buy their pizza!

Also, lots of plants are starting to peer out from the ground around the garden, so keep on eye out for the new growth. An Aquilegia (commonly
called a columbine) that I totally thought didn't survive the summer is coming back (see photo). There is something so rewarding to see a plant become dormant, and then come back to life in the spring. I hope you all are having a great rainy winter weekend!

Monday, January 16, 2012

MLK Jr day

Golden Barrel Cactus
(Echinocactus grusonii)
Today I popped out to find the garden so dusty and dry, I couldn't stand it. We've had practically no rain, and though we're due for some this week I worried that it won't soak in. So, I wheeled out the hose and set a sprinkler to cover the lower part of the left bed, cactus wall, middle front bed and lower part of the front border for an hour. When it rains this week, it'll soak in deeper

As that was sprinkling, I set up a caution tape barrier against dogs getting in the left bed by the cardoon - one seems to do in there almost daily and dig up the daffodil bulbs planted there. Is it the same dog doing a poop in there too? And the same dog who crushed the lovely Tanacetum ptarmiciflorum too? No dogs in the borders, please.

I also trimmed back a lot of the Artemisia "Powis Castle" that's squishing the purple fountain grass in that border, and weeded out a lot of nasturtiums.

Next up was the planting of a beauteous Golden Barrel Cactus (Echinocactus grusonii), kindly donated to the garden by John just yesterday.  I moved a couple other things to make way for it - it really deserves to be showcased.  Thnks John!

Agastache "Apricot Sprite:"
before, during, after
Lastly, after filling the dog poop bags up at the info booth dispenser, I cut back two Agastaches - "Apricot Sprite" and Agastache rupestris (Mexican heather) - you can see how I did it in the photos. Just cut all the long stems back, and leave the nice mound of new foliage. Done!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

MLK Weekend of Service, McKinley Square

This just in from Cris, in case you're looking for free pizza next weekend ;)
Mark your calendars
A special volunteer day for Martin Luther King Service Weekend
Sunday January 15th, 10am-12noon
McKinley Square Hillside
20th at San Bruno Ave.

•Clear weeds on plants planted in October
•Improve trails
•Remove fennel
•General clean up of garbage & debris
•Planting new native plants

Special guests:
•Liam O'Brien from SFButterFly, who will give a talk on the importance of native plants, and their support for native wildlife.
•Supervisor Malia Cohen, who also joined us with the MLK Service Weekend at the creation of the 18th & San Bruno Ave Community Garden in 2010.

Lunch will be sponsored by Goat Hill Pizza. Drinks by Chiotras Grocery

Volunteers are encouraged to bring gloves and gardening tools if they have them. Otherwise we will supply.
All volunteers will get to go home with a few native plants for their back, side, and front yards. Plants that promote native wildlife for the hillside help in home gardens too!

RSVPs encouraged but not required. Helps us know how much pizza, drinks & plants to have on hand. RSVP to:
This is also posted at:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Nice rack

At the weekend Matt and I got a wire rack for the new shed, plus a couple of storage bins and a tool tray.

Today I assembled the rack. A 10 minute job divided thusly:

Ripping open box: 10 seconds
Screwing together legs: 20 seconds
Reading instructions while clipping on shelf supports and adding shelves: 2 minutes
Wondering why the entire thing was totally wonky, undoing and redoing various parts, and measuring them to make sure they matched, only to come to the conclusion that some kind of alien force was creating the wonkiness, and eventually fixing it by removing a foot from one leg and throwing it guiltily aside: 7 and a half minutes.

So what I am saying is, if you look at the rack ever and see that it's wonky, I don't want to know about it. OK?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Parking meters? I think not!

Some of you may be aware that SFMTA plans to install parking meters in Potrero Hill and Dogpatch. A LOT of parking meters. Which will operate from 9am-11pm, seven days a week, in most areas.
Will they be on your street? Click here to read.

What does this mean? Unless you have a garage, you can expect to start collecting those expensive, heartbreaking little love letters from your meter maid soon.

And if you're a PG volunteer, unless you walk or bike to the garden you may end up paying to park on volunteer days.

Want to do somethig about it?  SFMTA are having a public meeting this Friday the 13th at City Hall at 10 am which makes it very hard for people to attend, but we need as many people as possible to try and go. If you can't, our neighbor Jim has made up a petition to show MTA that their plan is excessive. Please sign it now, so it can be handed in to SFMTA on Friday:

Sign it now!

Drawings almost completed

At the last meeting with DPW and PUC they required new landscape architect produced drawings of the water flow on the site, and a structural engineer drawing of the supportive structure.

We managed to connect with Katherine Smith for the landscape drawings, and Bryce Neuman for the structural engineer drawings. Only one drawing edit remains to be done, and we'll be sending those images in for approval.

Once they're approved, we have requested that DPW waive their permit fees, since a permit was not previously required and so we didn't budget for one. If that goes through, we can start work. Fingers crossed...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Just One Tree campaign in SF

This message was just forwarded to us from Chris, who added:
"You can register any trees (all of them, not just meyer lemon, and not just on your own property) at – once you’ve input the general information about your tree(s), the web site gives you values of how much energy your tree conserves, how much stormwater it intercepts, air pollutants removed, and CO2 reduced."

The original message:

Do you have a lemon tree in your garden or do you have a friend or neighbor who does? I'm trying to get folks who have lemon (or other fruit) trees to register them on the SF Urban Forest Map as a first step prior to launching the Just One Tree project this year. The goal of JOT is for San Francisco to become sustainable in a beautiful and easy to grow crop - Meyer Lemons, providing a global model that any city can be more self-sufficient in a number of crops--even without much land! 
We need only 12,000 lemon trees to be completely self-sufficient (3lbs/per capita per year) and there are an estimated 3-4,000 lemon trees already planted -- we just need to find them! I'd like to get them mapped before we launch the JOT campaign because the goal will be very achievable even more quickly.  
Here's where you (or anyone else) can register your lemon tree: We will have a website up soon that will have everything anyone needs to know about buying, planting, caring for, sharing excess production, and even recipes for lemons. It will also have a list and information about another 11 fruit trees that do very well in San Francisco -- the delicious dozen. Stay tuned!  
Best regards, Isabel  
P.S. Please feel free to send me a photo of your lemon tree (ideally
with a city view and not just the fruit) and your lemon recipes!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Warm, sunny, dry December gives way to...

...warm, sunny, dry January!

Nice weather for a volunteer day, which we had yesterday.  With me were Nate, Emily, Jessica, Jen, Bruce, Carlin and Matt. We took care of a few jobs, and it was a very relaxing time (compared to the nonstop work in December surrounding the shed)

Nate and Matt installed chains on the composter lids, so they don't flip back too far when you open them. Matt also moved the big lump of urabanite he dug up into position as a step by the shed.

Carlin trimmed up the big Phormium with her new knife/hori-hori, among other things, and Jessica, Jen and I planted the last of the daffodil bulbs. Better late then never. Bruce and Emily weeded, and the whole day was pretty chill.

Time to ponder new year's resolutions in the garden. What are yours?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

Hopefully on New Years Day you were able to spend some time outside, because it was a very forgiving winter day. Sunshine, no wind, you could just sit outside without a jacket on and be comfortable!

I took my dog Bentley (photo) to the garden, and after giving the place a thorough walk and sniff through, we sat by the bench and just watched, soaking up the 2012 sun. Despite the dry weather we've had the last few months the garden is looking really good. From my spot on the bench I could see all of these things in flower: Tibouchina, Coreopsis, Ceanothus, Salvia, Impatiens and Rosa (see photo). The list of other happy healthy plants is almost innumerable.

I grew up in the Bay Area, and my mom grew roses (still does!), so I should be used to their winter flowers. Yet, I am always amazed and extremely pleased to see roses flowering during
the winter here. Especially those at Pennsylvania Garden, as they get very little care and still hang on, giving a show of flowers off and on throughout the year. Be sure to check the rose bushes, both flowering with lots of new buds (!) across from the bench by the steps at the top of the hill.

I hope that you find wonderful things that amaze and please you at the garden too, Happy New Year!
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