Monday, April 28, 2014

Getting things in order for our volunteer workday

Graffiti be gone!
Our monthly volunteer workday is coming up this Saturday May 3rd from 10am-12, and of course you are invited, please come! To make sure things were in order to get maximum fun and benefit out of the workday, especially since Annie and Matt will be out of town, I headed out to the gardens. First, I spent a bit of time cleaning up the area by the shed so that it would be safe, and hopefully much easier, for whomever turns the compost next. Then, I scrubbed off the latest graffiti off from our signpost at PRG with some Acetone. With those chores finished I went through my usual pre-volunteer day checklist to get things ready:

Assess inventory: gloves, tools, drinks, burlap weed cloth. Luckily we're full up on gloves, but tools, drinks and burlap cloth need restocking. Trip to Center Hardware check.....

Survey the gardens:  Pathways, Trash, State of Compost, Check the various planting beds for looming big projects. As I wander around observing I make a list I'll prioritize later based on how many volunteer arrive on Saturday.

Talk with lovely neighbors and snuggle their dogs: OK, and I write this with a big smile on my face, because basically every time I'm getting some work done at either garden I run into a handful of absolutely lovely neighbors out for a walk with their friends/kids/dogs. This weekend was no exception. It may slow down the garden chores, but besides a love of gardening I really enjoy the community created around the gardens.

I hope that you get just as much (or more!) enjoyment our of the gardens, and can join us at our volunteer workday.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Still a bright horticultural spot

Annie is sooo right! All of the gardens are fluffed out with new growth from the sunshine and rain, and that includes an army of weeds. Despite this weed invasion, overall things are looking good, and we hosted a tour Saturday afternoon for Crima's class from the City College of San Francisco.

Eliot & Gillian smiling post-egg hunt;
more fun than when we shovel gravel
at volunteer workdays? Nah!
A good group assembled for a lecture and tour, and I talked for probably far too long about all of the different puzzle pieces that went into making the gardens happen; PSG, PRG (which basically encompasses the Mariposa Center Garden now), and the Triangle Garden. Whew! The students asked good questions and it was a lovely afternoon to be out in the garden, even despite the weeds.

On Sunday I showed up with a group of family and friends for an egg hunt at PSG, and there was another group there with the same idea! It warmed my heart to see others out and about enjoying the garden. We invite you to come out the gardens for our next volunteer day, Saturday May 3rd from 10am-Noon. It will be a great time to make some headway against the weeds and keep the gardens looking good!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Weedy weed weed weed...

Kniphofia uvaria
Today Matt and I went out to make a dent in the weed pile formerly known as Pennsylvania Garden. In two hours we stripped parts of the left bed, top and bottom, the middle back bed and the bit behind the wrong way sign.

There is this one weed that goes absolutely mental at this time of year and I don't know its name. I spent well over a minute and a half looking for it on the website before giving up, but suffice it to say it annoys me. It crawls it's way through other plants and falls apart as you pull it out, unless you do it very gently.

Asphodeline lutea
Of course, when you're annoyed with a weed you want to yank it out harshly, so this takes some self control, but when you do it right the entire weed and all it's yards-long vines come out in one satisfying glob.

Five tubtrugs full of that later, we left the garden. Just don't look at the Triangle Garden (Anna spent 3 hours there today, weeding!) and Pennsylvania Railroad Garden (embarrassment of fennel) unless you're up for an extra weeding day with us soon!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Weeding after rain is so much fun

Today's volunteer workday was great - the sun shone down heartily and we had new volunteers! Jackie, Amanda, Dana and Eliot dropped by to join Matt and I and we all weeded with enthusiasm, which is just as well since rain = weeds.

Matt planted a massive Phormium donated by Phoenix recently, and also moved a Cortaderia that was being swallowed alive by giant Salvias in the dog area.

Jackie, Amanda and Dana cleared out the lower pathways - they'd become overgrown with Euphorbias and Aeoniums.

Matt and I also cleaned up the front bed - I moved a couple of Tulbaghias and we filled two compost bins to way overflowing with weeds. Oh, and I turned the compost too.

Anna and Mary cleaned up the Triangle Garden and also noted the weeds are rampant there. Who's up for a second workday this month? We need an army of weeders!

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