Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Garden Miracle and Other News

Team silver!
First off, a big thank you to whomever removed the huge pile of debris from the dog area at PG and the branches from the Triangle Garden. It was quite the 'garden miracle' when I went today to water and found all the debris had disappeared. I'm suspecting it was DPW, but if you happened to see a work crew there today, and remember who it was, please email me Emily@psgsf.org so I can personally thank them.  With that pile of debris already gone we'll be able to get even more pruning and weeding accomplished at our next workday on June 7th (10am-noon; you're invited!) so I am very excited.

In other news on Monday Nathan and Ryan took a serious look at the runnels in our DG pathway with the goal of figuring out how to put in some additional drainage controls, ok actually add drainage controls, to be fair. To summarize, I'm going to need to find a landscape architect or similar to advise so that whatever we do next to spiffy up the path is a guaranteed fix and not a 'maybe'. I ran into an architect with her lovely dog Buster today at the garden, so you never know who will lend a hand on the project.

Eventually our Kniphofia northiae
will look like this
In other, other news, Annie's Annuals was having a sale over the weekend that I could not resist. The back bed in the dog area was fairly wild, and a nice variety of plants were available that should do well there, so I diagrammed it out and
then set about to putting them in. After removing a ton of weeds from the area and finding a few very toasty plants that were not rooted underneath all the weeds (oops!) the area was cleared and ready to put these lovelies in:

Eriogonum grande rubescens "Red Buckwheat"
One representative already in place and doing well despite total neglect, so I decided to add more

Kniphofia northiae
Really gorgeous (photo credit Annie's Annuals).

Glaucium flavum "Yellow Horned Poppy"
Orange version is just around the corner in the brights bed and flowers like crazy almost year-round.

Marrubium supinum
Silvery, soft and with purple flowers. A good low growing option for the dry shade that is towards the back of this bed.

Sideritis cypria
Also a silvery and soft with a similar habit as Marrubium but can handle the sun in the front of the bed. I can't wait to see the green flowers on this Canary Island native.

With everything in the ground I watered the area in thoroughly and have my fingers crossed that no dogs will go crashing back there until things get established. Garden miracles can happen!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Special Ops Workday

Mary and Janet keeping the
Triangle Garden looking good
Today Anna organized a workday at the Triangle Garden, which was attended by me (Emily) and Mary and Janet. Anna also brought a bevy of great tools, like a saw on a pole with a pruner attachment! I had never used one of these before, but as the trees needed cutting back it really came in handy.

We set about clearing all of the grass and assorted weeds from the eastern end of the triangle, and discovered that some areas were bone dry and others quite damp. These are good things to observe in a garden, as it helps inform where to put what plant. The Triangle Garden has a few bare spots so we discussed how to put this information to good use and bounced around plant ideas.

Workday organizer Anna
After weeding and then cutting back the trees, our work party dispersed. I walked over to PG to trim up the path to the dog area, with the goal of making it more accessible. Many lovely neighbors came by and said hello, and I realized our dog area really looks like an overgrown brush pile. It sort of is right now! So everyone, please excuse our mess. However, I have been working on getting a debris box in June so we can have a big cleanup day where we weed like crazy and load up all the extra branches into the debris box. So stay tuned for the announcement of that workday, if you like pruning and wheelbarrowing that day is for you!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

STOP in the name of gardening

Quick public service announcement for those that live in District 10. You may or may not know (I didn't!) that there is participatory budgeting. Basically, you can now go online and vote for your favorite projects in your District.


Somehow putting a stop sign at Mariposa and Pennsylvania Avenue has made it on the list! You can find it at #19 under Safety and Traffic. I pretty much fear for my life when I cross at this intersection to get into PRG, and I have seen many a near accident and heard plenty of honking at that intersection while gardening. So you can guess what my vote was on the matter! Please take a few minutes to vote, you may see other projects on the list that are of interest as well.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

..and I quote "Center of Happiness"

Here the come!
 Kids ready to explore the garden
 Not only did a mini-heat wave hit SF this week, but we had two fun happenings at the garden! I was invited visit Live Oak School again this year to give a Changemaker lecture, followed by a tour of the gardens AND we had our monthly volunteer day.

Jeff, Ryan and I pause
during fennel extraction

The kids seemed to have a great time exploring the garden and asked a lot of good questions, and as one kid put it to their teacher, that the being at the garden was like being at the "Center of Happiness". I like that. I can't say every day at the gardens feels like that, especially on days when we move big piles of mulch or gravel, but it does pretty often for me. I hope so for our other volunteers too. I know that at least Eliot enjoys moving gravel!

Bekah, Eliot and Nate knee-deep in plants

Today we had our workday that was bursting with energy and volunteers - there seems to be a correlation there - and we subsequently rid much of the fennel and assorted weeds from PRG. A big thank you to Jeff, Kimberly, Nate, Paulina, MaryBekah, Ryan and Eliot. Anna took on the Triangle Garden, which is no small task, and she is almost single handedly keeping that garden in shape.

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