Thursday, June 26, 2014

Block Party at Progress Park

Passing this information along from Bruce over at Progress Park. Hopefully you can head over for some garden fun there this weekend.

Join us at Progress Park beginning at 11am for a game of Bocce ball, Taco food truck arrives ~ 11:30am, ice cream from Mr&Mrs, popcorn from our neighbors down the street on Minnesota and tunes from present to past. Music by Brendan (#1 DJ machine).  Fun provided by your neighbors.  Games, food and music.
DATE: Saturday, 06/28
TIME: 11am - 2pm
PLACE: Progress Park Bocce Ball court
Come on out.  Keep the fun alive and well in Dogpatch.
PS. The Dogpatch Playground is making great strides ... planned opening this summer.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Out with the old, in with the new

Or rather, out with the dead, replace with the living!

Today I popped up to the garden and was very much enjoying how great it looks after the Genentech workday. I decided to weed the cactus wall, cut back some Chasmanthe, and noticed a gap along the steps where I'd removed a dead Convulvulus cneorum last weekend.

Having recently (today!) decided that no more plants can be planted at PG unless they come from those waiting on the terraces, I popped back there and chose a variegated Yucca and an Agave of species to be determined and planted them on the steps.

Happily, it's a great time of year to plant those species as they need no water to get started at all.

(Remember folks: we're in a bad drought - year two of it in fact.)

On the way home I deadheaded a dozen Euphorbias at PRG and weeded there too. It's all looking pretty spiffy!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Genentech Workday Wow!

Shrub takeover thwarted
 in the dog area
First off, if you came to the workday and you're reading this, take a moment to congratulate yourself on all that you did today. Entire pathways were cleared, huge piles of branches removed and areas of mess and mayhem in the garden were reclaimed as beautiful and orderly places. Your work today was phenomenal as anyone can see by looking at the photos. not to mention the full debris box! A quick shout out to DPW and Recology, without their donation of a bevy of equipment (thank you!) and a debris box (thank you!) this workday would not have been such a success. I also want to point a few really special things that happened today, apart from the physical changes at the gardens.

Listening to the World Cup and
turning the compost on a sunny day.
 Can life get better?
+30 people in total came to the workday and after a very brief overview people got right to work. I'm talking instant action here - people identified themselves as leaders, split into groups and took on big, difficult tasks involving sharp implements, wheelbarrows and spiky branches. Volunteers from legal, research, HR, manufacturing, process development, you name it, they were digging in like seasoned landscaping professionals. I think in under 10 minutes everyone was plowing through their work and happily talking with colleagues. WOW!
Enthusiasm was running rampant
 all over the gardens today
Even PRG was worked over;
trash removed, weeds cleared
and trees watered
If I had to build a bridge across a raging river, I'd want to this crew, they get things done!

In addition to instantly engaging themselves fully in their work, everyone was keen to identify new tasks, learn skills, and use the appropriate tools (and keep track of them!). For me as a coordinator it is a joy as I'm helping a group of volunteers finish up some gardening to see that other volunteers have already neatly stacked tools, paired gloves, and other supplies thoughtfully put away in the shed.

Sparkling pathways! I love a clean pathway.
I'll let the photos tell the rest of the story, and you can view the entire album here. If you'd like to add photos to the album please send them to me at .
Also, many thanks to Genentech for organizing the 'Genentech Gives Back Week', providing opportunities for us employees to get out into the community and volunteer.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Garden More Glamorous After Workday

A meditation group that also
 volunteers together monthly, how awesome!
Maybe I've been checking out Annie's Annuals website too much, where a lot of colorful descriptors like 'glamorous' are used, but I do think the garden looks more glamorous after our volunteer workday yesterday! Grass has been a big problem up at Pennsylvania Garden this year. Having all the grass around really detracts from the beauty of some of the plantings, obscuring other plants form and color, the things that make them glamourous. Think of a Mercedes-Benz 300SL sitting in a field overgrown with weeds and barely visible, compared to the appeal it has on a showroom floor.

Eric, Michael and Nathan keeping
the grass in check
Anyhow, I whole bevy of new volunteers came today (yay!) to help us glam up the place, and many old friends too. Annie and Matt set about to do some specialized gardening as befits their vast skill and knowledge, and Carlin did a fantastic job taking care of the path along the cactus wall. Nathan weeded around pretty much chatting and working with everyone; what a nice guy! I got Michael and Eric started weeding the front order, and setup the team of Elana, Serina, Joanne and Chandnka wedding the middle back bed and eventually the back border. So much grass had grown up through the beautiful succulents, and they did a great job carefully picking weeds out. Janet and Mary worked at the Triangle Garden, removing loads of branches.

Please pardon our mess in the dog area;
the debris box is coming in a few weeks!
When you visit the garden there is a noticeable difference in how good it looks, but you will also notice a big heap of all our green waste in the dog area. Don't worry, we haven't gone crazy! Genentech is hosting a large garden workday later in the month (!) and we will
be further cleaning out the gardens and moving the green waste into a debris box provided by Recology. So please pardon our mess in the dog area.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sunny Faces and Workday Announcement

On vacation visiting the gardens
Our volunteer workday is coming up next week, Saturday June 7th, and of course you're all invited! We have lots of gardening to do before summer really heats up the garden. Many of the shrubs need to be pruned back and it is always great to get a jump on the weeds so that over summer they do not go to seed.

My Mom and I were able to walk the neighborhood a bit this afternoon to put up some volunteer fliers announcing the workday. We ran into a few garden volunteers, including Ana, who will hopefully be able to make the workday for a bit (yay!). We also ran into some ladies on vacation from Sonoma that were checking out the gardens. It was nice to hear that they considered Pennsylvania Garden 'a collectors garden' which I am sure Annie will be pleased to hear!
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