Saturday, August 11, 2012

Sidewalk garden gets planted out front

For years we've been wanting to create a pocket sidewalk garden out front and this year it's finally happening! These pocket gardens are built by removing sections of the sidewalk and planting directly into the ground. The City has been encouraging residents to create sidewalk gardens to help beautify neighborhoods, establish more habitat for wildlife, and provide more permeable surfaces to absorb rainwater.
Earlier this year we got a permit from the City to create our own sidewalk garden and made arrangements to have a crew from DPW remove sections of the sidewalk outside our front gate. We were able to get the City to waive our permit application fee and remove the sections of the sidewalk at no cost. So far we've planted succulents and some California natives that are drought resistant and should do well in this new space. Special thanks to Gabriel for working with me on the design, permits and installation and Adam and Brad for helping create the bamboo fence that surrounds the garden.
To learn more about sidewalks gardens, check out PlantSF.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mushrooms sprouting in Laura's garden plot

Laura recently discovered mushrooms growing underneath the squash plants in her plot. It turns out they are morchella esculenta or common morel, which is a highly sought after edible mushroom. I believe they were cultivated in that same area of the garden by a former gardener. These mushrooms are sometimes called the "May mushroom" because they consistently fruit during that month. We'll look for them again next year!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Our newest and youngest garden members!

From Gardener Mary Good: I live right next door to the garden, and for weeks I have noticed a Mama and Papa Robin flying about and scolding the cats. Two nights ago I watched Mama Robin from my bathroom window, feeding what I thought was her one fledgling, as they both hopped about in the garden. This morning, I witnessed both parents feeding THREE fledglings. And I thought having just one toddler was hard work! You may have noticed some of the earth upturned, especially around the edges of the boxes...that's from Mama, digging for worms. The babies like to hide in the larger plants, like the rosemary and artichokes. If you see them, please do your best to not disturb them, and make room for Mama when she flies in. The kids are out of their nest, but can't fly yet.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Catherine's spring harvest

Chard Lucellus

Lacinato Kale

Edible Chrysthamem

Portuguese Cabbage

Red Russian Kale

Kitty's parsnips!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

June's tips for gardening at Page Street

What I Grew
by June Dershewitz, Page Street Gardener

After more than 6 years tending a plot at Page Street Garden, I am
giving it up as I move to another part of San Francisco. I will miss all of the quality time my family and I spent in the garden, but I am also happy to give someone new a chance to grow plants of their own.

Here are some of the plants I was able to grow (and not grow) in my
plot over the years:

Favorite plants / best luck
- Scarlet runner beans
- Sweet peas
- Artichokes
- Sunflowers
- Echinacea
- Oriental poppies
- Cosmos
- Foxgloves

Also grew well
- Green beans
- Fava beans
- Strawberries (lots of fruit, but watery)
- Chives
- Cherry tomatoes
- Garlic
- Chard (but always got some kind of leaf rot)
- Prickly pear cactus (but only in full sun)
- California poppies
- Amaryllis
- Bishop's flower (although harmless, it looks like Queen Anne's lace,
which is toxic)
- Ornamental sage (can tolerate partial shade)
- Rose geranium

Could not grow
- Peppers (too cold)
- Eggplant (too cold)
- Melons (too cold)
- Carrots (soil quality?)
- Hollyhocks (pest problem)
- Lettuce (mine always bolted, but other people somehow managed to grow it)
- Kale (grew, but was tough and stemmy)
- Squash (powdery leaf stuff)

If you've spent more than 5 minutes in the garden you've probably
noticed that there are a lot of snails. Everyone has their own recipe
for snail removal: copper strips, cups of beer, obsessive removal of
each snail by hand, etc. I will openly admit that - after trying all
of these methods - I found that a little sprinkle of Sluggo now and
then worked really well. Sluggo is widely purported to be safe for use
around pets and children.

Also, due to unchangeable aspects of landscape and architecture, our
patch of land is often shady and windy; this can make gardening a
challenge. In terms of combating the weather, climbing vines - like
beans and peas - always did quite well. Every year I would build
tripods out of bamboo poles and twine in order to give climbers as
much vertical real estate as possible. I would also stake up anything
with a tall stalk - like sunflowers and foxgloves - so they didn't
succumb to wind.

In summary, while there are some limitations due to our environment, I
managed to find plenty of plants that would thrive in our garden. Good
luck, future gardeners!

Monday, March 12, 2012

New bike rack at the garden

Bike riders now have a new rack to lock up their bikes in front of the garden thanks to Josh. Last year, Josh contacted the SF Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) on behalf of the garden to request a bike rack because there were so few options for locking up bikes right outside the garden. That was particularly frustrating for Josh because his son Aiden and a friend had their bikes stolen one day when they stopped by to water their garden plot.

Ten months later, we finally got our bike rack! A special thanks goes out to Josh for taking the initiative on the bike rack request and being so persistent. Thanks Josh!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Spring comes early to the garden

All the warm sunny weather we've been getting these past few weeks has flowers blooming early this year. From crocus and euphorbia to calendula and cherry blossoms and more, the garden is bursting with beautiful spring flowers!

Sunday, January 1, 2012