Want to visit the Bot Garden with me?
It's our time of year for magnolias.
And some lingering fall color.
Ginkgo grow so slowly, it must have been planted several decades ago. They wanted us to enjoy it, and here we are.
I love the way the leaves decorate the Chamaecyparis obtusa (!) like Christmas ornaments.
So Ginkgo and Hinoki cypress makes a good pair. What other plants you can put together so colored leaves falling off one plant will land on another and serve as a decoration?
I'm not sure what this is, but I like it.
This is the Fuchsia boliviana v. alba that I'm growing from seed. I was very proud of that, but Sunset says this plant will self-sow in moist conditions. Well, whatever. I sowed my own.
Every year, I'm surprised all over again by how flowery it gets. Most of the year I don't even notice it.
These trees are just here to hold up the vine. Someone's thinned it out recently, probably for winter storms.
I did this. I installed those stumps as a retaining wall, and I planted those little fuchsias.
Looks like it's holding up. Yay me!
My second favorite tree.
There it is.
Restios and Protaceae. It must be South Africa.
I want this one:
This is Elegia capensis. I like it a lot. It must be the most well-known restio..?
I would keep it in a container.
Washed-up Strelitzia. Aren't they cute?
Banksia. Not from South Africa but it goes with the other Protaceae, so I'm putting it here.
It's actually growing on the other side of the park, near the moon-viewing garden.
But back to South Africa, I wanted to show you one more thing: the silver trees. Leucodendron argenteum. If I had a bigger garden...
I actually do have some (volunteer) work to do today. Some cuttings.
The three on the right are mine, actually. (Ceanothus arboreus, unk. Arctostaphylos, Oenethera hookeri.
And I dug some slow-release fertilizer into the irises. Iris douglasiana...very diverse native iris, used a lot in hybridizing work.
Pretty, isn't it?
But when the work is done, the strolling resumes.
Another Fuchsia boliviana v. alba.
This time I grab a couple fruit. One to eat, one to harvest seeds from. You know all fuchsias make edible fruit?
This must be Echium piniana. I'm growing Echium wildprettii from seed. It's smaller, and makes a red spire, and it's a biennial.
The Children's Garden is one of my faaavorite sections in the Bot Garden.
The woman who runs it really knows how to use different materials in interesting ways, and her style is super cottage-y. I come by here all the time for new ideas. The place is under extreme renovation. Soon, this will absolutely be one of the coolest things to see in San Francisco. And noone knows about it. It's waaay in the back of the Bot Garden where noone knows to go. I'll take you.
The totem pole can't wait.
And there's a bit of planting already to go. It looks so easy.
You have to say that, otherwise the adults think everything's for them.
Have you seen a Casuarina stricta before?
An acquired taste I suppose. I wish they'd feature it a bit more, but it's a toughie.
The junkyard of the monestary stones. You remember me telling you about them?
Now they're being used in the Children's Garden, which is nice.
Looks like I'm not the only volunteer today.
I bet you guys can ID this south/east coast US native.
I was shocked to learn this was a native tree.
A friend was joking with me about the Gunnera at last spring's big plant sale. She said only gay men buy Gunnera. In fact, only women with big hair bought it this year.
Hopefully the kids who spend time in the new Children's Garden will have a good time and enjoy themselves and learn to appreciate plants and gardening, and not grow up to be people who do shit like this.
Vandalism in the Demonstration Garden is depressingly common. I cleaned up several ruined plants today, and lots of broken glass from beer bottles, left smashed all over the patio.
Is it wrong to end on a sad note? Not really. Just as there are people in the world who nurture and cherish, there are those who smash and destroy. That's what we have. It's who we are.
Maybe you want to contemplate that mystery while you gaze into Aloe polyphylla.
Click here for a quick visit last October.