Don't Give Up!

Don't Give Up!

These are the dog days of summer. The gardens are dry and dusty, the street trees are stressing, plants all over town look flaccid and dull and hopeless. On the days when the city air is clear of smoke, we can try to forget how bad fire season is in the wild lands this year. But it will rain again, and when other parts of the country are deeply dormant, in December and January, our plants will be growing and blooming enthusiastically in the mild and juicy winter rains. Don’t give up!

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Brown is the New Green?

Brown is the New Green?

Brown may be the new green, but what happens after that? Can we really count on future rainy years to save our lawns? Wouldn’t it be better to redesign our city now, with plants that do not need much summer water? Then silver and gold, lime and lavender and burgundy can be the new brown. These are only some of the palette of colorful and thriving plants you can see if you visit Garden for the Environment.

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Late Summer Gardens, Part I

Late Summer Gardens, Part I

For summer dry gardens, August begins to separate the fabulous gardens from the rest. It's relatively easy to make a garden gorgeous in the late winter, spring, and early summer. There are a multitude of plants to choose from, all of which thrive in the cool moist soils and sunny warm days between rains. But by August, our foggy season is well advanced, and plants have already suffered through weeks of cool moist air and warm dry soil.

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An Outdoor Education

An Outdoor Education

Late June and early July means Summer Sprouts is blooming in the garden. The Summer Sprouts are high school and middle school youth who come to learn outdoors for three weeks of garden-based programs, and they are blooming brightly. The youth are learning leadership skills, biking, building compost piles, and eating huge salads and kale dishes from our veggie beds. They are making new friends, and learning about plant care.

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Art and the Garden in the Summer

Art and the Garden in the Summer

In garden like in art, colors and textures repeat themselves, drawing me into the space, and there is a rhythm and order to the pathways my eyes follow through the visual field. The difference between a good garden design and a lovely canvas is that the garden is constantly changing. Each week of the year some of these effects will fade as others emerge, because the garden is made up of living plants going through their cycles of weather and season. 

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Fog City Gardener

Fog City Gardener

The mixed weather of June is over, and July and August in San Francisco are the months of fog, fog, and more fog. For gardeners, this means that just as gardens are really kicking into high gear in other parts of the country, and producing a year’s worth of warm season crops like corn, tomatoes, and melons, along with giant dahlias and roses, many San Francisco gardens have a letdown.

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