I left my (gardening) heart...in SF

I left my (gardening) heart...in San Francisco

David and I took a quick trip last weekend to my old stomping grounds in San Francisco to celebrate a dear friend's 50th birthday. A quick trip, indeed; we blinked and had to come home. But come home we did---me with a little sadness in my heart as I really love where I once lived in the heart of Noe Valley, right in the middle of it all. BUT though the celebrations and, of course, the ensuing hangovers, I managed a few shots of gardens as we whizzed around town. I shall just have to return to do a garden-themed vacation. Anyone with me?

When I lived there I was hardly a gardener so I never really paid much attention to what was growing around me (silly me!). What I noticed this time around is that man, I LOVE nearly everything that grows in this lusty zone. I really wish I could grow everything I saw. I do have a few of these in my garden, but certainly not in the hell strips that are for many who live in Noe Valley their only gardening outlet.

A lot of hell strips I saw had great metal edges that gave everything a very contemporary feel as well as being practical. There are a lot of dogs in Noe Valley!

The fabulous Air B&B we stayed at even had a small garden in the back for us to enjoy.

 Check out the size of that Abutilon! 

 The Bougainvilleas were in full bloom and everywhere.

 Fall color, too.

  Hell strip in front of our B and B.

 Oh, the Phormiums were huge and everywhere.

 This great arrangement was across the street from us.

 How's this for a street garden? Nice.

 Oh, yes, Halloween is a big holiday there. I could do a series of posts just on the decorations. This is one of the tamer front porches.

 Phormium love....

 I kind of thought Danger Garden would like this shot!

 Even the vine maples seemed extra happy in San Francisco. Who wouldn't be, backlit by that gorgeous sunshine?

 I thought Scott of Rhone Street Gardens would like this.

Small front gardens, but nicely done.

 California dreaming.

 Container arrangements like this one appeared often throughout the weekend.

I'll end with another colorful flower, one of the many  Painted Ladies that are so iconic.

Some areas that I should have photographed but did not (ok, I wasn't in the best photographing state of mind) were Dolores Park gardens, WOW. Really sophisticated arrangements, very contemporary amongst the old palm trees. Also on the list would be plantings at the Golden Gate areas - both ends of the bridge and many fabulous container plantings in front of every restaurant and shop we encountered. I only photographed a small sample of what was out there, to be honest it's embarrassing how few I got but I had to at least post photos of succulents and Phormiums, right? I shall go back for a more extensive photo journey another time. For now, these few images will get me through the rainy months that are sure to envelop Portland very soon. With that note, I say ENJOY.

If you ever get a chance to visit the Bay Area, it's worth it to stop and smell the flowers, to be sure.


  1. Good stuff! This brings back great memories of the Fling back in July. I lobe the shots of the enormous Agaves popping up amongst the more wispy foliage, such a great contrast.

    1. Hi Alison, yes, weren't those Agaves gorgeous? Loved it all!

  2. Great shots...many full of danger! Too bad you weren't blogging last summer, you could have been part of the SF Fling. That was a garden themed vacation to remember!

    1. Thank you, Danger Garden. It was too bad I wasn't there, I look at everyone's posts about the Fling with wonder and a little jealousy as it would have been the trip to remember, for sure :) Hopefully next time. There's always the independent trip to the Bay Area with interested gardening addicts....anyone anyone??

  3. This definitely makes me wish you'd come to the SF Fling this summer...you would have had so much fun!

    1. Me too :( I wish I had gone. Next time for sure :)


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