We will be closed for July 4th, but open all weekend July 5th and 6th.
More and more people are inspired to grow a little bit of food in whatever space they have available to them. The rise of the local food movement and the realization that too often our food comes from faraway places has sparked an interest in backyard farming even in the least likely places.
Join the Garden Conservancy and others inspired by the challenge of growing food in San Francisco for an evening with Fritz Haeg, author of Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn.
If you haven't heard of Fritz Haeg, you can get acquainted with him here. The Edible Estates project brings together some of the most pressing issues we face today - the quality of our environment, energy conservation, the local food movement, landscape water use, public green space, public art, and design that nurtures community.
July 10, 5:30 p.m. at Flora Grubb Gardens
Attack on the Front Lawn
A Project by Fritz Haeg
Fritz Haeg, architect and artist, Los Angeles, www.fritzhaeg.com
Wine and hors d'oeuvre at 5:30 p.m. / design talk and book signing at 6:15 p.m.
$25 per person, advance reservation until 7/4
$30 per person, after 7/4 and at door
Admission fee benefits the Garden Conservancy.
Add Some Edibles to Your Landscape
Even with a small garden, you can grow a little of your own food. Here are some fun plants to try even if you live in the fog and have failed with tomatoes. Naturally, these plants are beautiful as well as useful.
Feijoa sellowiana - Pineapple Guava
All around California grows a humble plant that few people realize bears edible fruit. A native of Brazil, the reliable "pineapple guava" works well as a hedge or informal shrub with its silvery, olive-like leaves and sparkling ruby flowers. Its green-skinned fruit with creamy flesh tastes like a mild combination of pineapple, passion fruit, and guava, and the fleshy flower petals also have a sweet flavor. It makes a nice, unthirsty small tree for sun or shade. We have cute standards that can be kept clipped like topiary and low shrubs that can be allowed to develop a sinewy cinnamon-brown trunk. Along with a mate for pollination, this guy will happily grow and produce fruit in a large pot on your deck.
Feijoa looking pretty with Aeonium and Cordyline
Feijoa flower - it is edible!
The Feijoa fruit- Pineapple guava
African Blue Basil (Ocimum kilimandscharicum X basilicum 'Dark Opal')
San Franciscans and gardeners in other Northern California oceanside areas often despair of our inability to grow the abundant basil that goes into so many summer dishes. Well, nature has finally offered a solution to your basil-less dispair. African blue basil, a hybrid that tolerates cooler summer temperatures thanks to its East Africa parentage. (Sound out that "kilimandscharicum" and guess which snowy tallest mountain in Africa it's named for.) Continually pinch its shrubby growth to harvest basil flavor, or enjoy its pink flowers and purple-tinted leaves until the chilly rain or frost of winter. Try it in your summer dishes and get really glamorous and use it as a garnish for summer cocktails.
A pretty garnish for summer cocktails
Butia capitata Jelly Palm
This palm has a stunning structure and produces delicious edible fruits anywhere away from immediate ocean influence; we've eaten its sweet, mango-flavored fruits from plants in the Mission District. It's called the jelly palm because in its native Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, it's used to make preserves. It's also a stunning container specimen, with strongly recurved feather leaves in olive and grey tones. The jelly palm is impervious to wind, cold, heat, and even tolerates quite a bit of drought once established in the ground, where it will grow slowly to 20 feet and produce flowers and fruit at a young age. We have them in sizes ranging from cute five-gallons to mature trees.
Butia capitata fruit - tastes sort of like a mango
Butia capitata growing happily in a pot
Oh! Aloe polyphylla
The spiral aloe is a true rarity and a must for any plant collector. We are so lucky to be able to grow this little miracle in our climate. We have a limited number of these stunning plants available now.
Table-top planters by Japanese designer Nobuhiro Sato
These tiny (just 5" tall), richly detailed planters are made of mortar, brass and glass, each one handmade by the artist. Grow your own itty-bitty green roof on this miniature bit of urban architecture. Sato has captured something really special with these planters. They are modern and comical, beautiful and provocative.
One Gardening Tip
We have all been saddened by the fires raging all around California. Remember that your plants breathe through their leaves. With so much smoke in the air (and, of course, no rain for months) your garden might need a good washing. This is best done with a hose early in the morning.
Enjoy your summer!
Flora and everyone at Flora Grubb Gardens
Flora Grubb Gardens
1634 Jerrold Ave. at 3rd Street
San Francisco, CA 94124
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