notes, musings and rants from plant lovers

Pruning Tomato Plants

written by: Lisa Van Cleef posted: July 21, 2010

Pruning tomatoes, LA Times photo by Ann Summa

Interesting story in the LA Times today on pruning tomatoes.  Sungolds are her favorites, a tomato San Franciscans can grow just as well as fog-free folk.

written by: Lisa Van Cleef | posted under New at SFBG | No Comments »

Going to Seed

written by: Lisa Van Cleef posted: July 19, 2010

Looking for an excuse to do nothing?  Let your garden go to seed. 

Check out this quick video and the International Seed Savers site for more info.  Saving seeds is easy, it’s a great way to save money and you’ll feel so darned self-reliant when your new crops appear.  Added bonus–birds will love you, too.

The book, Seed Sowing and Saving by Carole B. Turner is a terrific resource featuring seed saving advice on more than 100 vegetables, flowers and herbs.

Taking It To The Streets

written by: Lisa Van Cleef posted: July 7, 2010

Street corner garden in all its glory

Street gardens in the Mission are looking fabulous.

A quick stroll through the neighborhood on the Fourth of July was a botanical deeelight.   Summer is definitely here. Read the full story »

Xtreme Passionflower

written by: Lisa Van Cleef posted: June 30, 2010

The Passiflora parritae is in bloom right now in our Chilean garden.

The incredible Passiflora parritae blooming in our Chilean Garden

This is a passionflower to drool over.  Huge, bright orange flowers–as big as a big grapefruit–hanging high overhead like brilliant party lanterns.  A native of the Colombian Andes, this incredibly rare vine loves our cool climate.

View From The Bay Returns to the Garden

written by: Lisa Van Cleef posted: June 25, 2010

Watch as Leigh Glaser learns how to root cuttings in our Zellerbach Garden.

A Love-Hate Relationship

written by: Lisa Van Cleef posted: June 21, 2010

Outrageously beautiful, easy to grow

The orchid cactus has got to be one of the most outrageous teases in the garden.

Its beauty is so painfully fleeting, fading only a day or two later.  You gotta ask, why bother? Read the full story »

Last Chance for Romance

written by: Lisa Van Cleef posted: June 4, 2010

This baby's in and full of promise.

You’ve still got a couple of weeks left to plant a tomato.  Ignore that fogbelt overhead and try a cherry tomato. Read the full story »

The Best “Native” Palm for Bay Area Gardens

written by: Jason Dewees posted: May 21, 2010

These 35-year-old Guadalupe palms thrive in the understory of a 300-year-old valley oak in Walnut Creek, California.

The Guadalupe palm is the perfect palm for Bay Area gardens.

Native to the fog-cooled Guadalupe Island in Baja California, it’s right at home in San Francisco.

Read the full story »

Urban Lettuce Year-Round

written by: Lisa Van Cleef posted: May 12, 2010

Romaine Lettuce, Bernal Heights

With our great climate, not only can we wear down jackets in July, we can grow lettuce year-round.

Lettuce doesn’t like summer heat making it perfect for San Francisco’s fog-shrouded summers.  Grow some now!

Read the full story »

Join the Great Bee Hunt!

written by: Fred Bove posted: May 3, 2010

Pollinator at Work

The Buzz Around the Great Sunflower Project

What’s happening to our bees?  Become a citizen scientist and join the hunt for bees. Read the full story »

written by: Fred Bove | posted under Pollinators | No Comments »
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  • Covering all things plant/garden/nature-related, The SFBG Hortiphile is one part newspaper, one part bulletin board, one part water cooler and one part hanging over the back fence talking to your neighbor. It's a place for Bay Area folks to share news, ideas, tips and hints for living the green life.