A Gardener's Surprise in Downtown San Francisco

Last Saturday Hubby, my mom, and I drove into San Francisco to see the Ming exhibit at the Asian Art Museum. The museum is located in the heart of the civic area of San Francisco, and one can see the beautiful historic San Francisco City Hall from the steps of the museum. As we drove by City Hall to park and go into the museum, my gardening sensibilities were intrigued by the sight of the pedestrian mall directly in front of San Francisco City Hall--it was blooming in sunflowers!

After visiting the museum, I told Mom and Hubby that I HAD to go and see the sunflowers in front of City Hall. So we walked the short distance and found that not only were there sunflowers, but there was an entire vegetable and flower garden covering the space. The garden was planted as part of Slow Food Nation '08. Hubby and Mom sat on one of the many burlap-covered hay bale benches while I slowly meandered through the garden with camera in hand.

Butterflies, honeybees, bumblebees, and birds all flitted about in the garden that felt like an oasis in the urban center of San Francisco. The juxtaposition of the large produce garden against the bustle of urbanity was striking. It made for some really fun shots. And it also drove home to me once again, that it doesn't matter where a garden is, nature will find it and thrive.

The following are some of my favorite shots from a delightful afternoon...

Sunflowers in front of San Francisco City Hall

The juxtaposition of pollinators (Tithonia Mexican sunflower) against the background of city life

The large round beds alternated with pollinator flowers and edible produce

California Poppies slipped over the burlap berms that formed the large round planter beds

A non-traditional pink California Poppy caught my eye because it was so striking

The round bales of straw that served as a fence around the garden were
a favorite of the birds looking for nesting material

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  1. Cindy, that sounds like such a cool garden. Thanks for sharing.

  2. OH, MY! Cindy, these are wonderful photos. I love them. You know that San Francisco is one of my "happy places" I would love to have been with you to see this. My favorite photo is the sunflower with the flag in the background. Gorgeous!!

  3. lovely! I saw SF for the first time this summer and thought it was a beautiful city. You've shown us more of its beauty!

  4. I've not been to SF, but it's on my list! My mom has been there and she loved it.

    Finding those gardens in the middle of the city would have made me smile, too. Thanks for sharing your smiles with us! :-)

  5. That's a lovely place. I think we need to be reminded in the midst of busy-ness of nature and nature's pace. I hope that garden does a lot of people the world of good.

  6. Homesick now. Thanks a lot! ;)

    Gorgeous pictures.

  7. Great photos, Cindy! I love the juxtaposition of urban and rural. I spent many summer vacations in San Francisco when I was a child.

    At long last, I posted about your wonderful photo box giveaway gift!

  8. Cindy,
    What a sweet surprise! I just love my little package of cards! The envelope you made was pretty cute too. Just wanted to let you know that I mentioned you in my blog tonight.

  9. Cindy what a beautiful flower photos, especially the sunflowers. Anna :)

  10. A beautiful find--serendipity--to add to the beauty of your day! And yes, a study in contrasts....

  11. So amazing as always...it always makes me want to go to those cool places with you...because even though the pics are great I know there's a whole lot more goin' on! I love adventures!

  12. So amazing as always...it always makes me want to go to those cool places with you...because even though the pics are great I know there's a whole lot more goin' on! I love adventures!

  13. What a fun city. It brings back so many fun memories...I can almost taste the clam chowder down on the wharf in a fresh sour dough bread bowl. I too like the pic of the sunflower with the flag. They are so beautiful! Thank you once again.


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