Dec 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!

The park was full of red today: the red flowers of candelabra aloe, the stems of dogwood, and the lobster-like mushrooms sprouting from the bases of trees. Inside the rain garden, a ruby-crowned kinglet was taking cover in the rushes.

One uncommon aspect of this aloe is there are few other large succulent plants in the Panhandle. Aloe is a plant that has long been cultivated for its healing properties, with most species originating in Africa and Asia. The aloe is located next to a small cluster of olive trees. Olive trees have been cultivated for human purposes since the copper age; the earliest evidence of which is an archaeological site in Jordan.

Merry Christmas!

Dec 16, 2015

Workday report - big December planting at the park

Dozens of plants were in place and ready for planting when we arrived at the Panhandle Park on Saturday, December 12 for the monthly community workday. Sticky monkey flower, Coyote Brush, native strawberry, and others were provided by Rec and Park for planting.  

This spot in the park, just between the restroom and the multi-use path, was rehabbed during the 2012 capital project, but some combination of drought, irrigation, and soil quality conspired to turn the mound dry and bare. To address the problem, Guillermo Vasquez, longtime Rec and Park gardener for the Panhandle, proposed a planting of drought-tolerant native plants to save on water, beautify the area, and keep the community engaged in planting and upkeep. Months ago, the department sheet-mulched the area to establish a fresh, healthier planting medium, and with planting season upon us, the time was right for the first plants to go in. 

Our repeat volunteers turned out and were joined by some first-time volunteers to get the planting accomplished. It was helpful that - unlike some spots in the park - the soil was not that difficult to turn over. There were, however, spots where we found dry conditions just underground - reflecting that we had had less than 3 inches seasonal rainfall to date in San Francisco. Happily, the next day we had 3/4 inch rain! 

Additional waves of planting by volunteers and by RPD staff will follow to make this area attractive and welcoming.  

Dec 7, 2015

December workday is on for 12/12

Our December workday is definitely on! Come join us at the Panhandle Park on Saturday, Dec. 12. And we're expecting to dig into a new zone - the mound next to the rain garden and restroom that was sheet-mulched in the late summer, and is now ready for planting.

You don't need to show up right on time - in fact, we can accomodate people throughout the morning who arrive for a shorter shift of work.

Panhandle Community Workday
Saturday, December 12
9 am - 12 noon
Meet by the bulletin board (near Oak @ Ashbury)
Gloves and tools are provided 

Heavy, persistent rain cancels.