11. Campus xeriscape gardens

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November 20, 2015 by missionazul

It is cool to plant gardens that are drought tolerant, beautiful and diverse, and a bit on the wild side.  For now, we are saying ‘goodbye’ to high maintenance and fertilizer needy sod.  ‘Adios’ to temperate plants like rhododendrons that are water stressed and full of thrips.  ‘See ya later’ to boxy old fashioned hedges.  Xeriscape and no-irrigation low-maintenance gardens are here to stay.

Walking around the CCSF campus, I say hi to the Mexican sage offering nectar to hummingbirds, and greet the South African Pelargoniums blooming salmon and rose.  The California Coast Live Oak is settling in, and the Mediterranean Phlomis is spiraling with floral whorls.  A succulent from Chile shares the earth with swiss chard and parsley.  Hey, this is students at work!  Good effort!  Well, check out some of these gardens as they grow and change…

This is in front of the Diego Rivera Theater.  Naked ladies (Amaryllis belladonna) in pink, fortnight lily in white.



Every year the bulbs mound becomes bigger and wider.  African rush is swaying in the wind next to French lavender.  Tucked behind is a California buckwheat Eriogonum.



By the Visual Art Building, the cannas sit on one side.  On the other,  california rushes Juncus effusus.  In between, blue fescue and a sweet gum tree in the Genus Liquidambar.


Then the chair of our department Steve Brown said, “Check this out!  Are you responsible for this?”  I was like “WOW!”  a moss and lichen ying yang, facing north and staring up at Mt Davidson.  I did not do this one, its all natural!



Continuing along the Visual Arts department by Circle drive, there is a small cluster of tasty autumn berry trees (Eleagnus umbellata), fruits are colored red/pink with tiny silver dots.  The Pelargoniums there are singing!



Two more steps and the California seaside daisy is shouting and waving for attention too.  How they love the coastal winds!


Outside Batmale Hall, in between classes, students are chatting and rapping, walking and talking.

When first planted, the plants were young and shy.  Just getting used to having roots in the ground and the sun on their backs.


After a few years, the plants found their flow and rhythm and took off running.  Here they go!!!  California douglas iris and Canary Island Echium in blue and purple, Mexican bush marigold in fragrant yellow orange.


Right by the Lunchbox, the same story.  Out of a patch of hardened and compacted soil transformation took place.  The horticulture students… they are really great!



Give it love and time –


Diversity.  That is what we’re talkin’ about!  Heres the diversity on top of San Bruno Mountain.  Design class Spring 2015.  The wildflowers and the views!!!




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