On the sloping streets of San Francisco, local plants are interacting with the local architecture, growing against all odds. Phoebe Kuo sent in the above photo, reporting, “An intrepid urban plant seeks refuge on a steep San Francisco incline on Hayes Street, facing Alamo Square park (home of the famous Full House ‘painted ladies’), inside a nice, wet rain gutter.” Let’s take a closer look…
It’s quite a delicate little thing for such a stony environment, and rather beautiful. I think the bright green leaves look great against that rather aggressive blue paint.
Right next door to the first weed, Phoebe discovered a neighbor in the next rain spout…
…this time, a rather droopy little fern. Seems like the rain came and tried to wash it out, like the spider of lore. But somehow I feel optimistic that it will perk up again.
Meanwhile, over in the San Francisco Civic Center, Megan Mock recently documented these weeds, growing steadily away, completely undaunted by the seeming impenetrability of the slanted stone faces of this building.
Here’s another angle, showing the individual weeds a bit more clearly.
I can’t see exactly what plants they are, but it seems to be a diverse bunch – and they seem to be thriving. Yet again, I have to hand it to urban plants for trumping even the stoniest surfaces of our built environment, making habitats out of the most inhospitable cracks and gutters.
You know, our personal identification with plants’ struggle to survive in the big city was one of the original reasons for starting this project – as small town girls transplanted into big cities, we are in a similar situation. It is heartening to see urban plants doing all right, and to receive news of it from other cities. Thanks, Phoebe and Megan, for sharing your observations with us. Happy May Day to all.