Archive for the ‘California plants’ Category

About a year ago, I reported a hairy house near the Castro and the Mission Districts in San Francisco. Since then, I’ve seen other exteriors covered in similar plant matter. Not as hairy as last year’s encounter, but striking in a similar manner. Most of these were found in my neighborhood so I’d be curious what I might discover in other parts of the city. Have fun taking a virtual tour of these plant covered buildings or see them in person. I’ve noted the cross streets below. Also, feel free to share any other ones you may come across in your city.


16th St. & South Van Ness St., San Francisco: A mosaic of plants – a work in progress?


Exterior details


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SAN FRANCISCO, CA — We are pleased to provide urban plant reporting from San Francisco. As residents of this city for more than eight years, we have witnessed urban plants – large and small. We look forward to sharing more plant sightings from our foggy city.


The manicured bushes of Noe Valley.

Megan likes plants a lot, especially ones she can eat. She keeps a modest balcony garden in her Mission apartment. Its current resident is curly parsley.


Pasta soon?

Phoebe likes plants in surprising or comical situations. As a woodworker, she also keeps an eye out for fallen city trees.


Looks like a lot of cutting boards.

Stay tuned for more!

– Megan & Phoebe


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Huge rectangular shrub with basketball hoop embedded in it.

If you like oddities in urban space, plant-related or otherwise, @jesmcdowell‘s photos are for you. One of the funniest folks I know on Instagram, whom I’ve been following for almost four years now.

This is but one of Jes’s kooky finds. If anyone has an idea how this basketball hoop plant was grown/constructed, I could really use some theories.

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Our California correspondent did a double take at these urban plants. Megan Mock writes in: “This home caught my eye will walking from the Castro to the Mission. The house appears to be growing hair from a distance, but upon a longer look, it is a plant with of stringy roots and branches – not a lot of green. I didn’t get a closer look but am curious how this plant attaches itself to this home.”

Thanks, Megan, for capturing these hairy plants and sharing them with us.

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Sharp leaves poking through a wooden fence.


This fenced-in plant “looks like it wants to escape its enclosure,” writes Megan Mock, who wrote in response to our post on a banana tree invading a bathroom.


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Ever seen an old bicycle, repurposed as a planter, in a quaint grandmother’s garden, with pots of trailing vines attached to every available spot? These little grasses and weeds seem to aspire to the same romantic arrangement. Props to eagle-eyed Ms. Hustrulid, who just spotted this amazing interaction between sidewalk flora and sidewalk paint in San Francisco. For more of her photos, please visit her Instagram feed: @glovecompartment.

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Apartment building and trees which are titled at a 30 degree angle to the street.

When the fog lifts from gray San Francisco and Indian summer sun floods the up-and-down streets, the plants and buildings suddenly show their true colors in all their vividness. Some plants are painted on, others are trimmed into submission, while others grow into their own forms, whether creating sidewalk tunnels or two-dimensional trees. Here’s a little photo walk around San Francisco’s Mission and Noe Valley neighborhood back when the sun was shining.


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Information stand with books and a small sign reading "Ask a plant nerd"

Real live plant nerds are offering their knowledge to the public at San Francisco’s Mission Community Market every Thursday. Asking a question is free; they also have small, affordable young plants for sale, such as nasturtiums, plectranthus…


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Tree Attempting Escape from Unmarked White Van

In a recent comment, Phoebe reported: “I was driving to work from San Francisco, grabbed my camera, and took a shot through the windshield… Plants trying to escape from an unmarked white van. I smell a tree heist.”


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Flower-adorned mailbox on suburban street

Do you see urban plants in this picture? What about graffiti?

My sharp-eyed sister Phoebe did. She observed some interesting sidewalk phenomena during a recent visit to our childhood home:


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