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Archive for the ‘California plants’ Category

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 Housepainted ladies’), inside a nice, wet rain gutter.” Let’s take a closer look…

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Tiny shrubs before colorful houses

Let’s take a little trip around San Francisco with local photographer Melinda Earle. She documents the Richmond neighborhood in series of lovely slice-of-life cell phone shots called The Richmond Chronicles, as well as shooting around town. Every so often, she catches odd juxtapositions of San Francisco’s pastel architecture and squeezed-in plant life, like the one above, at 8th and Balboa. I’m happy to be able to share a few of these plants here.

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Chalk drawing of flower on asphalt

Sometimes plants erupt right out of solid pavement, as we have documented in the past (Sara’s feather-weed stem and my asphalt-defying plant). This blue-headed beauty appeared at the Alamo Elementary School in San Francisco this Tuesday, where it was documented by Drew, who goes by @artnok_a on Instagram. Thanks for sharing this beautiful urban plant, Drew!

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Succulents

How many different succulents can you count in this picture?  I tried to count them all and lost track. This incredible garden, which Sara and I saw as we visited a rustic little beach by Half Moon Bay on New Year’s Eve, is clearly the product of human intervention. I highly doubt any natural seaside cliff would be so diversely and densely populated.

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Imposter

I captured some specimens of California poppy, the beautiful state flower, in Long Beach on our recent trip to California…. or are they all poppies?

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Roses and plant on washing machine

I’ve decided that plants love laundromats. I used to think I was just projecting my own feelings onto them, as I happen to adore both plants and laundromats. But whenever I’ve seen a plant within one of these bustling, fragrant and white-tiled spaces, it seems to be thriving in its warm, humid habitat. Now that I’ve met another photographer who’s documented the same thing – Nicolas Cook, who took the above picture in Birmingham, England – I’m sure we can’t both be wrong.

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Potted plants on plant-covered wall

Spotted last month on Soquel Avenue, the main drag in the sunny beach town of Santa Cruz, California. This luxuriant viny plant is hurrying up a high wall to join hordes of fellow plants, sitting in a row in little pots. I would love to go back in a year and see if the vine has reached its goal! For that matter, I’d love to go back right now – here in 15 C-below-freezing Berlin, there’s not much greenery to observe or much motivation for going outdoors.

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Topiary animals in party hats

Today’s guest photographer Genevieve Petre says she “was on a New Years day walk and strolled upon these party animals” in Point Loma, San Diego, California. This hilarious picture has inspired me to make “post-holiday plants” the theme for this weekend’s posts.
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Apples on palm tree trunk

The urban greening report from San Francisco continues! Last weekend on our walks around the Mission, we learned about two initiatives that are transforming the city’s streets and sidwalk. First, on Alabama Street at 24th in the Mission district, after eating terrific pan dulce at the La Victoria bakery, we admired a sidewalk-greening project in which residents have removed some cement on the mostly paved-over sidewalk area to create little urban gardens. A sign explained that fully paved sidewalks lead to poor drainage, while open spaces within the sidewalk are both pleasant and practical, absorbing rainwater.

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Potted avocado plants on doorstep

Happy New Year! I’m sending you all my sunniest greetings for the new year, and apologies for the long silence. I escaped gray Berlin for three sunny weeks driving up and down my home state of California, meeting with my Urban Plant collaborator Sara in picturesque Napa Valley and spotting urban plants all along the way!

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