City Gardening

flower.jpg I love that after years of living in San Francisco, I can still find something new, something I didn’t know existed, and something that provides a whole new view of the city — like stumbling on the Fort Mason Community Garden this past Saturday.

The garden didn’t look open to the public initially. It was set between two buildings, so I assumed it was someone’s private garden. But the gate was open, so we wandered in.

What an incredible place to garden, tucked into the cityscape and against the bay. The garden felt far from the city, even though the city was all around us. Looking up, I could see the houses on the hill and Sutro Tower looming out of the fog.


The garden looks relatively small but once inside, we found a dense collection of over 100 plots. Given the 130+ names on the waiting list, these plots belong to serious, life-long gardeners.

Some grew only flowers. Dahlias, one of my very favorite flowers and the San Francisco city flower, were quite popular and very much in bloom. Others grew a combination of flowers and vegetables. Little strawberries spilled out from under a rose bush. Lettuces grew next to a fuzzy cactus stalk. One plot was completely devoted to tomato plants which I thought was brilliant considering how superior garden-grown tomatoes are to store-bought tomatoes.

One of my very favorite scents is that of a tomato plant. It’s a dusky, green smell that is impossible to reproduce and to me, it’s the smell of summer. At the community garden, I gently rubbed a few of the tomato plant leaves and inhaled.



One Response to “City Gardening”

  1. junbelen Says:

    The city never fails to amaze me, too! Just a few weeks ago my partner and I were hiking up Potrero Hill and discovered a lovely community garden by 20th and San Bruno. I have always wanted to start my own vegetable garden and I thought it would be great to start one but lo and behold the waiting list is a few years!! I think I’ll settle for a herb garden in my patio for now while I wait for a space to open up in Potrero.

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