This wonderful San Francisco artist’s native plant garden on the eastern slope of Potrero Hill began with a few native plants in the 1980’s and blossomed from there.
Neighborhood: Potrero Hill, San Francisco, facing the bay.
When started: Evolved from 1970’s – just English ivy and weeds. Late 1980’s learned about native plants and started adding them to garden.
Maintenance: By homeowner
Layout: Rear yard, 25’ wide, 30’ deep, facing east, apartment house and retaining wall on south side – shady.
Notable Features: Garden is designed to encourage birds, insects, animals. Art studio’s sliding glass doors open directly into the garden. The concrete retaining wall has a landscape mural of the pre-European view south from the top of Potrero Hill and includes many native plants and animals. No formal plan – try things and use what works. Much help from native gardening websites, especially Calscape of CNPS
Wildlife seen: There are two heavy shallow water dishes on the ground and one on a pedestal that bring in all sorts of creatures. From my studio I regularly see a great variety of wildlife from spiders and minuscule insects to macho squirrels burying acorns all over and many birds including a great horned owl.
Favorite plants: There are about 20 different native plants in the garden. Many do well in shade. They are all unique and fascinating and I enjoy them all, from the Pipevine with its unusual flowers to the strawberries, coastal and woodland, with simple flowers and birds who devour the strawberries.
Biggest challenge: Invasive plants, especially English ivy and Oxalis pes-caprae.