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Images From Local Private Gardens

Private gardens like these showcase the potential of native plant gardens. The gardens and many others are open for viewing during our Annual Garden Tour.

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Photo Tour: Accessible Native Gardens in San Francisco

Why native gardens? Natives evolved here, are adapted to our environment and weather and therefore are hardy and drought tolerant. In addition they are beautiful and are excellent support for local wildlife. We hope you enjoy these gardens and are inspired to try gardening with natives.

Menzies Native Plant Garden Menzies Native Plant Garden

Arthur L. Menzies Garden of California Native Plants, San Francisco's premier native plant garden, located in the San Francisco Botanical Garden (, Golden Gate Park at 9th Ave. and Lincoln Way. (#71 and #44 bus lines; one block from N-Judah streetcar; two blocks from #6, #43, and #66 bus lines)

Rainbow Grocery Garden Rainbow Grocery, buckeye

Rainbow Grocery , at 1745 Folsom and 13th Streets in the Mission district, has a charming native plant garden with a variety of fully labeled plants, shrubs and trees at its main entrance area. Gardener, Mara Rivera, is happy to answer plant questions or you can check out the information board inside the store. More information about the garden as well as this unique store can be found at

Lobos Creek, spring Lobos Creek, summer

Lobos Creek Valley - is located off Lincoln Ave. at Brooks Street in the SW corner of the Presidio near the 25th Av. gate. It contains beautifully restored dunes and upland habitats - great for viewing native plants and birdwatching - excellent interpretive signage.

440 Hazelwood, stairs 440 Hazelwood, back

440 Hazelwood at Los Palmos Dr., private home in the Mt. Davidson - Miraloma area - an inspiration for native plant gardeners. The front of the house, which dominates a prominent corner, is full of native plants. The natives continue around the corner uphill along a wide public walkway-stairway. The back yard is also full of natives that can be seen across a low fence. All plants are grown by homeowner Greg Gaar from locally collected native seeds (see HANC below).

HANC Garden & Nursery HANC Garden & Nursery

HANC (Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council) Recycling Center, garden and nursery, 780 Frederick at Arguello. Under the care of green thumb Greg Gaar, HANC combines a lovely garden and a nursery with a large supply of local native plants available for a small donation. For more information visit

Visitacion Valley gate Visitacion Valley, garden

Visitacion Valley Greenway (Campbell @ Rutland) This magical block of the new Visitacion Valley Greenway features red fescue, California buckeye, ceanothus, Douglas iris and other flowering native plants. You pass from the children's playground to the surrounding Magic Meadow and Enchanted Forest. Farther up, the Golden Pathway of California poppies leads to a site overlooking the Visitacion Valley Watershed framed by San Bruno Mountain.

Corwin St. Community Garden Corwin St. Community Garden

Corwin Street Community Garden at Corwin near Douglas is not easy to find but worth the effort. If you take 21st Street west towards Twin Peaks from the Mission district and turn right on Douglass, where Douglass stops is Corwin bearing to the left. This lovely garden retreat won a San Francisco Beautiful award for 2004. It has a wide range of mostly native trees, shrubs and plants many with helpful informational labels. At the entry area are full lists of birds and butterflies seen in the garden.
Photo Tour: A San Francisco Garden Of Local Native Plants

This colorful garden of California natives at 440 Hazelwood at Los Palmos Drive, San Francisco, was one of the featured gardens in our first annual Mothers Day Garden Tour of native plant gardens on May 8, 2005. The public walkway/stairway next to the home is also planted with natives and runs uphill alongside the house to the next street. From the walkway one can look over the low picket fence into the large flower-filled back yard.

440 Hazelwood was transformed by owner/green thumb Greg Gaar from a standard garden relying on watering, fertilizer and pesticides to a lovely garden of San Francisco natives in less than a year. Greg grows his own natives from seed at the HANC Recycling Center behind Kezar Stadium in SF where plants are also available to the public. Because the natives Greg uses evolved here they are adapted to local conditions and once established thrive with no extra watering and limited maintenance. Pesticides are not necessary and are discouraged as the natives support an array of beneficial native bees and insects that in turn support birds and other wildlife.

440 Hazelwood in May Public stairs, May Phacilia, May Non-native garden, May

LATE SUMMER - July 30 - In California's Mediterranean climate summer means no rain and golden brown hills. There are still drought tolerant natives in bloom at 440 Hazelwood, but many are in a summer resting mode waiting for the fall rains to start. This is a good time to watch insects which are plentiful in a native garden and more visible with the reduced foliage.

440 Hazelwood, July 30 Goldenrod, insect, July Buckwheat Rear yard, July 30