Public Spaces Garden Tours

Tour of Native Plant Gardens in Public Spaces

The situation is bleak for indigenous plants in our area. A survey of San Francisco County conducted by the Urban Forestry Council indicated that 69% of the city is paved over. Much of the rest of the landscape has been planted with a melange of exotic flora and lawns (wildlife-repellent). With so little space reserved for nature, practically the only place left to grow plants is between the pavement cracks.

Good news. These obstacles did not deter a plethora of non-profits, park employees, community groups, city agencies and dirty-nailed individualists. We're here to celebrate those heroes and the public gardens that are sustaining the next generation of bugs, birds, bees, butterflies, moths, spiders — and all the little things that run the world.

Visitacion Valley Greenway Garden Tour

As well as a showcase for the efficacy and beauty of a native plant garden for the general public to duplicate in their own backyards, the garden is a habitat for local wildlife and pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, insects and birds.

UCSF Parnassus Garden Tour

Someone with a vision put a lot of care into the selection of native plants. When you go to the campus to get that thing checked out, don’t forget to check out the fascinating collection of Mother Nature’s finest flora.

Sunset Boulevard Garden Tour

Thanks to forward-looking community members, Yerba Buena chapter advocacy and Department of Public Works staff, Sunset Boulevard is being reimagined as a corridor for both people and native wildlife

Richmond Public Library Garden Tour

This 90% native garden is a glimpse at how all city properties should look in this rain-starved landscape.

Potrero Hill Eco-Patch Garden Tour

The Eco-Patch is intended to serve as a catalyst for change by showcasing the ecological and aesthetic benefits of habitat restoration.

Park Aid Station Garden Tour

With over 500 local indigenous plants to choose from, the Natural Resources Division gardeners had no problem assembling a lovely, biodiverse garden.

Panhandle Garden Tour

Around 2010, a native plant garden was proposed in the middle of the busy space. In 2013 it was finally planted. Today, it includes a rain garden with diverse native plantings and a berm anchored by Island Snapdragon.

Menzies Garden Tour in SF Botanical Garden

This spot is San Francisco’s premier native plant garden with arroyos, ponds, woodlands, redwood grove and a wildflower meadow.

22nd Street Jungle Stairs Garden Tour

Imagine two public staircases leading up and down an oxalis-infested San Francisco hillside. Now imagine that a group of neighbors determined to turn that hillside into a botanical tapestry. That’s what we at 22nd Street Jungle Stairs have been up to since 2012.

Frederick & Arguello Garden Tour

Stumble upon Kezar Triangle and you might see some sculptural artwork, giant lawns and scurrying dogs. However, if you take a closer look you’ll see native plant icon and San Francisco booster, Greg Gaar, going about his business of restoring our local natural history one plant at a time.

J.P. Murphy Park Garden Tour

It is a good example of lawn transformation into a diverse garden with very little water and relatively little maintenance. Brown is NOT the new green!

Ina Coolbrith Park Garden Tour

Ina Coolbrith Park is a on a clay soil, east-facing hillside with beautiful views of Coit Tower, San Francisco Bay and the Bay Bridge.

Planet Drum Garden Tour

The native garden in front of the Planet Drum headquarters is testimony to their commitment to nurturing the planet.

Fort Mason Entrance Garden

Fort Mason Garden Tour

Once a site for unhappy plum trees, the boulevard and side gardens have now been restored with local native plants. The area, once moribund, is teeming with life, hosting butterfly larva, indigenous bees and hummingbirds.