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      Text and photographs are © by Ellen Spector Platt & Ellen Zachos, all rights reserved.

      Showing posts with label tibouchina. Show all posts
      Showing posts with label tibouchina. Show all posts

      Sunday, March 22, 2009

      City by the Bay

      Warning! This post is NOT from the Big Apple.

      I'm in California speaking at the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show, and I've spent lots of time on the streets, checking out urban horticulture in the City by the Bay. I'm sure I look like a child, marveling through my camera lens at the most casual street plantings. But the plant palette is so different here (San Fran is Zone 9), I just can't help myself.

      Which would you rather see by the subway tracks: rats or poppies? It's a tough choice, I know, especially for a New Yorker, but I'm going to say poppies.

      And check out the woody trunk on this prickly pear! This is a street tree that LOOKS tough enough for New York City, although I doubt it would withstand our freezing winter temperatures. True, there are perennial Opuntia (prickly pears) hardy to NYC, but I'm pretty sure this isn't one of them.

      Jasmine growing up a tree in the middle of the Mission district.

      Tibouchina in front of a nursing home.

      And in bloom right now, all over the Bay Area is Ceanothus (aka California lilac). Blooms are generally shades of blue and purple (there's also a white variety) and bees love 'em. The fragrance resembles that of Heliotrope, i.e. intoxicatingly delicious. Sadly, most of them aren't hardy for us back in NYC, although a few less blue, less beautiful relatives are listed for zone 6. It's a new shrub for me and I hate to say goodbye. Anyone know a blue Ceanothus for zone 6?

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