High Summer

High summer in San Francisco.  Some days it feels like it, other days it doesn't.  The arc of summer weather in SF doesn't begin until August.  There are two big outdoor concerts here that serve as markers in my memory for when our summer really begins.  Both take place in Golden Gate Park, only a mile or two from the Pacific Ocean, where all of the cold, foggy wind originates.  Outsidelands, the weekend of August 5th, is a frigid, bring your wool sweater kind of deal.  LCD Soundsystem is headlining this year and I am super pumped about that!  Hardly, Strictly Bluegrass, an amazing free concert the first weekend in October, is a cut off shorts, forget your bra type of deal.  Warm.  Hot, even.

While I've often talked about my favorite park (Buena Vista) up the hill from us, a gem that I need to remind myself to take advantage of Steph is Golden Gate Park.  My relationship with this park in the 4 years that I've lived here has been developed mainly while running through it.  Lush, winding, stretching 4 miles long and ending at the beach, it's a place where you could spend an entire day.  When Greg and I first moved out here from New York, we took a nighttime jog through it.  Not a great idea - but what did we know?  There are always a million people around in New York so you feel pretty safe just about anywhere, at any time of the day.  Not too long after that nighttime (what turned into a Sprint) jog, I went for a morning run in the park and casually turned the corner to see two gentlemen with machetes about 10 feet away from me clearing the brush around a tree to set up their living quarters.  Naturally.

Seeded Eucalyptus is erupting all over the city in hues of orange and pink. Addendum - my friend Meg corrected me.  This is actually not seeded eucalyptus.  It's called something like Fire tree?  Anyway, it's pretty and you should come visit here now to see it.  It's everywhere - Just look up!

With the all juicy flowers of summer that are available right now I've really been embracing brighter colors.  I'm a big fan of Crested Celosia.  The blue flowers above are Didiscus from my friend Joanna's Bluma Far in Sunol.  The seedheads are also what look like shooting stars in this picture.  I am happy when my arrangement looks like you could find it growing on the ocean floor.  Unda the Sea....

I brought the Didiscus back with me after visiting Joanna at her farm Friday AM before work.  I showed up at 6:30 and helped her harvest for an hour and a half.  No place was open when I left the house and I didn't want to make a raucous while Greg was still sleeping so I left the house sans breakfast or coffee.  I felt extra slow moving in the field and the first time doing any farm task it takes me a lot longer than I know it should.  We were racing the sun and the climbing temperature.  Joanna is growing SO MANY flowers.  I was so, so impressed by how much she is doing, mostly on her own.  

We harvested Dahlias, Lemon Basil, and Coreopsis while I was there.

Another fun thing I bought at market this week were these berries.  This is a weed.  The bunch that I got was bug-eaten and the leaves were SO PRETTY when the sun filtered through them.  Like little polka dots.  The berries smell sweet and are black.  Before using these stems in an arrangement I pulled most of the beautiful black berries off because it would not be worth having them stain the floor of the venue they were going to.  I saved them in a bowl for Ashley, who makes the most beautiful plant-died textiles.

She just finished up a set of waist-aprons for me, using natural dyes - I think Henna? - and natural wax.  She even sewed Little Petunia Patches on them!  I can't wait to see my team sportin these at our next wedding!

Today I also spent a solid 3 hours in the studio garden with Jenn, my new Summer/Fall apprentice.  Susan is still around, she's just so quickly become an asset to our team that she's now an assistant.  

Jenn is the sweetest ray of sunshine and weeded the shit out of our perennial bed while I prepped a 12 foot long bed for early fall flowers.  The soil was dry and compacted, and I had to uproot an established yarrow plant and two woody geranium plants.  I double dug, forked the subsoil, and piled back on the forked dirt along with dry organic fertilizer and compost from Lyngso.  PROGRESS!

We've got a busy week ahead, so I should have plenty to share with you.  Be on the lookout for another post this week!