Far Out Flora – La Playa Park Garden Getting Good

The plants are rocking in Surferburbia. We’ve been feeling the excitement building around one of the coolest community gardens along Ocean Beach: La Playa Park. What, where’s that, you ask? It’s where the N-Judah ends, you know, that odd little stretch where La Playa, Judah Street and Lower Great Highway all come together. You may already be familiar with their old school garden just across the street from Java Beach, but the peoples have been working overtime on the newest garden on the south side of the N turnaround.

We’ve been watching all the action for months now, but recently took stroll through the new garden before heading to the Giants’ World Series victory parade — and man, we are impressed with how filled-in it’s getting, not to mention the diversity of the plantings.

Here’s a hardcore plant that packs some sweet blooms, orchid rockrose (Cistus purpureus). The rockroses come in a whole bunch of species and they like our microclimates down by the beach. After they are established they can handle minimal watering, and like sunnier locations rather than the shady ones. We see these guys growing well in Golden Gate Park without any irrigation and would recommend trying one out in your garden where you need flower love.

The next surprise was seeing all the veggies, herbs and berries growing. Granted, they’re on an irrigation system, but hey — they’re food, and generally food plants like the water. We couldn’t resist taking a pic of the artichokes and strawberries growing in front of the VW van in front of the compost truck. Nice.

Yeah, there’s a bunch of succulents and perennials packed in all over the place too.

Seriously, you need to check it out. So next time you are waiting for the N-Judah and can’t see a train in sight, take a moment and see what’s growing. Or do what the rest of us do: Grab yourself a coffee and take a stroll through the park, making notes about what grows well out here in our ’hood.

See you in two weeks. Megan and Matti ~ Far Out Flora

We (Matti and Megan) live in San Francisco near Ocean Beach and Golden Gate Park. Plants are awesome. We like to do interesting things with them. Succulents, bromeliads, carnivores and other unusual plants are our favorites. Both of us graduated from UW-Madison with art degrees. Matti works for an art gallery and Megan works for a home staging company. We’re originally from the great state of Wisconsin. Before moving to San Francisco we lived in Madison off of Willy Street Our dog Max is too smart for his own good. He makes us check out beaches all over the coast.

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