Gardening where the sidewalk ends

SF’s Mission High Garden December 2, 2008

During our visit to San Francisco, I was keeping my eye out for sidewalk gardens. On a rainy day, walking down to the packed-to-the-gills Bi-Rite Market (independent fancy food store) the day before Thanksgiving, we passed by Mission High School. Located on the beautiful palm-lined boulevard of Dolores Street, Mission High is the oldest high school in SF, dedicated as it was in 1897. In fact, it’s the oldest comprehensive high school west of the Rockies, something I didn’t know until looking at the school’s web site just now.

As we walked along, I noticed that a tiny (maybe 18 inch) width of the sidewalk adjoining the school had been planted with a somewhat sparse but tidy array of perennials, underneath the otherwise prison-esque gray wall and chainlink fence that encloses the school’s parking lot.

Mission High Gardens

Then I saw this sign:

Mission High Gardens sign

Seems like it’s a partnership between the community and the school. Nice!

There was not a single piece of trash or wad of gum to be seen, which is a real marvel outside ANY high school. Maybe signs like this help remind people to be kind to the garden (if not necessarily to the sign):

Litter me not

I’m going to have to take a complete pass on plant ID, these are not familiar to me. Anyone want to take a gander?

Mission High Gardens II

Quite a variety of leaf shapes and sizes, lots of nifty bright colors to jazz up the street.

Mission High Gardens III

All in all, a delightful find and one I hope to return and see again as the plants fill in.

Rainy day at Mission High Gardens


9 Responses to “SF’s Mission High Garden”

  1. Michelle Says:

    Agapanthus (big toothed leaves), Lantana montevidensis (the pink flowers), perhaps gazania (yellow buds) behind the Agapanthus, Calla Lily (arrow shaped leaf), and an orange honeysuckle.

  2. easygardener Says:

    What a lovely little border and so well looked after. It certainly improves the appearance of that wall!
    Is the purple plant a Verbena?
    I’m sure the orange climber is Tecoma capensis (Cape honeysuckle)

  3. Michelle Says:

    Oh, I forgot to add that my mother graduated from that high school. Way back when….

  4. Dang, Michelle, that’s pretty good. I don’t think I recognized any of them, even though we can grow lantana, calla lily, and honeysuckle here.

    Very nice garden-spotting on your trip, Karen!

  5. Cynthia Says:

    What a neat little garden strip! I love to see schools doing just this.

    Is that your daughter in the last picture with the umbrella? If so I love her leggings! 🙂

  6. Racquel Says:

    What a lovely little garden strip! I agree with Michelle on the ids, all great plants!

  7. Megan Says:

    Hmm. The big glossy toothed leaves look like Acanthus Mollis to me. I love those. I can’t help but think I walked right by that place when I was down there, I was in the neighborhood but kind of lost and my feet were hurting at that point, so I missed all the good stuff.

  8. What a wonder for a highschool. It is nice to see something planted besides grass and blacktop!

  9. Kristi Says:

    I love how such a busy city manages to squeeze in some greenery.

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