Garden Bloggers Fling 2013; Organic Mechanics Garden


The first garden on Friday was created in the courtyard between two apartment buildings originally gifted to twin sisters by their father in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. The Organic Mechanics, James Pettigrew and Sean Stout, see opportunity where others see only a dead zone of concrete and a few pittosporum. Now it’s a lush urban sanctuary brimming with salvaged and repurposed treasures, a transformed community space enjoyed by all the residents. (Organic Mechanics was also responsible for the gigantic walk-in succulent cube that was the toast of the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show a few years ago.) I’m guessing there’s something in the coastal fog that gets the creative synapses firing among Bay Area designers, just as it sends the mighty redwoods soaring taller than any other trees.

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Under your feet is no ordinary paving

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Marble salvage from a local tombstone sculptor also finds its way here

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The courtyard had a wonderful collection of plants, like this Yucca rostrata

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I’m officially on the hunt now for this gorgeous compact shrub, Leucadendron linifolium

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Agave ovatifolia

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Looks like Leucadendron argenteum to me, but I overheard discussion that this might be a banksia

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photo from SFGate

Not only was this garden a visual feast, but we were also serenaded by the raspy warblings of Simon, the 25-year-old Yellow Nape Amazon Parrot.
A wonderful beginning to the 2013 Garden Bloggers Fling.


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7 Responses to Garden Bloggers Fling 2013; Organic Mechanics Garden

  1. True on the Bay Area fog making things soar…it does seem there’s a unique brand of creativity in their landscapes from other west coast areas’ own brands. Thanks for more backgrounds on them, as well as what I missed – Agave ovatifolia!

  2. So much to love here. The paving materials are incredible. Art to walk on!

    I also think it’s a Leucadendron argenteum–I’m virtually sure of it. It’s definitely not a banksia.

    The variegated Leucadendron ‘Jester’ in the photo below it is lovely as well. I’m glad to see it popping up in more and more gardens.

    I can’t wait to see more posts about the gardens you visited on the 2013 Fling.

  3. Denise says:

    @David, and yet there’s intense pockets of creativity in places like Asheville, Austin, and probably your new home too. At least there will be when you arrive!
    @Gerhard, it was a little jewel of a garden. The leucadendrons get so large in my garden that I’ve removed them, but that compact linifolium is right up my alley.

  4. How wonderful! what a great space. I love to see such creative use of plants and garden ornamentation. Have you OD’d on great gardens after IU10 then the Bloggers Fling?

  5. Hoov says:

    Very good comments & pix. I found it difficult taking pictures there.

    Roger’s has the Leucadendron.

  6. Denise says:

    @Deanne, let’s just say I came home very tired! (Expect an envelope in the mail next week.)
    @Hoov, what a seesaw I ride between these gorgeous shrubs and more ephemeral plantings. And I have questions on the male/female flowering show on Leuc. linifolium I need to ask you about Sunday.
    @Delphine, it reminded me of your Paris garden.

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