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Spring Nursuries

Bringing The Greenery Home

Ah, springtime… It's a season for cleaning out dusty closets and replacing your drab winter garb with vibrant colors and softer fabrics. It's also a season for strolling through the city with your sweetheart and admiring the fragrance-inducing ambiance of a world in new bloom. If you've found that your Saturday afternoons are suddenly becoming more amenable to walks through the park or other outdoor excursions, you may want to consider bringing a piece of the greenery home.

The San Francisco Parks Trust has long been serving people with green thumbs for the last several decades. They specialize in creating community events that promote city beautification and educate residents on the area's native plant life. For those looking to take some plant life home, the Parks Trust also sponsors monthly plant sales. The plant sales include rare annuals and perennials, from chrysanthemum to begonia to lavendular. You can usually get a good deal on plants as well, which are heavily discounted and usually no more than $10. All proceeds benefit the nursery in which all of Golden Gate Park's foliage is planted and grown. Sales happen from 10 am to 1 pm every Saturday of the month, usually beginning in April.

Sloat Garden Center is another organization that works to beautify both natural landscapes and your home. While the San Francisco Parks Trust offers plant sales, Sloat Garden offers a plethora of informative and innovative classes for the gardening novice and buff, or simply for people interested in the city's native vegetation. Past seminars and events have included slide shows of the native plants in the Twin Peaks neighborhood; the minutiae around pruning Japanese maples (which are a Northern California landscape staple) and the ins-and-outs of growing an organic garden.

Upcoming seminars include cultivating healthy gardening practices (sans the toxic products one can usually find in most gardening shops) and cooking with herbs that can be found in your very backyard. Sloat Garden's seminars are particularly commendable because the organization frequently partners with environmental agencies and other entities that can offer solid advice on green-friendly gardening practices. For people who are specifically interested in creating the garden of their dreams, Sloat Garden also offers personalized garden consulting from the ground up, beginning with a customized design plan that takes into account native foliage, deer-resistant material, and other requirements clients may have. In addition, due to the temperate California climate, Sloat Garden's friendly consultants are available every day of the year rather than just spring and summer.

Nurseries that include plant sales, educational seminars, and customized gardening services are just what one needs to get the constant buzz of springtime year-round. And given the unpredictability of San Francisco weather, it seems prudent to start with your own home before relying on the great outdoors to slake spring fever.