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The Yellow Arbor Lupine

Updated: Jan 20, 2021

Now that this coronavirus catastrophe is interrupting my Wednesday routine of volunteering at Sutro Stewards Nursery, I have more time to weed, groom and appreciate my own backyard gardens.  

My past blog posts were all about the bird life that I found on Mount Sutro, from the Black Phoebe showing off in the Rotary Meadow to the Red-shouldered Hawk screaming and displaying in the skies above.  I am taking this opportunity, with the stay at home orders, to write about a topic that has been my pastime for years, backyard gardening.

My neighborhood, the Inner Sunset, is just north of the UCSF Parnassus campus.  During the decades that I have lived here, I have christened the adjoining backyards the “Fourth Avenue Flyway”, as I see birds fly overhead from the vicinity of the UCSF Mount Sutro Open Space to the Golden Gate Park and points north.  Focusing on the fact that birds require shelter (vegetation) food (native plants providing berries and accompanying insects) and water, I have taken steps to accommodate.  

With an eye towards biodiversity, my plant selections took a turn about twenty-five years ago.  To my surprise, at the San Francisco Botanical Garden sales I found California-Native plants. One by one, I purchased California-Native native plants in order to introduce a community of plants, insects and the birds that depend upon them to my garden.  In recent years I have purchased “locally native” plants, a more narrow definition, from the Sutro Stewards Nursery.