Have you ever seen such a kale? It’s a kale/collard cross that has been grown in San Francisco for several generations (of kale, not humans.) The seeds for this tree were originally given to me by one Kevin Bayuk, currently of LIFT Economy (https://www.lifteconomy.com/) who called them “perennial brassica crosses” and they live up to the name. This tree was planted about two-and-a-half years ago. There are some others around the corner but they have a bushy habit. This one is clearly expressing some Walking Stick kale genes or something, eh?
I’m pretty sure Park Merced will come in and remove all of this once we leave. The landscapers themselves are cool, but mgmt wants the place to look like LEGO land. It’s a race against time for those seed pods to ripen before they tree gets the ax.
Anyway, life goes on. I’ve given away seeds from previous generations and there are lots of little plants here and there. If you look closely at the lower left corner you can just see the edges of the leaves of another one, it has purple stems! Same seeds.
A lot of other stuff going on in this photo. From left to right on the ground there is a bunch of safflower that are just there from bird seed I tossed out. Ground cover and mulch, yeah? They are doing really well.
(The little bush with the red leaves is Park Merced’s, I don’t know what it is but it’s tough.)
Then there are a few Sweet Lorane fava beans, fourth generation here. They have adapted well. Bugs eat the leaves but they don’t care, they just outgrow all damage.
Then there’s that tree (the tree-tree not the kale-tree), you can see it has been maintained with great expertise, by a doctor. Dr. Seuss.
At the base of the tree we have a wild pile of all kinds of things, a few I planted but mostly wild stuff I collected from nearby.
You can see the fuzzy tufted heads of the bunny tail grass (Lagurus ovatus), that’s the second year it’s grown from that spot. Perennial, eh? The little purple flowers are (I’m pretty sure) Little-Robin (Geranium purpureum). You can see another brassica cross in there, as well as some random wild plants with oval leaves. There’s a carrot in there bolting, I think it’s Pusa Asita (“Tropical Black”) but we’ll see. Same thing as the kale: race against time to ripen the seeds before the landscapers make it “nice” again.
Last but not least, there’s a nice big dandelion, because I like dandelions.
On the right there’s a Monkey Grass (Liriope) I found in the dumpster. It would be happier if I buried it deeper but at least it’s not in the dumpster.
The strawberries on the ground are beach strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis) from around Lake Merced. They send runners out aggressively and make a thick ground cover. They flower but rarely make berries. If the landscapers don’t remove it completely it will eventually cover the whole area.
Whew! So that’s what’s happening in that picture. This is about half of all the space I have (had) at our old place, and technically I wasn’t supposed to use it at all. I’ve been pent up people, is what I’m saying.
That bit of grass in the back against the wall: panic veldtgrass (Ehrharta erecta). “Native to Southern Africa and Yemen” it’s a beast here. It continuously goes to seed, the seeds are tiny and numerous, it spreads also by runners, etc. I thought it was indestructible until I saw what chickens do to it. I’ll post a picture later of a plant that grew on our concrete stair case! It started with a bit of schmutz and just didn’t die and now it’s the size of a basketball. It’s literally growing on concrete.