23 April 2010

romper stomper bomper boo!

remember the end of 'romper room' - when we'd all (take hits from our respective bongs and) visit the magic mirror? that b*tch NEVER called my name and said i was "having a super day" - but i watched EVERY SINGLE DAY in the hopes that one day she would.

last night, after a lovely evening of whiskey tasting and new music with two of my favorite boys (hi eric! hi luke!) and miss gina, i looked over at my chalkboard door and noticed that they'd made some new additions. (and i didn't say "cool it now" - ha ha - get it? get it?)

i stood and stared at it for a while, noting all of the good friends who'd added something fun and i started to feel all warm and fuzzy inside (admittedly, the whiskey could have had a wee bit to do with that as well...).

i see heba. i see mike. i see eric. i see luke. i see riin. i see sarah. and the other sarah. i see karen. i see sian. i see nicole. i see larisa. i see chris. i see johannes. i see jess. i see amanda. i see molly. i see valerie. i see debbie. i see gina. i even see charlotte and emily.

i love you all. you make these sunny days even brighter.

jen x

15 April 2010

rain, rain, go away! come again another day!

new mat for the back door. "is it ME you're looking for.......?"

you know, i'm usually a great lover of fog and rain - but EVEN I am growing tired of it this year. it's felt like monsoon season around here lately (only without all of the lovely tropical temperatures and foods) and, frankly, i'm sick of it. sick, i tell you!

the one benefit, i hope, is that "Sweet April showers - Do spring May flowers." (courtesy Thomas Tusser, "A Hundred Good Points of Husbandry", circa 1557).

to that end, light gardening continues in the yard. i thought some of you would enjoy a few updated photos of the progress.

this is a view from the second floor office. as you can see, the yard is quite small. even so, i am trying to create a few spaces for seating guests.

the first is obvious, but i have added a small outdoor area rug under the table for extra color and definition. i'd also like to run tall flowers along the right side fence for extra color near the table.

the second will go where the "yet to be potted" plants currently sit - in the back left corner. i plan to pick up some antique park bench ends and build one to put at an angle there. a nice, cozy spot for romance.

the third will be on the landing, just outside of the kitchen, at the top of these stairs. i'm thinking another antique park bench - but this one scaled down to seat just two.

my new sago palm, potted with violas and alyssium

and i'm on the lookout for tomatoes that do well during our famously gray summer months. i just hate the ones that are available at the store - no taste! didn't they used to taste like something when we were kids? not just some amorphous, reddish, mealy blob that we somehow feel OBLIGATED to put on salads and summer burgers? *sigh* (i think it's time for my afternoon cocktail.)

what else do you think would suit my little urban garden?

05 April 2010

i want to go to there.

"it's spring fever. that is what the name of it is. and when you've got it, you want... oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!" ~mark twain

well, it seems spring has sprung (although it's been in fits and starts - as is usually the case here in san francisco). it's hard not to be excited - the skies are clear, the air is fresh and everything is starting to bloom.

when we bought this house, the backyard trumpet vine was in bloom (you can see some of the original photos here). i can't wait for them to come back and to enjoy a summer in our new home!

as you well know, we have been spending A LOT of time working on the interior of the house, but this weather has rgot me thinking about how to make the most of my backyard (which is really just a small patio - but it's BIG deal to have private outdoor space in this town!).

here are some small outdoor spaces that inspire me. i want to go to there!

i LOVE the color in this one - and how lush it is! don't you just want to grab a bag of marshmallows and stick and cozy up to that fire?!

more fantastic landscaping in a small space - i think it gives the illusion that the yard is much bigger than it actually is!

more fab colors - and shine!

so, this weekend, my friend nicole and i hit home depot for a few starters for my "garden" - which will consist of lots of colorful pots and plants.

i fell in love with these pansies - their little "faces" are so cheerful. and of course i need some lavender for my drawers (yes, that kind!).

and some neon orange geraniums and pink jasmine waiting to be potted. (please ignore the mess - i had just potted the pansies.)

need to grab some more pots to add to this wall! and maybe a fun vintage plant stand?

the vines are just about ready to bloom!

have any small garden ideas or tips to share? i'd love to hear 'em!

02 April 2010

CITY boys and girls gettin' down on the farm!

wheeeeeeeeeeeee! now HERE is something to be excited about: welcome to the neighborhood, hayes valley farm!

as you may recall from earlier posts (like this one), my current neighborhood was once home to the central freeway, built in the 1950s, which many say destroyed the fabric of this diverse place. in 1989, the loma prieta earthquake took down a sizable chuck of the thing and it was eventually demolished in favor of street-level on ramps. and so began a renewal of the area. (or, some would say, an unwanted gentrification by folks like me. we're right on the border of that most famous of neighborhoods which, too, is having an identity crisis.)

the city has moved excruciatingly slowly in development of the MANY lots that now stand empty as a result of the demolition (see left).

but, the upside is that the community is getting creative with proposed uses for these lots. (this looks pretty amazing, in fact!)

hayes valley farm is probably the best i have seen. situated on parcel p, the largest of them all, this farm will take over a sorely neglected - but uniquely situated - plot right in the middle of our neighborhood.

in their own words, hayes valley farm is "an education and research project with a focus on urban agriculture. Situated on city-owned lots bordered by Oak, Fell, Laguna, and Octavia streets, the project is organized by an alliance of urban farmers, educators, and designers that comprise the Hayes Valley Farm Project Team. Hayes Valley Farm is a Parks Partner, a fiscally sponsored project of the San Francisco Parks Trust.

The project is founded on an interim use agreement between Hayes Valley Farm and the City's Office of Economic and Workforce Development- a two to five year time frame - until which time the City moves forward with other development plans for the site.

  1. to create a successful, sustainable urban farm where community members can access healthy local food
  2. to serve as a model and a resource center for urban agriculture education and green job training
  3. to build community resiliency around local food production"
i have been so busy with the house that i haven't yet had a chance to get dirty with my neighbors, but i plan to very soon. it looks like they are having alot of fun over there!

if you live in the neighborhood, get yourself to a work party soon. if not, maybe you can spearhead a similar project where you live -- this stuff ain't just for san francisco hippies!

and, here's hoping that it will stay long past its planned 2-5 years...

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