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November 27, 2023
"Mes de los Muertos"

Spring Plantings on the Wharf

By Sand Pilarski


With every change of seasons, the planters and plantings of San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf are worth a trip to see the phenomenal combinations of color and texture on display. Due to the blissful temperate climate, spring arrives in San Francisco early and lingers late. This April, I was delighted to find spring bulbs and late spring color cascading everywhere.


Tulips and calendula, pansies and narcissus were burgeoning from the planters on the upper level of Pier 39.

Downstairs, the red tulips were inundated by the pansies and nemesia. Nemesia is a delicate flower that only really looks good in San Francisco -- too delicate for our Valley heat, too coy for climates that actually have freezes. In factPansies, nemesia, narcissus, mustard these frothy blossoms are quite demure; the ones at the Arboretum in Golden Gate Park are much more forward in color and habit and are likely to grab one by the lapels and say, "Hey, look at this, baby!"

More pansies, this time in orange and orange-and-blue patterns, (mmm, and some white ones, too) combine with tropical colors of more Coit Towernemesia and daffodil-impostoring narcissus, and a leafy purply-green creature called ornamental mustard. These planters are always coming up with combinations of flower and edible greens that would make a most incredible salad.

And then, of course, one raises ones eyes just a bit and there is Coit Tower, and the strangly pyramidal Transamerica Building, icons of the skyline of San Francisco, and I could walk there, if only I could tear myself away from this wealth of flowers.

Article © Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
Published on 2002-04-22
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