A Day on Alcatraz in Panorama

This is really sad. I am so sore after only one morning of gardening on Alcatraz. Feels like I ran a marathon or something! Just tells me I need to put more effort into getting out there more often. 🙂

The Gardens of Alcatraz have been a favorite side project of mine over the past four years now, though I get out there deplorably infrequently. Originally I was getting out there at least once a week on one of the two volunteering days, and later joined the group of Garden Docents, leading groups of tourists through the Alcatraz Gardens. Check out the link above if you’re interested in volunteering or visiting out there, seriously. So much fun. Being a docent there is really my favorite thing I’ve ever done, I think.

Alcatraz serves well to provide an Urban Hike experience in SF, and is also one of our National Parks, right here in the City. For this excursion, I came up with a blog theme of simply having a long series of pix, and wanted them to be in a slightly color-saturated panoramic format for the fun of it. Some are shot from “behind the scenes” where tourists can’t go without a guide. Ooooooooohhhhhh. 🙂 Enjoy!

I can’t believe how stunning the West Side gardens’ succulents are!

Stone wall of ferns and succulents, along the Main Road on Alcatraz

Ferns and Jupiter’s Beard among granite blocks, east side of Alcatraz

Looking east from the Rose Garden on Alcatraz

Longtime garden volunteer Dick Miner, “The Worm Man of Alcatraz”, tending his blue ribbon composting operations

Ferns, moss, granite…

The Holey Wall, presumably carved for plants to grow inside

The old Army schoolhouse, from Officers’ Row gardens

Garden volunteers tending the Officers’ Row beds below

Glorious yellow in Officers’ Row

Officers’ Row Periwinkles

Agave flower stalks breaking the SF skyline from the top of Alcatraz

Detail of foundation of old lighthouse with porta-potty through window

Doorway detail on foundation of old lighthouse

Inaccessible terrace with ruins, on the West Side

West Side succulents include Aeonium, Cotyledon in bloom, Crassula…

Steps up to the West Side lawn and water storage tanks

West Side succulents under the Recreaction Yard wall, with Agave, Aeonium, Crassula, Aloes, Cotyledon…

West Side Toolshed Terraces

Nice color spot with the old fireplug and the Pride of Madeira

Closeup of Pride of Madeira, Echium fastuosum, on the West Side

Tribbles of Echeveria imbricata in the Prisoners’ Garden

Elliot’s fig tree in the Prisoners’ Garden

Vivid shot of purple and white around the sunny birdbath in the Prisoners’ Garden

Patch of Persian Carpet, Drosanthemum floribundum, with a straggler from a neighboring Aloe colony

Looking north to Marin in the mist, across the water-laden roof of the defunct laundry building

Tortuous glimpse of freedom through the gate of the Rec Yard

Atop the Rec Yard wall

Brick ‘n lichen

One of those fun spots for a volunteer to do some pruning

Decay detail of the fence along the Hospital Road to the Rose Garden

I want to sit on a street corner with this sign

West Side lawn

Agave flower stalks against the Cell House

Beautiful irises along the road on the West Side

Pretty sure this is Echeveria setacea, blooming

So obsessed with the colors in this section of succulents on the West Side!

Gorgeous Agave detail among the Aeonium

And finally, Solanum marginatum, with its gorgeous fuzzy and spikey stems and leaves, against a rusty roof on the East Side road as you head back to the ferry

5 responses to “A Day on Alcatraz in Panorama

  1. So lovely, Zann…thanks for sharing these!

  2. Beautiful pictures! So lush. I love all the succulents. Lucky you to be able to volunteer some time tending the plants there!

    I was in San Fransisco for the first time in October and spent a morning at Alcatraz. I unfortunately didn’t have time to walk around the grounds very much to look at all the plants, but will definitely do so next time I’m there.

    • Thanks so much! The succulents have gotten to be AMAZING out there, right? I hadn’t been out in a few months, and it was a great time to catch them. Planning to go back again this week. I feel lucky myself! Hope you get a chance to see the gardens in person next time you’re here.

  3. Pingback: Fun(?) with Weeding on Alcatraz | boZannical Gardens

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