A Tropical Valentine: Ficus auriculata
For all our complaints about summer fog and wind, we who garden in San Francisco’s mild-winter climate get the chance to grow delicious things that will tolerate few other locations north of Santa Barbara. One example is Ficus auriculata. In a warm location on the east side of the city — like North Beach, the Mission, or Bernal Heights — this small tree with heart-shaped leaves thrives in a container or even in the ground. Other spots in the Bay Area where this dramatic fig is worth growing include Sausalito, Belvedere, and Tiburon in Marin; Berkeley, Oakland, and Alameda in the East Bay, and a few favored frostless hillside locations along the coast and around the bay. Unfortunately its trunk-borne figs are not tasty.
We love how it looks on the patio at Skool, restaurant in the Design District of San Francisco with an inventive fish-centered menu. Piotr Mazurek, of Garden Fantasia, designed Skool’s patio garden. Once again Piotr blows us away with his bold plant choices and combinations, convincingly expanding the palette for San Francisco gardens and creating a very special secret garden.