Main menu

  • Portola Garden Tour

PRESS RELEASE: Portola Garden Tour Celebrates 10th Year 9/22/16

For immediate release:  Sept. 22, 2016
Contact: Mindy Linetzky, 415-218-6383 or Ruth Wallace 415-420-6185


Portola Garden Tour Celebrates 10th Year
View the hidden gardens of San Francisco’s Garden District


SAN FRANCISCO, CA – More than 20 public and private gardens will be on view in the Portola neighborhood this weekend for the 10th-Annual Portola Garden Tour. It’s an opportunity to learn what plants thrive in San Francisco, explore outstanding creative spaces and gain fun landscaping tips.

In past years, visitors left inspired to start working on their own backyards. It’s also a wonderful community-building experience, as neighbors open their yards to scores of people.

Public Works is sponsoring the event, which serves as a fundraiser for the Portola Garden District Scholarship at City College of San Francisco for students in the Environmental Horticulture & Floristry Department. The Portola Garden Tour has awarded 16 student scholarships and five work projects in the Portola since its inception.

Venue:  The private and public gardens of San Francisco’s Garden District

Date: Saturday, September 24, 2016

Time: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Cost:  Tickets are $25 each or $40 for two and are available here.

Photo opportunities at Saturday’s event include:

  • Amazing gardens behind ordinary looking 1950s homes         
  • The Bee Farm, an urban farm project on land adjacent to the freeway
  • Succulent beds and pathways at Burrows Pocket Park - San Bruno Ave.
  • Ruins of San Francisco’s last flower nursery greenhouse

The neighborhood, recently officially recognized as the Garden District by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and the Commission on the Environment, enjoys uncharacteristically sunny weather for San Francisco and is home to avid amateur and award-winning gardens. The Portola is located in the southeast sector of the City and is roughly bordered by Silver Avenue to the north, Mansell Street to the south, San Bruno Avenue to the east and McLaren Park to the west.

The Portola is believed to have been named for Gaspar de Portola, a Spanish soldier and explorer. The area has always been a good site for growing most anything. According to the book, San Francisco’s Portola by Reyna Garibaldi, the Portola was once the home to 19 flower nurseries. The nurseries were family-owned (one by the Garibaldis) and grew the majority of the flowers sold in San Francisco for many years. They flourished for decades, though many were converted to growing vegetable or raising chickens during World War II. Some were shuttered or relocated for the creation of McLaren Park. The once Jewish-, then Maltese- and Italian-dominated neighborhood has morphed in recent years into an ethnically diverse area where all are welcome.

For more information, see or

About San Francisco Public Works: The 24/7 City agency cleans and resurfaces streets; plants and nurtures City-maintained street trees; designs, constructs and maintains City-owned facilities; inspects streets and sidewalks; builds curb ramps; eradicates graffiti; partners with neighborhoods; trains people for jobs; maintains the right of way; and educates our communities.  


# # #

Press Releases
Release Date
Thursday, September 22, 2016