(photo by Dan Carlson)
Matt Gil Sculpture Garden
Location: San Francisco
Designed by Dan Carlson of Wigglestem Gardens
You can reach Matt Gil at Matt Gil Studio.
Ahh, San Francisco, full of charm and beauty. Its rolling hills, postcard views, and its diverse neighborhoods full of quaint houses and peaceful gardens. Let’s all take a moment and enjoy that image. Okay, now let’s shift our focus to the Matt Gil Sculpture Garden. Set at the base of a huge rock outcropping, below a freeway, and on the edge of a truly industrial part of town; this isn’t your typical “San Francisco backyard.”
Artist Matt Gil and his wife Lesa Porche live in a true “live work” home. The upper level is a beautiful custom living space, while the ground floor is Matt’s indoor-outdoor art studio. Behind all this is the garden.
The garden, designed and still maintained by Dan Carlson of Wigglestem Gardens, was originally started in 1999 with the intent to create a visually beautiful garden, and a space to be used as a showroom for Matt Gil’s many outdoor sculptures. Utilizing the natural Franciscan Chert rock the garden has been planted to look as though it’s meant to be there, with plantings climbing the loose rocky hill, and even stuck right into sheer rock faces. A 15 foot tall Leucodendron ‘Safari Sunset’ was planted at the base of the main rock wall to act as a screen and backdrop for Yuccas, Agaves, grasses, and flowering perennials; all sun loving, Mediterranean climate plants. The space has several different microclimates hosting varied planting: from bamboo in the shade, Astelias in the morning sun, large Salvias reaching for the midday sun, to yes, our main bed of sun and rock lovers. Plantings have been selected for their visual beauty and to host the diverse wildlife of the area. Birds are nesting, bees are buzzing, and in the calm of the night, raccoons are eying the fish in the pond.
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