This is a blog by Thomas Wang, gardener and professor at City College of San Francisco.  Each post is a nature story with teaching diagrams.   The posts range the gamut of Thomas’ research interests from the qualities of soil and water to food and drug plants; from butterflies around San Francisco to the caterpillar within.

The goal is a stronger bond to the world that surrounds us, and an inner metamorphosis.  Good luck in your journey!

Note regarding City College of San Francisco Horticulture online class curriculum:

In addition to, or sometimes in lieu of, the text book and reader assignments, students are asked to read selected entries here.  There are also a handful of youtube videos. Due dates will be assigned in class.  These entries are grouped according to the classes taught.

Granted, there is some repetition from one class to another, and there is also material which builds upon the foundation of introductory classes.  As students, you are welcome to ‘jump ahead’ or read up on any topic, no matter what classes you are enrolled in.  The following sections are organized by Class, Topic, Numbered blog entry at missionazul.com, and Youtube link.

??? indicates entries on their way…still to be written

OH50 Introduction to Horticulture
This class is the first class any student ought to take in our department. It gives a good overall introduction to the science and art of plant work. The topics are listed in the order we follow based on the contents of the California Master Gardener Handbook.

Introduction:
Work opportunities
https://missionazul.com/2017/03/23/95-gardening-horticulture-opportunities-in-san-francisco/
Fuels
https://missionazul.com/2017/02/14/91-energy-fuels/

Climate and weather https://missionazul.com/2020/01/09/119-gardening-climate-and-weather/
Climate https://missionazul.com/2015/11/16/73-gardening-climate/

Taxonomy and origins:
Centers of diversity https://missionazul.com/2016/08/13/86-plants-centers-of-diversity/

Structure, function, & processes:
CMGH Chapter 2 supplement
https://missionazul.com/2020/08/24/139-gardening-cmgh-chapter-2-supplement/
https://missionazul.com/2020/08/25/140-gardening-cmgh-chapter-2-supplement/
Flower parts: https://missionazul.com/2020/09/09/147-gardening-flower-parts/
Hormones and alkaloids
https://missionazul.com/2016/09/27/89-plant-chemicals-hormones-and-alkaloids/
Roots stem leaves flowers seeds
https://missionazul.com/2016/09/27/88-plant-structures-roots-stems-leaves-flowers-seeds/
Chemicals https://missionazul.com/2015/11/25/74-plants-chemicals/
Abscisic acid, pollination, fertilization
https://missionazul.com/2015/02/20/63-plants-abscisic-acid-pollination-and-fertilization/
Parts https://missionazul.com/2014/06/24/53-plants-parts/
Seeds, stilt roots 10

Soil and compost https://missionazul.com/2020/05/12/126-soil-types-of-soil/
Composition and function
https://missionazul.com/2015/12/04/77-soils-composition-and-function/
Cation exchange capacity & colloids https://missionazul.com/2015/02/20/62-soils-cation-exchange-capacity-and-colloids/
Food webs and organic matter https://missionazul.com/2015/02/17/61-soils-food-webs-and-organic-matter/
Basics and chemistry https://missionazul.com/2015/01/29/60-soil-basics-and-a-little-chemistry/
Profiles etc https://missionazul.com/2014/01/25/41-soils-rainforest/
Serpentine soils etc 8

Fertilizer and amendments:
https://missionazul.com/2017/02/18/93-gardening-nitrogen/

Water & irrigation: https://missionazul.com/2020/10/16/159-gardening-water-soil/
Soil water and tree relations https://missionazul.com/2014/02/02/43-soil-water-trees-relationships/
Irrigation notes https://missionazul.com/2012/09/14/irrigation-notes/

Pathology:
https://missionazul.com/2020/09/19/151-gardening-plant-pathology/
https://missionazul.com/2020/09/26/153-plant-pathology-addendum-quiz/
Vectors viruses & bacteria https://missionazul.com/2016/09/27/87-vectors-viruses-and-bacteria/
Fungus basics https://missionazul.com/2015/03/29/64-fungus-basics/

Propagation:
Cuttings https://missionazul.com/2016/03/04/80-plants-making-cuttings/

Entomology and invertebrates:
https://missionazul.com/2020/10/04/156-gardening-addendum-to-chapter-7-insects-cmgh/
Bee love 32; Larvae 31; Invertebrates rule 29; Insect pests 9

Weeds https://missionazul.com/2018/06/30/105-plants-weeds/
Pesticides: Nerves & acetylcholine, poisons & horticulture
https://missionazul.com/2018/04/14/103-plants-nerves-acetylcholine-poisons-horticulture/

Integrated Pest Management
https://missionazul.com/2018/07/19/106-gardening-integrated-pest-management-ipm/

Indoor plants https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0gkjopIAgs

Lawns and turf https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSx8rc3aYQI

Woody plants https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WEc6QILdco

Vegetables and fruits: Challenges 20; Day length etc 13; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6Ik6m5njvM

Design https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwvYhXLf_-A

Poisons and medicines::

https://missionazul.com/2014/03/29/50-plants-coca-and-cola/

https://missionazul.com/2012/12/28/25-healing-with-plants/

https://missionazul.com/2012/07/02/betel-nuts-and-dosage/

Golden Gate Park field trip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdtnbgfTLUU

OH53 Landscape Horticulture
The notes here are from two classes I have been teaching with Gus Broucaret for the past dozen years +. Landscape horticulture class concerns basic maintenance in the garden. Its focus is primarily hands on and practical – to help and guide gardeners and landscapers in their day to day work. The class is significant in our emphasis on safety and small machines.

Fall semester:

Work opportunities https://missionazul.com/2017/03/23/95-gardening-horticulture-opportunities-in-san-francisco/
Approaches https://missionazul.com/2020/04/16/124-gardening-approaches/

Safety
https://missionazul.com/2020/08/27/142-maintenance-safety-and-pesticides/
Safety, insects & fungi https://missionazul.com/2019/09/09/111-oh53-class-notes-day-2-3/
Miscellaneous https://missionazul.com/2019/02/02/110-gardening-miscellaneous/

Pruning trees and woody plants
https://missionazul.com/2020/09/03/145-maintenance-seeing-the-world-as-a-tree/
https://missionazul.com/2020/08/21/137-gardening-pruning/
Tree pruning and planting 46

Herbaceous perennials
https://missionazul.com/2020/09/15/150-maintenance-herbaceous-perennials/

Drainage, erosion control, and mulches
https://missionazul.com/2020/09/20/152-maintenance-drainage-erosion-control-and-mulches/

Field propagation
https://missionazul.com/2020/09/26/154-maintenance-field-propagation/

Compost and recycling in the garden
https://missionazul.com/2020/08/03/131-maintenance-compost-and-recycling-in-the-garden/

Humans and small engines
https://missionazul.com/2020/08/02/130-maintenance-humans-and-small-engines/
Part I: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7NH4LTuRVE&t=154s
Part II: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39Mt0nj5-70&t=115s

Roses
Part I: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVrcBirJUXc&t=13s
Part II: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fV7Hi4CSSAA&t=31s

Fixing irrigation
Part I: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5R7RFLNoUVw&t=3s
Part II: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_3RjJIjnEM&t=3s

Erosion & drainage https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-oolQJb2jg

Building rock walls https://missionazul.com/2020/07/20/128-gardening-building-rock-walls/

Crew supervision and delegation ???

Spring semester:

Working as a gardener https://missionazul.com/2014/05/07/51-plants-working-as-a-gardener/

Body mechanics and injuries
https://missionazul.com/2015/04/23/66-gardening-body-mechanics-and-injuries/

Gardening approaches https://missionazul.com/2020/04/16/124-gardening-approaches/

Drip irrigation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZVVw_TrA24

Maintenance schedule https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXwugF2M8PQ

Hedges https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qf3yqsZ_WY

Crew discipline ???

OH55 Tree Care:
Tree basic vocabulary https://missionazul.com/2014/01/22/40-tree-biology-some-basic-vocabulary/

Tree selection https://missionazul.com/2014/02/25/45-trees-selection/

People are walking trees https://missionazul.com/2012/08/02/people-are-walking-trees-street-trees-pruning-and-topping/

Tree death and disease https://missionazul.com/2014/03/24/48-trees-death-and-disease/

OH58 Greenhouse production & OH65 Propagation

Greenhouse history https://missionazul.com/2020/08/08/134-greenhouse-production-history/

Location https://missionazul.com/2020/08/27/141-greenhouse-location/

Poinsettia crop https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSpkF4-6qA4
crop update https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfU5woPL5tY
another update https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfU5woPL5tY

Potting soil ingredients
https://missionazul.com/2020/09/14/149-greenhouse-about-potting-soil-ingredients/

Coverings
https://missionazul.com/2020/09/05/146-greenhouse-coverings/

Conservatory of Flowers tour https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMa9ilZciuE

Park Nursery tour https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5m8tMUMF3A&t=513s

Heating and cooling systems https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CbvbRs-eu0

Humidity & poinsettias update https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5BeY-kECqU

EC Meter and the Dosatron https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10r59l-MyP8

Salts https://missionazul.com/2020/10/20/160-greenhouse-salts/

Society and plant use https://missionazul.com/2020/01/16/120-gardening-propagation-1/

Life cycle and genetics https://missionazul.com/2020/01/27/121-gardening-propagation-2/

Growing environment https://missionazul.com/2020/01/27/122-gardening-propagation-3/

Seeds https://missionazul.com/2020/02/05/123-gardening-propagation-4-seeds/

Cannabis https://missionazul.com/2020/01/08/118-plants-cannabis/

Cuttings https://missionazul.com/2016/03/04/80-plants-making-cuttings/

Mimic natural habitats https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R96GmMz8YnE

Magnolias https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=re95IT9Qksk

Geophytes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8OVsQqxOAY

OH70 Landscape design
If you want to design gardens or landscapes, this is a good series (two classes) to take. Some people who have design experience from interior or industrial or art related realms jump right in. Others wait till the end to take the design classes – learning plant Identification, construction, characteristics of soil and water – before committing. Either way, you will learn how to draw a good set of plans. Afterwards, students tackle either residential yards and public spaces, or go on to graduate school if they want to become a landscape architect. We focus on the importance of knowing your plants and their ecology in relation to the overall design. We teach you to see the garden as a dynamic multi dimensional creature that requires care and maintenance over time. Heres the reading list according to our curricula itinerary:

OH 70A Beginning design:

Site inventory and basic drafting
https://missionazul.com/2020/08/31/143-design-site-inventory-and-basic-drafting/
Site survey https://missionazul.com/2020/08/18/136-design-site-survey/
Site survey https://missionazul.com/2014/01/21/39-landscape-design-site-survey/

Garden styles https://missionazul.com/2020/07/28/129-design-styles/
Miscellaneous styles https://missionazul.com/2014/03/08/47-miscellaneous-trees-and-landscape-design-styles/

Hardcape
https://missionazul.com/2020/09/10/148-design-hardscape-over-time/
https://missionazul.com/2020/08/04/132-design-hardscape-design/
https://missionazul.com/2019/09/09/112-gardening-oh-70a-class-notes-day-3-hardscapes/
Hardscape materials
https://missionazul.com/2015/09/30/71-landscape-design-hardscape-materials/

Section elevation https://missionazul.com/2020/08/06/133-design-section-elevation-drawings/

Plant selection and placement
https://missionazul.com/2020/08/21/138-design-what-plant-where/
https://missionazul.com/2020/09/29/155-design-more-what-plant-where/
https://missionazul.com/2016/03/12/81-landscape-design-plant-placement/

San Bruno Mountain field trip
https://missionazul.com/2019/09/28/113-gardening-san-bruno-mountain-field-trip-oh70a/

Drawing plants https://missionazul.com/2017/03/23/94-design-drawing-plants/
Hatching https://missionazul.com/2015/11/25/75-landscape-design-hatching/

Basic principles https://missionazul.com/2020/08/15/135-design-basic-principles/

Gondwanaland designs
https://friendsofstrybingarboretum.wordpress.com/2020/07/23/gondwanaland-designs/

SFBG field trip
https://missionazul.com/2020/10/26/161-design-field-trip-to-san-francisco-botanical-garden/

Isometric drawing
https://missionazul.com/2020/10/10/158-design-isometric-drawing/

One point perspective drawing
https://missionazul.com/2020/10/07/157-design-one-point-perspective-drawing/

Hand drawn plans
https://missionazul.com/2020/09/01/144-design-hand-drawn-plans/

OH70B Advanced design:

Sustainability and green building ???

Irrigation design???

Lighting ???

Water features
https://missionazul.com/2016/03/01/79-landscape-design-water-features/

Chinese gardens https://missionazul.com/2012/10/04/notes-on-chinese-gardens-design-and-construction/

Plant ecology and community

Structures https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwkbaGzSIQY

Maintenance and design
https://missionazul.com/2019/02/02/109-gardening-maintenance-and-design/

OH76 Plant Identification
These notes have little to do with the actual plant identification classes offered at CCSF.   Plant ID (OH 76 & 77) teach another set of about 300 commonly planted ornamental plants around here.  Nevertheless, this seemed like the best heading to place the following entries. Observing plants and learning their names and habits will make the world come alive for you, and sharpen your senses and mind.

Chaparral https://missionazul.com/2020/07/04/127-plants-chaparral/

Bromeliads https://missionazul.com/2017/02/14/92-plants-bromeliads/

Camellias https://missionazul.com/2016/12/01/90-plants-camellias/

Cactus https://missionazul.com/2016/06/27/85-plants-basic-cactus-identification/

Piperaceae https://missionazul.com/2016/05/19/82-piperaceae-kava/

Grasses https://missionazul.com/2014/11/13/59-plants-grasses/

Conifers https://missionazul.com/2014/10/19/58-plants-conifers/

Tree identification and classification https://missionazul.com/2014/01/31/42-trees-identification-and-classification/

Miscellaneous garden posts

School gardens
https://missionazul.com/2018/08/09/107-gardening-school-gardens-and-curriculum/

Story cards
https://missionazul.com/2017/08/01/102-plants-story-cards/

Basic curriculum
https://missionazul.com/2017/06/12/101-plants-basic-curriculum/

Botanical gardens
https://missionazul.com/2017/04/09/98-gardening-botanical-gardens/

Glen Canyon, San Francisco
https://missionazul.com/2015/06/30/70-parks-glen-canyon-san-francisco/