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The Gardens of Alcatraz

Cold, grey, foggy, grim, yes, but thanks to volunteer gardeners, Alcatraz Island is awash in color. Pat and I braved the Highway 101 traffic and toured the island. If you like flowers, this is the time to go. On Wednesday afternoons there are docents in the Officers’ Row gardens who are happy to talk to you.

Officers’ Row is where there used to be three large homes. When the homes were destroyed 1941 their foundations were converted into gardens tended by fan ivies and inmates. After the prison was disbanded the gardens went to ruin. In 2006 staff and volunteers began replanting the flowers.

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There was no soil on the island, so it had to be shipped over from the mainland

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A visitor in 1895 wrote that the gardens were blooming with gladiolas, heliotropes (shown here), poppies, geraniums, fuchsias and calla lilies.

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Geraniums, or maybe pelargonium?

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Fuchsias abound:

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Dahlia?

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Color coordinated

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Pelargonium?

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The rock

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A reconstructed cell, only 5 feet wide

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Lots of snowy egrets nesting, and night crowned herons (no photo though)

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and Brandt’s cormorants

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And the strangest birds of all, the narcissistic SELFIE BIRDS, all over the island

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