In S.F.'s Filbert Steps Gardens, Stories Bloom

Virginia and Elios "Andy" Anderlini

hide captionVirginia and Elios "Andy" Anderlini, in one of the most recognizable gardens on Telegraph Hill. Elios Anderlini died last week. He tended his roses until the end.

Ketzel Levine, NPR
The gardens along the Filbert Steps

hide captionThe gardens along the Filbert Steps, which lead to a famous city landmark: Coit Tower.

Ketzel Levine, NPR

One of the most beloved streets in San Francisco has no sidewalk, no curb and is inaccessible by car. Instead, it's all steps.

The Filbert Steps create a steep spine that runs up and down historic Telegraph Hill, leading visitors past some of the city's oldest houses and most sublime, secret gardens. The gardens are heavy with lovely blossoms — and local history.

As NPR's Ketzel Levine reports, many of these gardens were once discarded lots, still owned by the city. Their colorful, stunning blooms — some of which have become havens for hummingbirds, mockingbirds and wild parrots — are the result of the efforts of individual gardeners who, over the years, took it upon themselves to beautify their little corner of the city.

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