Have you seen Last Year at Marienbad, the surrealist black and white film by French director Alain Resnais from 1961? It's the sort of film you see once, usually in college. The film has no real story to speak of, but is full of elegant images and glamorous costumes.
"[T]he grand Pacheco Stairway is by far the most elegant in San Francisco. An urn of flowers 20 feet in diameter introduces this long stairway placed amidst forest and lawns. The stairs themselves--18.5 feet wide, with balustrades, columns, and patterns of stones repeating into the distance--lend a dreamlike, rococo quality to the setting. Think of Alain Resnais's film Last Year at Marienbad; and how easily the Pacheco Stairway could fit the surroundings of Marienbad. This walk of curves and curlicues reiterates the innate elegance of this stairway in its Forest Hill setting."I did not dwell on the Pacheco Stairway for very long...but I did enjoy the urn.
The name of this neighborhood is Forest Hill. This is a foggy part of town that I've driven by many times but never had occasion to visit.
The well-established, low/no maintenance San Francisco garden at Castaneda and Ventura mixes palms, agaves, aloes, and yucca with flax, echium, tibouchina, aeonium, berberis, and a gunnera--all doing well together, under quite a bit of shade.
If that's a hydrangea, it does not go.
Elsewhere, I really liked this Aeonium 'Schwartzkopf' + Coleonema pair.
By then it was time to go.