It’s our last stop at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. Dudleyas – Check. Spiky succulents – Check. Onward to that lush trail we see ahead. The rooftop garden was beckoning us with its breathtaking views of the Santa Ynez … Continue reading →
Yesterday we took advantage of the sunny, sixty something degree day by going nuts in the garden. I brought home twelve new plants from work, we also had quite a few homeless guys on the table. They all made it in to the ground! I started out the morning hacking down, and ripping out the gnarly looking Crassula falcata. Don’t worry, I saved and replanted a few chunks in a different spot. The Senecio vitalis got a massive hair cut too (I think it’s finally dodder free).
The pot with Correa pulchella got spun around, so it starts growing the other direction. I also planted a new Digitalis obscura in there. We really like to cram stuff in.
Coreopsis gigantea love
Hooray for Coreopsis gigantea! It’s not only weird, it’s a California native. According to the description, large 4″ wide sunflower like flowers will start to pop out in February. If we’re lucky, it will grow four feet tall on its freaky trunk.
Before Matti's Makeover
I saved the best for last. Matti’s been itching to rehaul the overgrown corner next to the Agave americana for quite some time. Here’s a shot of the corner from last year (it was even overgrown and crappy looking back then).
He cleared out a big mess of Aeonium, Senecio mandraliscae, and a bunch of other stuff for a massive rearrange. I made him rip out an Opuntia from a different part of the garden (it was blocking the view of the Aloe plicatilis) and shove it in the new space (or chuck it).
The Dramatic After
Matti went crazy with the revamped corner! He jammed all kinds of good stuff in there, including brand new Aeonium rubrolineatum.
Unobstructed Aloe plicatilis
No more big honking, pokey, Opuntia to block the view or attack us when weeding! We blogged about the planting of this cool dude back July.
Matti's first Primula
I was a little surprised when I saw Primula auricula ‘Angelo Hayes’ on Matti’s wish list. It’s cool! These are just a few of the new plants that went in yesterday. I’m sure the rest of the new plant babies will turn up in blogs down the road. I have big plans to turn the middle of the yard space in to a California native wonderland, instead of the plant dumping ground it is right now.
It’s January 14th almost 15th, which means it’s May Dreams Gardens, Garden Bloggers Bloom Day time. We’ve got some blooms going on. This cute little Tillandsia crocata was a souvenir from our trip down south. It’s eeny weeny little … Continue reading →
It was as gorgeous morning when we cruised through the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. As you know we popped over to the Dudleya section first, but check out the color on this Shaw’s Agave (Agave shawii). BTW, Rancho Reubidoux has some excellent pics on the A. shawii flower spike.
Santa Barbara Botanical Garden (overview)
The garden is divided up in many regions and here’s an overview of their spiky succulent Desert Section. Lots of old growth plants live amongst these sandstone boulders.
Coastal Prickly-pear - Opuntia littoralis
Native to Southern California, this Coastal Prickly-pear (Opuntia littoralis) grows to about 3 feet tall, but can keep expanding far wider in dense clumps.
Agave parryi ?
No ID tag found on this guy, but think it may be the Mescal Agave aka Parry’s Agave (Agave parryi).
Giant Coreopsis - Coreopsis gigantea
This succulent has made our short list of our must have plants. Another native to CA, Giant Coreopsis (Coreopsis gigantea) gets yellow daisy-like flowers and a thick fleshy trunk.
Here’s something we haven’t thought of before. This Agave was planted on its side. Sorta like you just took the plant and chucked it in the garden. Well, it seems to be thriving. I wonder how it would look when it gets super big.
Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens
As we kept exploring the 5 miles of paths, we left the succulents and now headed over to check out some of those sweet perennials.
Near the Amtrak station in Santa Barbara, there’s one of the biggest Moreton Bay Fig trees in the country. This monstrous fig spans just under 200 feet wide. Wow, that like 4 Greyhound buses parked end to end. Look above. You see that little black thing on the far right?
Southern Pacific Train by Amtrak
It’s the old SP 142, a retired Southern Pacific train car. Looks like the tree was last measured in 2010. Not a record breaker, but still an awesome sight.
We accidentally stumbled upon this Moreton Bay Fig (Ficus macrophylla) while looking for place to rest our bones after looking at plants all day. It’s located on the corner of Chapala St and West Montecito St… a block down from a great brew pub coincidental called the Brewhouse.
Detail of the foliage.
Ahh, great foliage on this tree. Green on top, and a bronze pubescence on the underside of these stiff leathery leaves.
Buttress roots at the trunk.
I learned an odd tidbit about Ficus macrophylla. It’s considered a banyan fig, that is, their seeds can lodge themselves into the canopy of a host tree. It germinates high above the ground and can live as an epiphyte. During this stage, the fig sends down roots to the ground often wrapping these feelers around its host. Eventually the fig takes root becoming freestanding, and I guess at this point…technically becomes a tree.
Megan with the Fig
Those buttress roots above dwarf Megan. So, what’s the story behind this gem? The worn plaque next to the tree states it best:
This Moreton Bay Fig Tree (Ficus macrophylla) was planted in 1877 on land then owned by the Southern Pacific Transportation Company. The tree was officially designated as a historic landmark in 1970 and the property was deeded to the City of Santa Barbara in 1976. The tree is believed to be the largest of its kind in the United States. Measured in November 1991, the branch spread was 167 feet with a total height of 76 feet. The trunk diameter above the buttress roots is 12.5 feet.
For your own safety and for the health and preservation of the tree, please enjoy the tree from the area beyond the surface roots and do not climb on or carve into the roots or branches.
Located just off State Street on the corner of Chapala and West Montecito.
Cool little find. Don’t you love when you’re on a road trip and come across something completely unexpected?