Far Out Flora

Ogling over Gualala Nursery

August 30, 2011 by Matti | 12 Comments

Rusty chicken with plants.

Rusty chicken with plants.

We couldn’t resist pulling over to see what’s up with these rusty sculptures. Turns out it’s the Gualala Nursery found on Hwy 1 right about where Sonoma County ends and Mendocino County begins heading north.

Gualala Nursery & Trading Co.

Gualala Nursery & Trading Co.

Leucospermum?

Leucospermum?

Definitely seem like the go to place nursery for this area of 1900 people. Great ornamental plants inside, lots of eye turning rusty sculptures, and a long garden strip in the front. That’s where this gem of a flower was found. Leucospermum? Or is it a Leucadendron…hum? I get them a little mixed up. Anybody have. Better ID?

Clematis tangutica (Old man's beard clematis)

Clematis tangutica (Old man's beard clematis)

This planting was gorgeous, Clematis tangutica. The common name is even better, Old Man’s Beard Clematis. It blooms mid summer though Autumn, part to full sun, and average water needs. Cute yellow bell shaped flowers with little scent to speak of.

Gualala Nursery

Gualala Nursery

I was impressed how well they used their limited space. Lots of varieties, all well kept, not a dud in sight.

Hipsta Gualala Nursery.

Hipsta Gualala Nursery.

We had a little fun with the hipstamatic and tried to capture their 50 foot long hedge pruned into the words Gualala Nursery. Ok, it’s not really that smiley face shape…sometimes auto stitching does some weird things to the pics.

Rusty triceratops.

Rusty triceratops.

Besides the plants, it was the dozen larger than life rusty dinosaurs that grabbed our attention. I’m a sucker for anything with a great patina. This triceratops was no exception.

Rusty Tyrannosaurus rex.

Rusty Tyrannosaurus rex.

Never figured out who the artist was behind these guys. None the less, adorable aren’t they?

– Far Out Flora

Far Out Flora Shin-Ding

August 20, 2011 by Megan Speckmann | 19 Comments

Mystery Dudleya (we're thinking it's D. 'Frank Reinelt')

Are you plant nerdy? Do you live in the Bay Area? Want to come drink a beer or two and look at our garden? Saturday, August 27th from 2-6PM we’ll be opening up our garden in Outer Sunset for fellow plant dorks to come hang out. If you want to come, post a comment such as “heck yeah, I’m in” and use your email address when posting, so we can send you an invite. Our Bay Area blogger friends Dirty Girl Gardening, Plantgasm, Phyteclub & The Pitcher Plant Project started the brilliant idea of hanging out about two months ago, and this month we’re hosting the Bay Area Plant Peeps (BAPP) fest. All the bloggers will be here with the exception (maybe) of Katie from Phyteclub (hope you can make it). Make sure you check out their most recent hilarious sexy plant posts.

There’s a block party going on the same day to celebrate Java Beach’s new restaurant/cafe Beachside  (looks pretty cute), so you may not be able to park on our street. No worries, there’s plenty of spots on the Great Highway frontage road. We’re out in the boonies, and  conveniently located a half block from the N-Judah turnaround for those who utilize public transportation.

The Brugmansia sanguinea is starting to bloom!

We’ll have some snacks and beers, but feel free to bring stuff to consume. WARNING: The garden may look more attractive on your computer screen than in real life. You may see ignored pest issues gone bad, bizarro hack jobs on fuchsias, plant abuse and other horticultural ideas gone wrong. We’ll try to hide most of this before you get here, but it’s impossible to make it all go away.

Gardeny Stuff To Check Out Nearby Our Place:

Amazing Succulent Garden at Rivera & the Great Highway frontage road.

La Playa Community Garden on both sides of Judah are kind of fun. There’s a bocce court, lots of natives and succulents if you head to the south part of the garden.

Urban Bazaar in Inner Sunset will be opening up their Succulent Bar on Saturday

The SF Botanical Garden & The Conservatory of Flowers are just a couple miles up the road, too.

Whale of a Story

August 18, 2011 by Matti | 6 Comments

Grass is Greener.

Grass is Greener.

There’s a guy up in Westport, CA who’s on a mission to build a giant whale in his front yard. While up in Mendocino last month, we journeyed 25 miles further north on Hwy 1 to see how his progress is coming along.

Westport Whale.

Westport Whale.

Local artist, Carlos Amigos (aka Kyle Siler), is the man behind this cool project. This roadside attraction measures somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 feet long, 10 feet high. Seems to be more of a rebar and mesh sculpture at the moment, but believe he’s gonna be coated with fiberglass in the end. Check out his blog on more of the story.

Echeveria imbricata

Echeveria imbricata

While there, it wouldn’t be right if we didn’t stroll around to check out some of the gardens in the hood. Love these Echeveria imbricara. They grow into there tight concentric patches that are mesmerizing to the eye.

Neighbor's place.

Neighbor's place.

This garden is chock full of color and texture. If you take a closer look, just up to the right, you can see the afternoon fog rolling in. Even though summers are dry here, that fog drip helps keep our coastal plants hydrated.

Westort Whale.

Westort Whale.

So I was convinced that a lot of progress has been made on this whale project. Looking back to last Thanksgiving when we originally saw this beast…it looks about the same as before, lol. Still an impressive sight nonetheless and worth checking out if you’re anywhere near this small town of 200.

We can’t wait for out next trek north. Any suggestions for other offbeat objects or gardens we need to go see?

– Far Out Flora

Happy August Bloom Day!

August 15, 2011 by Megan Speckmann | 17 Comments

Echeveria shaviana hybrid

Happy August Bloom Day from the  Outer Sunset! A big shout out to May Dreams Gardens for hosting the worldwide bloom-a-thon blog fest! We’ve got some cool stuff happening in the flower department right now, including this Echeveria that Matti and I spent twenty minutes trying to identify online with no definitive answers. It’s ridiculously bloomy right now.

Madia elegans

About a month or two ago I thought the gophers had gotten to this California native, but a chunk of it had just broken off. We haven’t seen any gophers for a couple months!

Pretty Pelargonium

Aristolochia californica surprise

What’s up with the late summer pipe vine pipe? One section of the now massive vine is sprouting out flowers. I feel like it’s trying to take over the world right now. So far no Pipevine Swallowtail action. I heard they’re not typically found in these parts, which means if you grow it, they may not come.

Container of stuff

Hurray for surprise Lobelia seedlings from last year in places I don’t mind. My hack job on the Fuchsia ‘Fanfare’ is getting less awkward every week. I love my pot o’ violas. I would always plant them in Wisconsin forgetting every spring, that as soon as it started to get hot they’d shrivel up die in full sun. There’s some Satureja douglasii, “Yerba Buena” spilling out and spreading doing its groundcovery thing. I’m going to shut up and post some bloomy pics now:

Eccremocarpus scaber 'Cherry Red'

Fuchsia denticulata

Fuchsia 'Venezuela'

Echeveria nodulosa

Sempervivum

Athanasia pinnata

Eriogonum 'The Hub'

Viola 'Etain'

Dahlia ‘Dark Side of the Sun’

Happy Bloom Day!

 

 

 

Movin’ On Up (Really 20 Feet East)

August 11, 2011 by Megan Speckmann | 16 Comments

The view from above (click for a bigger view)

Check out the sweet new view of the garden from our new apartment! We moved to the other one bedroom on the opposite side of the house, where we can gaze lovely at our garden from the living and dining room. It’s pretty gosh darn amazing to be able to look at it from above. We had a view of the back of a very large and ugly apartment building. What made it worse is that the Pacific Ocean is on the other side of the sad looking building. Things are getting a little out of control in the garden since we’ve been ignoring it for the past couple weeks.We’ve got some big plans for it this weekend which include ripping out one of our Euphorbia wulfeniis (Rene too many of your babies did too well) and planting a magical Deppea splendens (read about on Annie’s blog, it’s super cool and available right now).

Nepenthes sanguinea

It will be interesting to see how all the houseplants adjust to life in east facing windows. We paired down our indoor plant collection quite a bit. It was out of control. Lots of junky looking abused plants. Just watering them all was a pain in the ass, which means only the guys who could survive through spans of not getting watered for 2-3 weeks made it. If my iphone weekly watering reminder works they’ll get better care in their new spot.

The bigger picture

Here’s another view of more of the backyard. There’s way more concrete than we’d  like, but hardscaping a rental is where we draw the line. The grass is already a little happier now that two less dogs are peeing on it, but it’s still pretty sad. I water it a little once a week to wash away the doggie pee build up, but not really enough to keep it happy during the rainless summers. It’s easy to reseed once the rain kicks in again. We only water the garden once a week for about 45 minutes or so. The left-hand (more succulenty) side isn’t hooked up to irrigation and gets a soak with the hose once a week. The middle native section gets sprinkled for awhile once every two weeks. I’m looking forward to the rainy season.

Houseplants Hanging Out

Here’s our big shelf o’houseplants that Matti found free on craigslist when we first moved to SF. Look at those sexy bamboo floors (we had nasty carpeting in the old place). I think the wall color is called ‘Banana Pepper Yellow’. We went crazy with paint. The kitchen is orange, bedroom teal and the bathroom is golden yellow. We’ll be posting about our indoor plants looking cute in their new surroundings more often now that we’ve ditched all the dogs from the collection.

 

Euphorbia & Aeonium Lovefest

Here’s a random backyard pic I took recently. Hurray for Euphorbias, Aeoniums & Thursdays!