Far Out Flora

Ripping Even More Stuff Out

September 30, 2011 by Megan Speckmann | 8 Comments

Sad Echium candicans

Tis the season to go crazy ripping things out & moving them around. I’ve been on a rampage lately.  Earlier in the month I went nuts on a succulent section. No plant is safe right now. This little corner was so pitiful I didn’t even bother taking a decent before pic of it (sorry about the glaring sun). About every three or four months I get pissed off at the Echium candicans for dropping it’s crappy little leaves all over the spiky Aloe below about to be pulled out. It starts with a couple snips here & there, but always ends with the Echium looking very sad. It’ll fill back in, in a couple weeks. Does anyone think my aggressive pruning could be the reason it’s never bloomed (we’ve had it for at least three years)? We threaten it verbally every Spring when all the other Echiums are blooming all over the place, maybe we made it sad?

Ripping it out

The Aloe you see strewn about was bought when we first moved here in a two inch pot. It’s hard to believe how huge it got in only a couple years. Someone in the neighborhood hit the free succulent jackpot with this rearrange. When we have extras, they get thrown on the curb & we tweet about it. I think we put out five succulent cutting filled flats this time.

Looks a little sad, but give it a few months

Matti brought home a Banksia blechnifolia from the loser pile at work (to the left of the piece of wood holding up the rickety fence). It’s our first Banksia & sounds like it loves life in sand, on the coast. It’s a prostrate, shorty. As long as I remember not to fertilize it with anything that has phosphorus it in. Eventually we’ll have to move the deformed Echeveria subrigida & Agave vilmoriniana (they were both crammed in an unfortunate spots earlier).

Senecio cristobalensis

This corner was too sad for before pics. It’s still looking a little crazy, but much better than the mess it was before. I ditched two of the Dahlias due to powdery mildew & just being sick of them. Check out the nice trunk forming on the Senecio cristobalensis. Maybe this winter it won’t get totally pummeled by the rain & winds.  There’s a Phygelius in the container where our Dianthus superbus sat unhappy for about six months. In another couple months, I’ll probably have to redo this section again. Now that we have ridiculous quantities of plants, moving stuff around has become my favorite thing to do.

Fuchsia fulgens

After doing a little flickr searching, I realized that I didn’t even take pics of my Fuchsia glazioviana massacre a couple weeks ago. Of all the Fuchsias we’ve grown (we currently have over ten) F. glazioviana has been my least favorite. Crappy little flowers you can barely see, along with runners going all over place… it had to go, so I could move poor Fuchsia fulgens in to the spot of glory it deserves (it was crammed behind our Cestrum).

This weekend two of our favorite nurseries are having shin-dings. Succulent Gardens is having their extravaganza today & Saturday & Annie’s Annuals is having their fabulous fall party (plus all plants will be 20% off, this goes for online orders, too). I”ll be working at Annie’s party on Sunday, so stop on by & say hi.

Australian Astroturf: We Love & Kinda Hate You

September 27, 2011 by Megan Speckmann | 14 Comments

Happy Scleranthus biflorus

What’s the deal Scleranthus biflorus? We’ve tried to grow this a couple of times & have killed it every single time in a container & in the ground. After murdering so many of these in the past I was hesitant to bring one home again, but we had an opening on the sunny side of the garden. They have seemed to hate part shade & regular water from our previous experiments (I think Matti thought it needed a lot of water & gave it extra). This time around I split it up in to two chunks. This one above is right next to the sidewalk that gets a quick hose down once a week & is doing A-okay with its new Aeonium friends.

Not so happy four feet away

So about four feet away, maybe even three I stuck this unhappy camper in the ground (same as happy camper above). Notice the drip line just sticking out like a sore thumb a couple inches away? That’s the only difference between the two. A little bit of water drips out once a week for about 30-45 minutes.  Seems like it dislikes average to what some would consider in almost pure sand, low water. Anyone else had success with this one on the coast with helpful hints? We really want to make it work.

Holy Hipstamatic Garden

September 25, 2011 by Megan Speckmann | 6 Comments

Fuchsia 'Fanfare' & Friends

A couple weeks ago I went a little crazy with the Hipstamatic app combined with the AutoStitch app out back. Matti’s the king of this technique, since I’m often bogarding the DSLR.  I’m loving the trippy pics this combo produces. It’s super easy, too! Makes the garden look all magical & stuff.

Plectranthus neochilus & Aeonium Fun


Pretty Aloe plicatilis

Succulent Craziness

Scary Skeleton

Succulent Wagon

Euphorbia & Aeonium Love

Begonia luxurians Loveliness

Echeveria shaviana & Friends



Santa Cruzin the Arboretum

September 22, 2011 by Megan Speckmann | 10 Comments

Mimetes cucullates

We’ve been kind of slacking on the blog front lately. It’s been way too nice out. Summer has arrived! It was sunny & 70 degrees at 5PM for three days in a row. The fog’s back, so we’re no longer lounging on the beach tossing the tennis ball for Max until sunset. Way back in mid-July we escaped the fog & hit up the UC-Santa Cruz Arboretum. Chuck B. at My Back 40 (feet) had his act together & posted about his visit within days here (lots of awesome pics).  Mimetes cucullates is so gosh darn rare & difficult to propagate that Annie’s charges $50.00 for a 4″ pot. Sounds like making babies is challenging, but so worth the wait. It’s a South African native.

Acacia pravissima

I usually don’t usually get super excited about Acacias, but this one made a gigantic trailing hedge of blue-green awesomeness.  Maybe I’ve seen it around, but never really noticed it before? It’s not rare or anything, is it?

Grevillea 'Honey Gem'

The bees were going nuts for all the blooming Grevilleas.

Banksia Bloom

The Banksias were in full freakout mode. I don’t think the flower show ever ends here. It was a flower fest last January, too.

Erica fun

Protea repens

Leucospermum burst of sunshine

Fuzzy wuzzy Leucospermum

The Leucospermums were by far the most bloomiferous of the bunch. I somehow managed to compile every picture we’ve ever taken at the arboretum during our two visits in to one giant set labelled July 2011.

Agave explosion







Bloom Day September

September 14, 2011 by Megan Speckmann | 24 Comments

Bee & Mystery Succulent

Happy September Bloom Day! Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting the monthly bloom-a-thon. Summer has finally arrived in Outer Sunset. For the first time in several weeks it hit seventy five degrees and was sunny!  This little bee was pollinating its little heart out on a cutie mystery mesemb. Anyone have any ideas as to what it is? I don’t even remember where we got it.

Cuphea 'Strybing Sunset' action

Matti brought Cuphea ‘Strybing Sunset’ home from the pitiful pile at work, and it’s made a full recovery. I threw it in there to give Fuchsia ‘Fanfare’ some leggings to cover up some of its skinny leg show.

Linaria reticulata 'Flamenco'

Linaria reticulata ‘Flamenco’ is one of my favorite annuals. I’d even say it’s even in my top five. We planted one last Spring, and it bloomed like a crazy thing for months in a big container. I loved it so much, this time I planted three. It’s well on the way to being a giant ball of red-orange flowery goodness.

Petunia exerta fun

Crazy rare Petunia exerta from South Eastern Brazil is still going strong despite being trampled by a dog. We trample it, too trying to get to plants in the far corner. Greensparrow Gardens‘ blogger Joseph Tychonievich hooked Annie’s up with the seeds for this super unique Petunia. Joseph is so cool he actually tricked his tree dahlia in to blooming using a trash can this summer.

Plectranthus neochilus

Some folks don’t like this funky little groundcover’s herby odor, but I think it smells nice. The purpley flowers aren’t bad either.

Sempervivum starting to get crazy

We’ve got semps in all shapes in sizes, bursting with sea creature like blooms right now. Matti’s been addicted to semps for quite some time, but I was slow to jump on the bandwagon. We had one back in Wisconsin that I loved, but I was weirdly not in love with them when we moved here. I think one might have gotten rotty during the winter. While I still can’t rattle off all the cultivars like Matti, I do love them again.

Impatiens nyungwensis

Matti picked out mega-rare Impatiens nyungwensis, a native to Rwanda from Annie’s last winter/early-spring. It’s loving life next to the beach. We now have two thriving colonies of this hairy little guy, from a couple chunks of plant I shoved in the ground after it was looking sad in a container.

Brugmansia sanguinea

Pretty soon our Brugmansia sanguinea will have some flowers facing the garden where I can take a picture of it without sticking my head next to the fence. This guy has really taken off. It’s covered in buds right now, and getting huge.

Eccremocarpus scaber 'Tresco Gold'

Finally, after quite some time of not doing so much Eccremocarpus scaber ‘Tresco Gold’ is causing hummingbird brawls in the garden. We literally have over ten Fuchsias out back, and the hummers don’t give a crap about them compared their beloved Chilean Glory Vine. Earlier this week I saw my first full on hummer battle above this vine.

Verbena bonariensis and fluttery friend

The butterflies have been digging the Verbena bonariensis big time latey. Anyone know what this one is?