Far Out Flora

DIY Succulent Bar

October 29, 2011 by Matti | 12 Comments

Succulents DIY style.

Succulents DIY style.

Can we say that Urban Bazaar Rocks!?!  Since last time we visited them on 9th Ave and Judah in San Francisco, they added a whole new aspect of coolness called the Succulent Bar.  You come…pick out your pot, pick out your plant, and do it yourself…leaving the mess to them.  Hey, it’s a great way to make those cool gifts you always wanted to give, and funstar #1 to make.  Or just keep for yourself….shh your secret is safe with us.

Pots to select.

Pots to select.

Seeing the Succulent Bar for the first time during the Inner Sunset Fair, I was impressed that they’re offering Urban FarmGirls pots available for your sweet succulent babies.  UFG is top notch in my book.  They make the best hypertufa pots, bar none…light weight and with an attractive rustic-mod feel.

Ton O succulents.

Ton O succulents.

Here’s where I love to gaze…the succulents.  All from growers that obviously cares about succulents.  Bold and colorful textures.

Crested Echeveria Doris Taylor.

Crested Echeveria Doris Taylor.

Okay, now you sold me.  Really?  You have a cresting Echeveria ‘Doris Taylor’ in a two inch pots?  No way!  They’re always doing fun events at their place so great way to keep up to date is via their facebook & twitter.

Top Dressing.

Top Dressing.

I’ve gotta admit, that I’ve resisted the term ‘top dressing’ for a long time.  Hey, I don’t mind mulching my pots with rocks, sand, or wood bits…but does it really have to be called top dressing?  Starting a new term today… Hydro Accumulating Topper… aka H.A.T.  Yes, now it’s time to add a HAT to your succulent pot.

and...done.

Wait for it...and...done.

There you are.  One awesome score from Urban Bazaar.  Every DIY Succulent Bar planting is unique and for a fraction of buying all those bits in bulk for yourself.  Click for more Urban Bazaar fun.

– Far Out Flora

Quarryhill Foliage Fever

October 27, 2011 by Matti | 7 Comments

Styrax japonicus - Japanese Snowbell

Styrax japonicus - Japanese Snowbell

Second part of our trip over to the Quarryhill Botanical Garden up in Glen Ellen, CA included all those Asian tree / foliage species they love to grow such as this Styrax japonicus (Japanese Snowbell). It gets white to pinkish flowers in late spring, and then develops these egg shaped fruits as seen above late summer / fall. Danger Garden has a nice commentary on their fruit. Fortunately, this guy was not used as a median strip walkway tree lol.

Acer pentaphyllum - Asian Maple

Acer pentaphyllum - Asian Maple

This could be one of the rarest trees in the whole bunch on their 25 acre garden. The Acer pentaphyllum (Asian Maple) is the iconic plant for the Quarryhill Botanical garden…even is used at part of their logo. William A. McNamara wrote a fantastic article on A. pentaphyllum that is a must read for Maple lovers.

Idesia polycarpa - Igirl Tree

Idesia polycarpa - Igirl Tree

Idesia polycarpa (Igirl Tree) is a dioecious tree…aka boy parts and girl parts are found on separate trees. In order to get fruit, they need to be grown relatively close to each other. Hum, so which is pictured above? Since the fruit is supposed to start out red then turning a dark purple…I’m guess we have a girl tree here. What a beaut. We hear the fruits are edible, but we never eat random plants/fruits/berries/etc.. during our travels. Love that contrast between the chartreuse leaves and the deep purple berries.

Broussonetia papyrifera - Paper Mulberry

Broussonetia papyrifera - Paper Mulberry

Don’t know a lot about this tree, Broussonetia papyrifera (Paper Mulberry), but leaf shape is pretty sweet. Read that it does go deciduous…and bet can make one great leaf pile to jump in.

Toona sinensis - Chinese Mahogany

Toona sinensis - Chinese Mahogany

One challenge during our visit was trying to get good picture of the whole tree. You really can’t get far enough away to get an entire tree in a single photo, and we still try to grab little nuggets here and there. The Toona sinensis (Chinese Mahogany) best feature was the trunk and bark. The trunk was so straight, and the branches just seemed to be an afterthought…almost attached afterwards like one of those old school silver Xmas trees, sans the conifer look.

Cornus capitata - Himalayan Flowering Dogwood

Cornus capitata - Himalayan Flowering Dogwood

The fruit on this Cornus capitata (Himalayan Flowering Dogwood) was starting to form. The round fruit above starts out green, but then turns a brilliant red raspberry color late fall. I found some great pics of this tree at a place where we need to visit on one of our trips north…I’m talking about you ..Digging Dog Nursery up in Albion, CA.

Mega Spider

Mega Spider

Gratuitous spider photo. Not sure what kind of arachnid you are, but glad I saw it before my face fell into your web. Anybody know this guy? It was just smaller than a Saqajuia dollar…and about the same color.

Liriodendron chinense - Chinese Tulip Tree

Liriodendron chinense - Chinese Tulip Tree

Liriodendron chinense (Chinese Tulip Tree) reminds me of a couple sidewalk trees that grow along the streets of San Francisco…aka, the L. tulipifera. The leaves are unique where the apex seems to be lopped off. You can bet that when I took plant ID…I could not miss identifying this one.

Cercidiphyllum japonicum - Japanese Judas Tree

Cercidiphyllum japonicum - Japanese Judas Tree

Saved this tree for the end. There were a couple times while hiking around the gardens that we kept getting whiffs of candy smells…almost like burnt brown sugar. Turned out to be this gorgeous tree, Cercidiphyllum japonicum (Japanese Judas Tree…aka Katsura Tree). Not exactly sure why it produces it scent, but it gets more intense as fall approaches. Okay, I want to think it’s because of attracting pollinators. But I still think a fun tree to point out to the kids.

Hey, if you missed it a couple weeks ago, catch up on more of the blooms going on at Quarryhill Botanical Garden here.

– Far Out Flora

Senecio cristobalensis Down

October 25, 2011 by Matti | 2 Comments

Senecio cristobalensis catastrophe

Senecio cristobalensis - Red Leaved Velvet Senecio

The winter rains just starting here in SF.  About two weeks ago we came home to find our Senecio cristobalensis toppled over…probably due to the weight of the wet leaves in tandem with a little wind.

Off topic for a second…can you believe this is a Senecio?  It has giant velvet like leaves…green on top and purple on the underside.  It gets big, 6-10 feet tall and wide, easily pruned and one of the most bizarre Senecios I’ve seen in awhile.

qFixing the plant.

Fixing the Senecio cristobalensis

After assessing the damage, there didn’t appear to be an breakage in the stem.  We hammered in a four foot stake halfway into the soil and tied it up at the base.  Not too tight…it can swagger freely.  Should be good to go now.

– Far Out Flora

Dude, the Deppea is Rockin’

October 19, 2011 by Megan | 6 Comments

Deppea splendens doing its thing

This past Sunday Matti & I headed up to the San Francisco Botanical Garden to ogle the Deppea splendens in the Meso-American Cloud Forest section. I’ve been watching it for the last couple months waiting for this moment of bloomy freak out goodness.Hopefully our little dude will be doing the same thing this time next year. Go see it if you’re in town. More gratuitous pics of our favorite flowering tree:

Deppea splendens

Deppea splendens

Want your very own Deppea splendens? Annie’s doesn’t have them online right this second, but they’ll be available again. A little bird told me there might be some out in the nursery as of yesterday, but isn’t guaranteeing anything. You can find the rest of our Strybing visit pics here.

 

October In Bloom

October 14, 2011 by Megan | 25 Comments

Scabiosa & West Coast Lady

Scabiosa & West Coast Lady

Happy Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day! A big shout out to May Dreams Garden for hosting the worldwide flower sharing fest. Lots of repeats from recent months past, but we still have plenty o’flowery action happening out back. We’re not really sure which Scabiosa this is (it was a mystery freebie from Annie’s I planted in a pot last winter). The dang thing hasn’t stopped blooming since May and the butterflies love it. I love how the little periwinkle dots on the wings match the bloom.

Brugmansia sanguinea

Brugmansia sanguinea

Our Brugmansia sanguinea has busting out the blooms left and right. We’ve actually had a decent amount of rain for October, which nearly collapsed the entire thing (I feel like a pruning failure). It’s super floppy… which means as soon as the flower fest is done I’m going to hack it back. Anyone have any advice about pruning it in to a lovely small tree?

Echeveria sp.

Echeveria gibbiflora

Not really sure what this cultivar is, but it’s an Echeveria gibbiflora of some sort. I’m going to call it ‘Fancy Panties’ since I have no idea what cultivar it really and truly is.

Euphorbia myrsinites

Euphorbia myrsinites

Now I haven’t really looked at a donkey tail lately, but what’s up with the common name “Donkey Tail Spurge”? Nothing about this plant reminds me of an equine creature, but I do love it.

Calandrinia spectabilis

Calandrinia spectabilis

Look at that lovely flower! The actual plant itself is all spotty and weird. I’m thinking it’s getting too much water, not enough sun and is in a pot with probably sub-standard (crappy recycled so-so draining soil). We have a couple in the ground that have never been that happy either (they more sun and less water). I see them everywhere around town (even in the fog belt) looking huge and awesome. Perhaps we have the Calandrinia curse?

Petunia exerta

Petunia exserta

I’m still loving our Petunia exserta (almost extinct in its homeland of southeastern Brazil). When we look out over the garden from the living room, the flowers look like floating red stars. I dead head it religiously.

Black Petunia

Black Petunia

My fingers turn purple when I deadhead this one. I’m curious to see how things go for it this winter.

Grill looking pretty

Grill looking pretty

We flipped the grill around a week or two ago, since the Lotus maculatus was putting on a show for the fence. Echeveria pulvinata is back in action again, too. Anyone else out there orange flower fans? I think we need more orange flowering friends.

Fuchsia fulgens

Fuchsia fulgens

Still looking good despite my half-assed transplant.

Dahlia ‘Dark Side of the Sun’

Dahlia ‘Dark Side of the Sun’

Oh geez, I just looked at our previous Bloom Day posts and back in August I posted almost this exact same picture. I’ll be honest. We almost spaced Bloom Day, so some of these pictures are a week or two, maybe three old. Right this very second there are no Dahlia blooms in action.

Fuchsia 'Fanfare'

Fuchsia 'Fanfare'

Are you sick of ‘Fanfare’ yet? It just keeps blooming and blooming and blooming.

Cuphea 'Strybing Sunset'

Cuphea 'Strybing Sunset'

So does Cuphea ‘Strybing Sunset’.

Echeveria runyonii 'Topsy Turvy' flower

Echeveria runyonii 'Topsy Turvy'

Happy Bloom Day!