What? 2011 is almost over….that’s crazy talk. Let’s rewind and take a look at our 5 hottest garden posts of 2011. We love traveling around checking out gardens, finding funky plants, and sharing them with you. We want to give a BIG shout out to all our Far Out Flora peeps. We <3 you guys! …now onward to your top 5 for 2011.
Simply Succulent = Sweet! was written shortly after our first visit to the Simply Succulent Nursery up in Fort Bragg, CA. This place is stuff to the hilt with fun plants, including this Senecio articulatus (Candle Plant, aka Hot Dog Cactus). Definitely recommend you swing by this place if you’re ever in the area.
DIY Succulent Pallet Table
Hands down, DIY Succulent Pallet Table was our reader’s favorite of 2011. Shortly after our succulent table was completed, it was on display at Sunset Magazine’s test garden for their summer party. They loved it too and put it in their Aug issue. Pretty sweet.
We packed in a bunch of new funky plants in 2011 including this rare Petunia exserta. Take a peek at October in Bloom, it really shows how our garden can shine.
Lobelia excelsa - Tabaco del diablo (Devil's Tobacco)
No surprise that we spend a ton O time at Strybing Arboretum. It’s just up the road from us and always something exciting to see in the plant world like this Lobelia excelsa (Tabaco del diablo). Of all the trips, Strybing Super Flowers was a fan fave.
After sick to death of looking at this crappy old Grill in our backyard, we finally cleaned it up and planted the sucker. I’m not certain who thought of it first, but Grilling Up Succulents is that perfect easy weekend project. Besides being easy to move around the yard, we keep planting new stuff in it all the time.
On Christmas Eve we cruised down Highway One to Big Sur for the day. We love the Big Sur Spirit Garden. One of the first blog posts I ever wrote was about this sweet place. It’s a definite must-stop for the succulents alone. Rumor has it the owner has an amazing private garden, too.
Big Sur Spirit Garden
The leucadendrons are starting to go into their crazy bloom action. Love the Opuntia poking through.
Big Sur Spirit Garden
I’m a wee bit embarrassed to say I’m not sure which mega-cactus this is. Help!
Aloe speciosa maybe?
We always stop at Cafe Kevah at Nepenthe for lunch on the patio. Love their gardens, too.
Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow' Nepenthe
Grevillea at Nepenthe
Gratuitous pics of CA natives, turquoise seas, amazing beaches & mountains coming soon.
We popped in the Conservatory of Flowers to check out Playland at the Conservatory. Half blast from the past…half mini landscapes, 100% fun. Back in the day, a ton of attractions started springing up near the Sutro Baths down in our hood. Officially becoming Playland at the Beach in 1926 this boardwalk-esque amusement park peaked around the 50s and finally shut down in 1972. SF Conservatory does Playland proud bring back the essence of the fun and games.
The Fun House
Most of these miniature buildings and rides are created using found objects and reclaimed materials. Take a closer look at the Fun House. Looks like a couple of board games, including a chess board and a game of backgammon were used for the facade.
The buffalo and Windmill
These are two of my fav things you can still see in Golden Gate Park (GGP). First introduced to GGP in 1890s, you can still see bison hanging out in the Buffalo Paddock. It’s one of those bizarre sites when tromping around the park, and a great stop if you have visitors as it’s a mellow and always fun stuff to see. The Dutch Windmills are just down the road from the bison. One of the two has been standing in the Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden, but they just finished restoring the second windmill a couple blocks from our place.
The Cliff House
Pretty sure this is originally how the Cliff House used to look. Nice traveling tip, you can still explore the Giant Camera Obscura, which is adjacent to the Cliff House.
Big Dipper Roller Coaster
Gorgeous pink Cryptanthus and an assortment of Tillandsias popping out in the foreground of the Big Dipper roller coaster.
Can’t have an amusement park without a Ferris Wheel. Oh, forgot to mention all the toy trains and cable cars buzzing around too. We visited last year’s Garden Railway tour, and the Conservatory of Flowers did a great job changing it up since then.
Zoltar and a Laffing Sal
Bring a handful of quarters and dimes cuz there are games to play, including the Zoltar (I wished I was a kid again).
Matti in the Dodger Bumper Car
…and it came true. Hey, when you sit in this original Dodger bumper car, put the pedal to the metal…you’ll get a big treat. The exhibit runs until Apr 15, 2012. As you know time flies, don’t let this one get away.
You know the term, a man’s man? Well if there’s such thing as a gardener’s garden…this is the place. What a treat it was to visit Ted Kipping’s private oasis over in the Glen Park neighborhood. When Ted isn’t traveling to exotic locations seeking out rare plants in habitat or working his business at Tree Shapers, he’s constantly tweeking his garden.
Ted has several hypertufaesque containers tucked in throughout his space. After I stopped drooling over that first pic of the Dudleya attenuata, I saw his Scleranthus biflorus, which was looking lusher than ours.
I had a bunch of those…wow, why didn’t I think of that moments. Here’s a plant we have in our garden, but his Lewisia cotyledon looked way more cooler than ours. He does some amazing mini landscapes, and certainly influenced us to make our alpine container about a month back.
Dierama bee love
Megan tells me that Dierama are hot right now. The bee and me would have to agree. Sometimes called Fairy’s Fishing Rods, they fall in the same family as Crocosmia and put on quite a show.
Begonia foliosa var. miniata
Agave parryi, always a fav. Slow growing, its gray spiky foliage spans to about a 30-inch diameter. Stunning accent plant, indeed.
His Bro Fence was sweet. Ted shared with us a little trick. He uses a variety of Bromeliads to fill in holes and gaps within his garden until he finds just the right plant for that space. Since many Bros are easy to transplant and move around…they work well for his technique. Small potted plants work the same way. Brilliant.
Brugmansia & Blue Sky
Gratuitous Brugmansia and blue sky shot. It was one of those gorgeous fall days.
Score! Ted dropped us a couple cuttings including a pinch of this shady loving limy Plectranthus. It’s gonna look great on our shady side.
Happy Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day! We’ve got tons of cool stuff blooming right now including the tallest plant we’ve ever grown Dahlia imperialis ‘Double White’. There were a bunch of big babies in one gallons at Annie’s that needed a new home, so I took one home not knowing which tree Dahlia it was going to be (we’re usually pretty anti-white flowers). It’s pretty awesome, but I kind of want to try Dahlia tenuicaulis or crazy awesome Dahlia campanulata next year. There’s another shot of it in the container here (it’s kind of skinny).
Maybe a month or two ago I hacked this puppy back pretty hard since it was getting scraggly. Now it’s covered in flowers again. I think this is one of our very first Fuchsias. It loves a good hacking every few months.
Quite a few of our Fuchsias are blooming right now and Fuchsia denticulata is one of my faves. Hummingbirds are having brawls and it’s December. The Wisconsinite in me is still in awe that it can be sunny and 65 sometimes even 70 degrees in December. January through March used to be my most hated time of the year and now it’s my favorite. Bring on the rain!
While I love Fuchsia fulgens, I’m more excited about the Kalanchoe carnea growing behind the flowers. We started this guy from a stem we picked up on the ground in Santa Barbara last winter. I keep moving it around and pissing it off, but it seems to like the new spot.
Cyanotis somaliensis (Common Name - Furry Kittens or Pussy Ears)
A big shout out to Plants Are The Strangest People for helping us ID this purple poofy flowered thing several months back. I’m pretty sure this plant withstood dog pee in its not so great spot in the yard back in the day, but it now lives happily in a pee free zone. Everything I’ve read says it needs to be in zone 10 or above and I remember it dying back pretty hard after a frost. It’s been a great houseplant for us, too. We picked it up at Lone Pine Gardens a nursery that specializes in succulents and bonsai trees in Sebastopol. Cool place.
Matti picked up this bizarro Oxalis herrerae at Cactus Jungle last Spring. If we put it in the ground, kept it watered and fed it could potentially turn in to a three foot tall leafy shrub. We like the freaky succulent petiole action, so we keep it abused in a little pot. I wasn’t all that excited about it at first since Annie’s had some pampered plants leafy plants at the time. It’s pretty dang cool.
Eccremocarpus scaber 'Tresco Gold'
It took Eccremocarpus scaber ‘Tresco Gold’ a little longer to take off this year since most of it sprouted from the abundant seed of one crazy floriferous plants from last year. It seems to be lasting later in the season. Snip off the pretty seed heads if you don’t want lots and lots and lots of babies, but they’re easy to spot and pull, too. The hummingbirds go crazy for it. I’m convinced they like it more than any of our Fuchsias.
I planted this Anagallis monellii in a big container last May or June. It bloomed like a little trooper for a couple months, got rangy, hacked it back and it’s coming back. It’s seriously one of the prettiest shades of blue out there, but it’s tough to capture in photos. I severely abused (moved at least three times in a not so nice manner) a different plant last winter that olerated my cruelty no-problem. Annie’s almost always has them available, so I started fresh with this guy.
We’ve had a couple of Kalanchoe marmorata hanging around for at least a year. They haven’t loved life in our garden (honestly, they’ve usually been jammed in sub-prime real estate), but this one finally liked it enough to shoot out some crazy four inch long flower. One of our favorite succulent bloggers Candy got a great shot of it looking happy, but not as spotty at Huntington Gardens this fall. From what I’ve read it sounds like the more sun it gets to more pronounced its leopard spots are.
San Francisco, if I haven’t told you how much I love you lately I apologize. Gardening in Winter is one of my favorite activities, especially after checking the temp in Wisconsin and giggling. I’m going to shut up now and show some more pics of stuff that’s blooming out back. Hurray for December!
Froofy Fuchsia (don't really know what hybrid it is)
Helenium autumnale 'Helena Red Shades'
Crassula erosula 'Campfire'
Graptoveria 'Fred Ives'
Okay, I can’t keep my big mouth shut… Back in early October I was walking the dog around the neighborhood with the camera and took a pic of a house using Lotus maculatus as a ground cover in the middle of their driveway. It looks nice, check out the pic here.