Far Out Flora

Tiny Trees at Lake Merritt

July 20, 2013 by Megan Speckmann | 2 Comments

Sierra juniper (Juniperus occidentalis var. australis)

We’ve hit up the Grand Lake Farmers Market two weekends in a row, but this time we headed over to the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt first. If you missed out on last weeks visit check out this link. It’s a fabulous little garden filled with marvelous little trees. Every one of them is well marked with tons of interesting info available via the website or little guidebook. I’ve included the info in the pics below:

Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt

“Japanese mountain maple (Acer palmatum) – grove – Donated by Alex Austin. Rumored to have been started by charter member of Yamato Bonsai club.”

“Daimyo oak (Quercus dentata) – informal upright style Donated by Dr. Robert Cotcher. Historically, this is one of the most important bonsai and the longest in cultivation in the United States. In 1863, during Lincoln’s presidency, Quercus dentata Mr. Burlingame was envoy to China. This tree was a gift to him as he passed through Japan on his return to the United States. The peninsula city of Burlingame was named for this man from Massachusetts. Its name, Daimyo, was the title of a feudal ruler before the Meiji restoration in 1871.”

“Redwood (Sequoia semervirens) – formal upright style Donated by Bill Sullivan in memory of his wife, Nancy. This was the first tree donated to our garden. It was found about 1975 in a Marin County slide area. SPONSORED BY Redwood Empire Bonsai Society.”

Ginormo palm at Grand Lake Farmers Market

We’re headed over to Ruth Bancroft’s Summer Sale when Zoe wakes up from nap #1.

Badass Bromeliad Society Tour

July 19, 2013 by Megan Speckmann | 5 Comments


Bromeliads gone wild

Last weekend we hit up the SF Bromeliad Society’s super rad garden tour AND busted out the good old DSLR for the first time in almost a year. All the tour gardens were AMAZING! Brian Ransom’s garden pictured above and a whole bunch of pics below was my fave of the fab bunch. Anyone who mixes succulents, CA natives and bros rocks.

Brian’s garden

Zoe & Matti getting up close

Brian’s garden

Thunbergia & Tillandsia buddies on the fence

Seriously? How great is this?

Stags and more

The second garden we visited was by Armin Lindegger and Patrick Aaron. Love this vertical combo with the stags.

Babies like gardens!

Zoe was a good little trooper as we (mostly Matti) carried her all over the upper Market Street neighborhood. Check out those beautiful tree ferns in the background!

Anigozanthos love

Anigozanthos love

Hot tub garden

The last garden we visited was Richard Wigen’s. I wish I had a hot tub across from a big pile of awesome potted plants. Check out the trunk on that Aloe plicatilis!

Matti & Zoe hiding in the Senecio cristobalensis on the right

Musschia wollastonii maybe

Musschia wollastonii maybe

Can anyone confirm the ID on this guy about to burst with blooms? Looks like Muschia wollastonii to me.

Pretty path

Pretty path

Kniphofia, Verbena bonariensis, a ginormo Aloe plicatilis plus a bunch of other good stuff makes a gorgeous path. Zoe turned in to a pumpkin by the time the potluck started, so we missed out on the very last garden. It’s great to be back in California, surrounded by crazy awesome gardens filled with plants that most of the country can only grow as annuals or houseplants. Check out this link for all the sweet pics we took during the trip.

Grand Lake Farmers Market is Grand

July 12, 2013 by Megan Speckmann | 1 Comment

Dahlia freakout

The day before checking out the super sweet Gardens at Lake Merritt we hit up the Grand Lake Farmers Market. It’s pretty close to our new place. A few freeway stops down 580.

Grand Lake Theater

You can see the pretty Grand Lake Theater from the freeway.

Flower freakout

These cut flowers were pretty insane, but we ended up coming home with a giant bag of fruit.

The Alley

Lots of cute shops and stuff on our walk to the market.

Fruit loot

Bought this bowl at a really sweet thrifty shop called Urban Furniture along with a super cute new mug I need to take a picture of. I think we’ll be spending quite a bit of time in this neck of the woods, along with Lake Merritt. Oakland is HUGE, I had no idea…

The Gardens at Lake Merritt

July 11, 2013 by Megan Speckmann | 4 Comments

The Garden at Lake Merritt

This weekend we headed over to Lake Merritt to check out Fairyland with Zoe. We got there too late, so we ended up visiting the fantastic gardens instead. The Gardens at Lake Merritt include seven acres of gardeny goodness including a bunch of fun themes and it’s totally free! We were too late to get in to the bonsai garden, so we’ll have to go back and check it out soon.

Oh yeah, we’re back in California. We found a cute house to rent in Oakland. What’s up with all the sun and warm weather in these parts? I love it! It would be tough to go back to windy, foggy, beach land. Anyways… here are some shots from our recent visit:

Succulent fun

Loving all the different colors and textures happening.

Is this some sort of Cassia?

Flowery happieness

Asclepias physocarpa

How can you not smile when you see the “Family Jewels” plant?



I think there’s going to be quite a bit more blog action these days. Pretty soon I’ll dust off the good old DSLR again. These iphone pics aren’t the most magical.