Hello! It’s been forever since we blogged… LAME. We talk about it, but never seem to get around to it. Check out our Instagram accounts faroutmegan & fofmatti for more recent excitement and tons of Zoe pics. It’s not like we stopped gardening or anything crazy like that. I think our new SF garden is going to be the coolest one so far. I have grand plans for mass photo uploading and blogging this January.
You may or may not know that we fulfill all of Flora Grubb Gardens Web Shop orders from our basement. We also live one block away from the SF store in a rad three bedroom house built in the late 1800’s. Matti still works upstairs in the office at FGG. Anyways… we recently put together some super cool kits with everything you need to start sticking tillies on things. We also have kits that involve sticking succulents in things. Check out Flora’s cool new holiday gift guide, too!
A tad past two years ago, I found this shiny object which I jammed packed with a ton O succulent cuttings. Well, it’s been way over due for a little sprucing up. Above is the result. Check out the side by side at the end.
Shiny Succulent Container - Nov 2009
Here’s how it looked 2 years ago…it’s really more if a game of survivor. Cruising the Mission hood for funky stuff, I found this UFC (Unidentified Found Container. 35 cuttings from our backyard later, it was filled with hope, dreams, and promise. Our Thrift Store Succulent Storage post tells more of the story.
Shiny Succulent Container - Nov 27, 2011
Why did it need a replanting? Well, rarely do plants look superb forever, unless you’re using plastic. Here’s a recent pic how it’s been looking. That’s what a year of total neglect looks like. Shocking anything is still alive.
The cool thing is that I have a better idea which of these succulents can handle a some stress. Taking a peek above, looks like the tough guys are a couple of aeoniums, some Sedum rebrotinctum, a sempervivum, Crassula tetragona, and some other crassula & sedum.
Feb 2010 on Left -- Nov 2011 on the Right
Check out this before and after (clicking our pics make them big). There’s about an 18 months span from left to right. Game on, let’s see which will endure thru 2012.
Can you believe that our latest DIY project was once just a couple of junky pallets and some scrappy table legs? Crazy…if I didn’t have photos, I wouldn’t believe it myself. Not too long ago, we whipped out a coffee table sized succulent table out of an old shipping crate. Now we scaled it up.
First bit of advice, deconstructing pallets are a big pain unless you have the right tools…and our hammer and wall scrapper wasn’t quite doing the trick. Boards were cracking and splitting left and right. Good news. We had three pallets to figure out how to do it, and by the second one…we were getting usable boards.
Couple good planks.
Love the scares of time left on these chunks of pallet wood.
Attaching the legs.
After pulling apart two pallets, we used the 2 x 4 sized boards to make a rectangular frame to attached the appropriated table legs. Debate went back and forth whether or not to strip the paint off the legs…we’re not huge fans of washed out creamy yellow. We ended up just leaving them dinged up how we found them. In the end, it worked in our favor.
Dry run for fittings.
Like TV magic (and 2 days later), the table was more or less put together. We got so into the project that we forgot to take some pics during the building of the succulent hole, oops. Basically, the top is made up in three sections. Two flat boards make the right side, three boards make the left. The center three boards were built as a separate planting box…again all using parts of the pallet. We made it this way because we knew the succulent table was going to journey about 45 minutes south to Sunset Test Garden. The plan was to make the succulent section removable so that it could ride inside the car while the rest of the table may need to be strapped to the roof of the Subaru.
Megan with some semps.
After a weekend of slivers and sweat, we finally got to plant this baby. Megan had the pleasure to do the ceremonial dividing up of the first bunch of semps.
3/8 inch holes where drilled in the bottom, and we decided to go with a fast draining cactus mix. The bulk of the plants are Sempervivum, Sedum, and a hint of Orostachys iwarenge. We plugged in some pea sized pebbles to stabilize and dress up the top.
Packing them in.
Yeah, we didn’t hold back on jamming them. By all means, it would be fine to plant the strip thin and let it grow in. But when you need it to look full fast…you just hold, tuck and stick until it looks more or less done.
Succulents playing together.
Here you can get a sense of how the center box is separate from the rest of the table…great for traveling.
Ready for action.
Speaking of journeys, this guy is on view Jun 4-5 at the Sunset Magazine Celebration Weekend in their Test Garden down in Menlo Park, CA. While your there, say hi to Johanna Silver, aka Ask a Garden Girl and Sunset Test Guru. She has rock star garden skills and one of the most engaging personalities you’ll find.
Hey, you can stay up-to-date with us on Facebook or place an ad. We have super low intro pricing right now.
Almost a year ago, I planted this metal pot rack into a succulent hanging thing. Lots of little cuttings, lots of sphagnum moss, lots of potential. Well, it’s all grown up now. Not exactly what I expected, but enough to salvage.
Here it is today. It has been neglected for some time now. Definitively in need of a haircut and a little refill. Oh, another issue I have found. That hemp type twine I’ve been using to hold it all together? It has been failing…basically rotting away a little faster than expected. Like the time the mirror held up with the twine fell and crushed our Clianthus puniceus. I wasn’t too concerned at that moment because I really didn’t know what Megan planted, but I love the guy now that he has recovered.
Ever since, I’ve been systematically going around the garden and replacing that hemp twine with wire. At least it should take more than a year before the wire rusts away.
A little fluffing.
A little fluffing and it’s looking sweet again, better than ever.
Looking sweet again.
I can’t wait for another 3-6 months to pass to see what happens next. Hey, these succulents are all alive and need the occasional haircut / TLC to get them looking all cool again. Same thing with our planted containers.
While I was spicing up this succulent hanging thing, Megan picked up this cool Petunia hybrid, the Phantom Petunia. Turns out it was the same Petunia on the cover of the Garden Gate magazine that showed up that day. No way!
Time for an obscure reference. Holding this plant along with the magazine instantly reminded me of a certain movie where Steve Martin held up a drink with a bamboo umbrella next to a magazine stating…”Be somebody”. Yeah, that Petunia made me feel like Somebody. Any takers on the movie? – Far Out Flora
You never know where the garden world is going to take you. We were out and about looking at some cool indie crafts down in Hayes Valley (SF), and these awesome octopus pillows caught our eye. That’s were we met Tin of Utiltarian Franchise. Turns out that not only does Tin design the coolest pillows ever, he also is an avid gardener.
Staghorn Fern Grotto with Succulent Wall
A week later, we headed over to check it out. OMGosh, hands down…Tin’s garden is incredible. For the past two years, he has been filling every nook up and down with tons of succulents, bros and epiphytes.
Bros and succulents
Tin plays a lot with color and texture. Also without the ability to chop up the concrete, he uses a bunch of containers and vertical wall panels.
Such as these sweet panels he made including the frames. So what does Tin do with his old serography screens when they are past their prime? He makes them into vertical walls. Man, I really wish I would have come up with that…it’s brilliant.
San Francisco in succulents.
Oh, and love the stags too. Also, <3 those hanging letters. He has collected enough letters to almost spell out San Francisco too…sans the F.
BTW as always, there are more pics of Tin’s work on our Flickr.
Big, bad A succulent panel Bromeliad Tree.
Geez, I want this succulent wall.
Okay, so there’s a lot to take in at Tin’s garden…and can’t wait to head back. Wanting more info on Utilitarian Franchise designs, check out this SF Gate article. Hey Tin, we love the pillows and thanks for the tour.