Far Out Flora

Celebrate With Sunset This Weekend!

May 30, 2014 by Megan Speckmann | 0 comments

Tropical Garden, by Living Green

This weekend is Sunset’s Celebration Weekend in Menlo Park and we think you should go! Not only are there amazing gardens like the one above there are fabulous garden speakers happening both days. I was super lucky to get a sneak preview yesterday. Put on your shades, as it was sunny as heck and my pictures might burn your eye balls a little.

Nepenthe Love

I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an amazing vertical garden. One of the first places I plan on visiting is Living Green when we move back to SF. They’re the ones responsible for this crazy awesome tropical space.

Edible Bounty Garden, by Star Apple Edible & Fine Gardening

We LOVE Star Apple Edible & Fine Gardening! How can you not? Their gardens are to die for and more along the lines of how we’re gardening these days combining pollinator attractors and food.


Hooray for herbs!

Desert Modern Garden, by Sunset editors Lauren Dunec & Johanna Silver

Way back in the olden days when Matti and I first started learning about plants in Plant ID 101 at City College we met the fabulous Johanna Silver. She’s now a garden editor and doing super sweet things with her partner in gardening greatness Lauren Dunec. The test gardens are looking so so good right now. Zoe and I are going to move in to the berry garden.

Desert Modern Outdoor Shower

Showering outdoors kind of freaks me out, but many people seem to like the idea.

Urban Calm Garden, by Growsgreen Landscape Design

A crazy cool container find from Growsgreen Landscape Design, sadly my other pics of their garden turned out terrible (not their fault, but the sun’s). I didn’t get a good shot of the wonderful Ground Cover Landscaping garden either, so you’ll have to go check it out yourself.

All of these “Small Space, Big Dreams” gardens surround the cutest little home you’ve ever seen by Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. Matti, Zoe and I plan on hitting the road to visit on Sunday, so give a shout if you see us around. We’re super excited to see succulent king and queen, Robin Stockwell and Debra Lee Baldwin, along with our favorite carnivorous plant nerd and friend Robert Co speaking at the Garden Stage along with a bunch more great folks. Hope to see you there!


Spring Flower Freakout

May 26, 2014 by Megan Speckmann | 3 Comments

Hurray for flowers!

Did you know that I’m a flower freak? We still have lots succulents hanging around, but I’m flower crazy. This was taken about a month ago and many of those annuals have passed on to make room for a bunch of seedlings from past plants. Linaria reticulata ‘Flamenco’ the orangey red plant in front is one of my faves. That little shorty blue guy is Echium plantagineum with Gilia tricolor in the middle.

Gilia tricolor and friends

Coreopsis ‘Tiger Stripes’

This Coreopsis is still kicking it, but the Tidy Tips next door is gone.

Euphorbia mauritanica

See, we still have succulents! Many of them are in containers, so we can easily bring them to the new place. I LOVE this Euphorbia and hadn’t even heard of it until we moved back to California last year.

Who let the mint out?

There was some citrus mint hanging out over here when we moved in. I did something crazy and left it. I always said to keep mint in a container so it doesn’t take over the world, but it smells so good.

Calceolaria ‘Kentish Hero’

I’m a sucker for orange flowered plants and this is one of my all time favorites. There’s a good chance it will be coming with along with us to SF. Most everything else will be staying.

Nasturtium party

I’m going to collect seed from my favorite orangey red nasturtiums.

More orangey blooms

How can you not love Cuphea ‘Strybing Sunset’ (left) and Asclepias curassavica (right)? We have little baby Asclepias popping up all over the place from last year’s seed.

Shady ladies

Our sweet Begonia ‘Ramirez’ has gotten so big! This is the first time I’ve grown Nicotiana ‘Lime Green’ and it really brightens up the corner. Can you believe I snagged that fuzzy leaved Roldana petasitis ssp. cristobalensis in the back for free at an awesome Oakland plant exchange? We’re bring a chunk of it with, too. I think we’ve really spruced up the place since moving in last July, but I’m excited to start over in SF.

Moving Back to SF!

May 25, 2014 by Megan Speckmann | 2 Comments

Our new neighbor

We signed a lease and are moving back to San Francisco in mid-June! I never thought we’d be able to move back since it’s nearly impossible to find anyone who will rent to a dog family at a somewhat reasonable price (it is the Bay Area), but we did! We’ve completely ditched the commute costs and time suck, and will be living one block away from Flora Grubb Gardens. Garden wise it’s a blank slate, with a big thumbs up from the landlord to go garden crazy. Here are a few more shots I took the last time I was there for a visit:

Wall of awesome

Zoe in the jungle

Container craziness

We’re really excited to be moving back!

Poop Alley Poppies

May 24, 2014 by Megan Speckmann | 5 Comments

Poppy love

This is a story of how we turned our weedy strip next to the driveway we call “Poop Alley” in to a flowery fun place for super cheap.

In the beginning: March 3rd, 2014

Sometime back in February Matti pulled out all the huge weeds growing next to our driveway (we don’t use this part to park) and gave the ground a good hoeing. That’s when my seed insanity began. I planted a jumbo bag of Baby Blue Eyes, a bunch of CA poppies, Nasturtiums, Clarkia, Cerinthe, Nigella and a Papaver I’m thinking is rhoeas. I also stuffed some random succulents in.

Starting to fill in: April 6th, 2014

In a short time things started to fill in and I shoved in some more free plants we got at a local plant exchange and a few from the free pile at Flora Grubb.

Baby Blue Eyes in action: April 28th, 2014

Fast forward a few weeks and the Baby Blue Eyes (Nemophila menziesii) started to rock.  I wish I would have seeded some Tidy Tips (Layia platyglossa).

May 12th, 2014

It’s still kicking with almost no water. I throw a little on it once a week. The best part is that pretty much everything I seeded will reseed again next year to do it all again. I’m still waiting on the Nigella and Clarkia flowers to happen. They might have been eaten by the poppies. We knew our landlord would be returning to our house to retire when we moved in, so I looked for quick super cheap ways to make the garden spaces better.

May 12th, 2014

The view from my office. I work out of our garage and get to watch my flowers through the front doors every day. You can see the spot where Max actually poops down by the garbage cans. He pees on a little crack on the other side of the driveway. He’s been living with us long enough to know where to go potty with out making me mad.

Gratuitous close ups

LOVE this super little flowered red dude!

Gratuitous close up

I planted Renee’s Copper Pot and Tropical Sunset Mix of California poppies (Eschscholzia californica) for a little bit of everything, but I’m a sucker for deep orange flowers.

Gratuitous close ups

Cerinthe and friends

Max enjoying his alley, May 22nd 2014

We’ll miss you poop alley!

ps: We’re signing a lease this afternoon. More details to come soon and a big shout out to everyone who kept an eye out for a place for us.

Help, We Have to Move!!!

May 19, 2014 by Megan | 6 Comments

Our Oakland Garden (click for larger pic)

Update: We found a new house one block from Flora Grubb Gardens and are moving in mid-June! Thanks for you all your help everyone!

Long time no blog! We keep talking about it, but time is tight these days. We swear we’ll start again now that we’ve uploaded a million pics. I’ve been loving Instagram for sharing and keeping up with people since having Zoe. Anyways, the owner of our rental here in Oakland (near Mills College) is retiring and moving back in July.  If anyone out there knows of anyone with two bedrooms, preferably a house with garden space available mid-June up until early July send them our way. East Bay, San Francisco, we’re open to many options as long as Max the Border Collie can come with. He’s so smart we can train him to do his business the farthest away from where we hang out easily and he never goes on the garden. We always take great care of our rentals and plant to attract pollinators of all shapes and sizes, along with a little food, succulents and other drought tolerant plants. Matti’s also very handy with little fixes around the house. Please keep an eye out for us as finding a place to live in the Bay Area that accepts dogs is a challenge.